TODAY it is 40 years since the death of El Uali Mustapha Sayed, the founder of the Polisario Front and its Secretary General just before the recently deceased Mohamed Abdelaziz.
At Sandblast we'd like to commemorate El Uali's life, deeds and death in the battlefield by sharing the article 'Shaheed El Uali Band and Beyond: 40 Years of Resistance Music in Western Sahara', written by our Project Leader Violeta Ruano about Shaheed El Uali, the first Saharawi national band, which was created in the Saharawi refugee camps and named after him shortly after his death!
This summer, in collaboration with Stave House music academy, we invite you to a heart-warming and eye-opening evening of film premiers, photography, talks, music & poetry for the Saharawis of Western Sahara. Come and join us in our mid-summer festival to learn more about the situation in Africa's Last Colony and the awareness-raising and educational projects we're currently developing in the Saharawi refugee camps.
Tickets are just a £5 suggested donation to help us cover the expenses of the event.
We are excited to announce a series of events we're organising this autumn to commemorate the 40 years of the Saharawi struggle for self-determination in collaboration with various collectives and two vibrant London venues, Bolivar Hall (Venezuelan embassy) and Hundred Years Gallery.
Through photography, film, music and much more, Africa's Last Colony - 40 Years Not Forgotten aims to remember the most important events that have shaped the history of the conflict inWestern Sahara, as well as to showcase the valuable role of UK-based artists in raising awareness about this underreported issue.
At Sandblast we've been busy throughout the first half of the year developing the different strands of our music empowerment project Studio-Live. Here's a summary of activities:
January 2013 – The Sandblast Team travelled to Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) to help coordinate a Historical Encounter of Saharawi Musicians living in Spain at the Music Conservatory of Music ‘Jesús Guridi’. The meeting, organised in collaboration with legendary revolutionary singer Oum Reghia, gathered more than 40 musicians and cultural figures, including singer Oum Dleila, musician Bachir Sidi, composer and guitarist Ali Mohamed, poet Ali Salem Iselmu, and young musicians Yslem and Lehsen, among many others. Studio-Live was presented for the first time in Spain. Throughout the day, interesting conversations sparkled around Saharawi music, its role in the struggle and its current state. The day-long event concluded with a concert in the evening, given by a number of the attending musicians, who delighted the audience with legendary songs such as ‘Sahara is not for sale’, by Oum Reghia, and ‘A song to the martyrs’, by Oum Dleila, who had not sung in more than 8 years.
A poem by Inua Ellams – ‘Fighters and Lovers’ calls to mind the plight of the Saharawi, and urges that we must hope. That there will be a future which doesn’t conform to the present situation in the Western Sahara. That this future is destiny.
When dawn breakslike a stretched sonata silence brown handling
the fantastic blue, when dust litters this new quite
like the substance of prophecies before its period
of bloom, when life lulls the living back to its true paths
Our change will come.
It will come after a tumultus multitude of fighters
have expired for a reason not worth the breath
it is uttered with. It will come after the structures
of global lies fall, sparking the Exodus, movement
of the people with their minds in tow, it will come.
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.
We’re featuring today our great Scottish violinist performing at Sahara Nights
Collaborating with Saharawi musicians in the camps remains a seminal experience for her as a musician. She also currently works as a Peaceworker for Quaker Peace and Social Witness.
This is a video of Blue Rose Code with Lizzy as violinist.
News about Sandblast & Western Sahara