LF 2011 Panel Clip: Art As Weapon in Western Sahara

Posted by ARTifariti on 22:00

Art as a Weapon in Western Sahara: New Strategies in the Fight for Independence

  • Western Sahara, formerly the Spanish Sahara, is Africa’s last colony. Rejecting the UN’s resolution to decolonize and the International Court of Justice’s call for a referendum on self-determination for the indigenous Sahrawi people, Spain instead granted sovereignty over the territory to Morocco and Mauritania. For the past 37 years, the Sahrawi people led by the Polisario Front (recognized by the UN as their legitimate representative) have been fighting for independence. Today more than 150,000 Sahrawis are exiled in refugee camps in Algeria, and hundreds of thousands more suffer oppression and human rights abuses under Moroccan occupation inside their homeland. This panel will present cultural programs recently initiated to bring global attention and support to the Sahrawi struggle. Each panelist has worked in Western Sahara and the refugee camps, and all but one participated in ARTifariti, an annual “arts for human rights festival” held in the Liberated Territory of Western Sahara.