The Roundhouse Studio-Theatre was filled to the brim last week for Sahara Nights on June 6. The multi-arts launch for the Studio-Live music empowerment project brought the house down with an array of film, photography, short story presentations and wonderful music to provide rich glimpses of the Saharawi world, culture and plight.
The launch was interlaced with fantastic first-class performances from a wide range of international artists…
These are the two filmmakers, and short a teaser from their films on Western Sahara, featuring in Sahara Nights.
Saeed Taji Farouky is a documentary photographer, filmmaker and writer who specialises in documenting issues of human rights and social justice in the Middle East and North Africa. His work has been published by The Observer, The Telegraph, The Independent, Reuters, BBC Online and The Economist Group amongst others. He is currently a TED Senior Fellow, was previously named Artist-in-Residence at the Tate Britainand The British Museum, and is Director of the award-winning documentary production company Tourist With A Typewriter.
The Runner is a film about endurance. It is the story of a champion long-distance runner whose journey transformed him from an athlete into the symbol of a national liberation movement. Salah Ameidan from Western Sahara is willing to risk his life, his career, his family and his nationality to run for a country that doesn’t exist.
It felt like the world was dying. After the lush green hills of North Morocco and the palmeraie of the south, now I was surrounded by nothing except for vast dunes of powdery dust.
I had boarded an overnight bus at Inezgane, one of Morocco’s chief transport hubs. Sitting around me were a group of teenage boys who were all returning from a camping trip. It had been organised by the Justice and Development Party – currently the largest party in the Moroccan parliament.
‘Oh yes, we are all Saharawis,’ one of them, Ibrahim, told me. No, he admitted, his parents hadn’t actually been born there, ‘but there is a lot of work to be done because Western Sahara is in need of development.’ One of his friends, Mehdi, was more forthright. ‘You need to understand something,’ he said. ‘Maybe you will meet people and they will say they are the only true Saharawis. But they want us to do all the work for them. My father and his father,’ he continued, wagging a finger at Ibrahim, ‘they are the people who are making this land something more.’ This issue – the settlers and their children versus the indigenous Saharawis – has become one of the core issues in Western Sahara, especially in regard to the proposed UN referendum to decide the fate of the region.
This is a taster for the amazing photography you’ll be seeing at Sahara Nights.
One more of our great artists from Sahara Nights.
Not yet 30, Mosi already has a long professional career to his name having started playing the many instruments he is master of at 4 and touring from 15. Much in demand to play with every leading African band, Mosi now introduces his own matchless crew drawing in superb fellow musicians. As a soloist Mosi Conde has played at WOMAD, for Nelson Mandela and at numerous festivals and gatherings and brings all this experience to leading Kaira Kora Africa. (Info from MySpace).
Sahara Nights is around the corner! Today we introduce…
More wonderful artists performing at Sahara Nights!
He works extensively as a graphic designer / visual artist and also tries to mix the old with the new juxtaposing texture and pigment with flat shades of color and digitally created designs. He works in online and print. (Info from MySpace)
Inua will be reading amazing stories by Saharawi ex-political prisoner Mustafa Abdel Dayem.
News about Sandblast & Western Sahara