THE DESERT OF THE DESERT ('84), by Samir Abujamra, premieres in England
at the Mid-summer Western Sahara Festival
Sat 2 July, 6.15pm
@ Hundred Years Gallery
Don't miss out!
Beautiful new short film on Western Sahara, Battalion to my Beat ('14), will premier in London next July 2 at the Mid-summer Western Sahara Festival. A coming of age story about a spirited Saharawi girl facing a crossroads between becoming a soldier or forever staying a refugee.
Listen to director Eimi Imanishi talking about her film during the Tenth Annual Dallas International Film Festival last April 2016.
BATTALION TO MY BEAT is an independent short film set in the isolated Western Saharan refugee camps in southeast Algeria. The cast of Battalion To My Beat will be entirely made up of Saharawi refugees and will be shot in the camps following a fictional script. The story reflects the frustration that the contemporary Saharawi youth are feeling toward the complete failure of diplomacy, and their mounting determination that war is the only way to enact change.
The story is told from the perspective of a fearless 13-year-old girl (MINA) because teenagers are reactionary in nature and directly reflect the societies in which they are raised. They are also, for better or for worse, needier of an immediate solution to their problems. Through Mina's eyes and her sharp-witted attitude, the audience will see the camps, feel its constrictions and its destitution, and run up against the difficult choice she faces between war or life as a permanent refugee.
4pm - Welcome
4.15pm - English premiere "Battalion to my Beat" (Eimi Imanishi, 14')
4.30pm - Run the Sahara 2017 launch
5pm - Stave House in the Sahara presentation
6pm - BREAK
6.15pm - English premiere "The Desert of the Desert" (Samir Abujambra, 84')
8pm - Run the Sahara 2017 testimonies
8.30pm - Music and poetry by Sam Berkson and Karim Dellali
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.
Saeed Taji Forouky
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 is willing to risk his life, his career, his family and his nationality to run for a country that doesn’t exist: Western Sahara.
He was forced to join Morocco’s junior athletics team, under threats to his family. By 1999 he was the triple cross-country champion for Morocco, had won 2nd place in the Africa Championships and was two-time Arab World Champion.
During a race in 2003, he pulled out a Sahrawi flag – illegal in Morocco and a symbol of the independence movement – and waved it across the finish line. Knowing he could never return to Morocco safely, he sought political asylum in France and has been there ever since. He was offered citizenship by France and Spain, but refused both, saying he would never run under any flag but that of a liberated Western Sahara.
Read an interview with Saeed Taji Forouky about the documentary here.
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.
Pedro Pérez Rosado
A young woman returns to her Saharan roots in Wilaya, a drama that borders on ethnographic documentary territory, with a strong feminist slant. It is the story of two Saharawi sisters, one brought up in the camps and another one in Spain, separated by more than physical barriers. A Spanish production made in association with the Sahrawi Democratic Arab Republic – with dialogue in Spanish and Arabic – Wilaya offers insight into a little-publicised world, and derives most of its dramatic pull from the charismatic presence of lead actress Nadhira Mohamed. The soundtrack of Wilaya has been composed and performed by Saharawi singer and percussionist Aziza Brahim, who won the first prize in the FiSahara 2012.
Read a review in English here.
Sons of the Clouds – The Last Colony
Javier Bardem and Álvaro Longoria
Alvaro Longoria (Che, Comandante), teams up with Academy Award winner Javier Bardem (No country for old men, Biutiful, Vicky Cristina Barcelona) for this compelling documentary that explores the Western Saharan conflict. Sons of The Clouds is a harrowing portrait of the political and human rights issues facing the people of the Western Sahara. This feature length documentary brings awareness to the conflict and strives to encourage leaders to pursue a resolution.
Read an interview with Bardem about the documentary here.
News about Sandblast & Western Sahara