Ramsha Cheema

Preservation and Traditional Significance of Circus in Pakistan

Video Thesis


The purpose of my thesis is to revive the culture of experiencing a circus that existed in my family. We had a family tradition of visiting circus in our home town-Bhopal wala, I aim to preserve those memories through my sculptural forms and thematic crockery, that are designed for contemporary style homes.

My thesis subject matter is related to my village and my family’s tradition of organizing and going to the indigenous carnival called ‘Mela’, which also included Circus. Both of these occasions took place as one unified event in my village in Sialkot. A ritual of the family, it became a powerful memory of my childhood and continues to be with me as the whole journey had several emotions attached with it, which included joy, happiness, excitement, nostalgia and belongingness. It was the time when the whole village was happy and celebrating.

As I grew up I realized the tradition was changing as the annual Mela still continued but Circus was gradually coming to an end and at one time it totally disappeared. The main focus is preserving the happy and joyful memories of the indigenous Circus yet showing the inner life and difficulties of people working in Circus and also the reasons why the Circus in my village has stopped.

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