Claudia Gschwend

Winning bodies of work

This is a series of portraits of the Sencirk circus troupe in Dakar, Senegal. In January 2021, I traveled there with a Swiss charity to photograph the delivery of their donation: a container full of circus equipment.

In 2010, Sencirk obtained its official status with the help of public authorities interested in this socio-educational project. The first circus school in Senegal was born.

Sencirk, was founded by Modou Touré, once a child beggar, who now wants to help others in a similar position. 

Every year, many young Senegalese children are sent to the cities to study the Quran, only to find themselves forced into begging for money and food on the streets.

That’s one of the reasons why he created something that gives an incredible number of kids the opportunity to gain self-confidence and enjoy some carefree hours. 

Today, Sencirk is a very important place, nearly thirty artists train most days in the tent in Dakar. Modou and his people also manage many diverse projects in hospitals and in various institutions such as the “L’Empire des Enfants” or “La Maison Rose”. In which women with their children live, mostly coming from a difficult background. Also other programs with street kids or minors from Quranic schools.

It’s a community built on resilience – a group of young people working through shared trauma who are strengthened by their potential to overcome it together.

Sencirk Senegal