October 27, 2022

Africa's Last Colony

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, we organised a series of events in London over 4 months with funding from the Arts Council.

Hundred Years Gallery, Hoxton.

From Oct 15 - Nov 1, 2015, we held a 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 more from different people based in the UK who have been involved with the Saharawis in various ways thorughout the years.

Photo by Steve Franck
Photo by John Tordai

Bolivar Hall (Venezuelan Embassy), Fitzrovia

Oct 30, 2015 was the English premiere of the documentary Life Is Waiting: Resistance and
Referendum in Western Sahara, directed by Iara Lee of Cultures of Resistance. The film chronicles
the struggle in Western Sahara from an artistic, youth and activism point of view.
On Feb 6, with the help of a fantastic team from Bolivar Hall, we put together a Benefit Concert to raise
awareness and funds for the Saharawi refugees, who suffered devastating floods at the end of 2015.
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.
Watch the video below for a great summary of the event!

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