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.
Visita la jaima de Robin Kahn y las mujeres saharauis a través del canal diseñado por Francis Gomila (Pincha sobre la foto)
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ARTifariti is a Festival of Art and Human Rights which aims to give visibility and voice to the Saharawi people, a cummunity that survives between occupation and exile claiming through artistic practices the right of individuals and peoples to their land, their culture, their roots and their freedom.
This project have sporadic colaboration from some institutions and organizations, survives mainly through the support of volunteer artists, filmmakers, production personnel, defenders of human rights and the strong commitment of the Sahrawi cultural authorities and friends of the Saharawi people.
About to celebrate its sixth edition and with major accomplishments in its trajectory, popular support seems to be the only way to survive without limiting its freedoms. We expect and appreciate your cooperation.