To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Moroccan invasion of Western Sahara in October-November 1975 and the foundation of the Saharawi republic in exile in February 2016, Sandblast organised a series of events in London over a period of 4 months (Oct 15, 2015 - Feb 6, 2016).
@ Hundred Years Gallery, Hoxton.
- Oct 15 - Nov 1, 2015: 40-year retrospective photographic exhibition that highlighted the role of UK-based photographers in documenting the struggle in Western Sahara. This included daily activities such as artistic performances, film screenings, talks, and much more from different people based in the UK who have been involved with the Saharawis in various ways thorughout the years. See full program of activities here.
@ Bolivar Hall (Venezuelan Embassy), Fitzrovia.
- Oct 30: the English premiere of documentary Life Is Waiting: Resistance and Referendum in Western Sahara, directed by Iara Lee of Cultures of Resistance, a film that chronicles the struggle in Western Sahara from an artistic, youth and activism point of view.
- Feb 6: with the help of a fantastic team from the Bolivar Hall we put together a Benefit Concert to raise awareness and funds for the Saharawi refugees, who suffered some of the worst floods in their 40-year-long history at the end of 2015. We also used the opportunity to join the #ReferendumNow campaign, which is collecting signatures and #BlueFinger pictures in support of the much overdue self-determination referendum in Western Sahara. Check it out here.
The evening featured some of London's leading artists who have established different links with the Saharawi refugees over the years, including Pia de Keyser, singer-songwriter and actress, who recorded her songs in February 2015 in the Saharawi refugee camps; Ramon Goose, one of the most versatile blues artists of his generation, together with his band the World Scatterlings; Renny Jackson and his band, whose 2007 trip to the camps inspired the beautiful “Free Western Sahara” song; poet Sam Berkson, in collaboration with Algerian darbuka player Karim Dellali, who recited poems from Settled Wanderers: The Poetry of Western Sahara - a first ever English translation of Saharawi poetry; and Grupo Lokito, the best of Cuban-Congolese fusion, led by pianist and sound engineer Sara McGuinness. DJ Jamie Renton interlaced the evening with his irresistible global tunes.
News about Sandblast & Western Sahara