Our Work
Current Projects
Past Projects
Find out about our two current projects: our ongoing Desert Voicebox flagship project and our two-year project on the Saharawi diaspora in the UK.


(2016 - Present)

Desert Voicebox is a unique early-learning project based in the Saharawi refugee camps in SW Algeria. Refugee women are trained to provide English language and music education to primary school-age children. Currently, it's the only after-school programme offering an opportunity for children to learn these skills in stimulating ways in order to develop their potential and broaden their horizons outside the classroom.
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This first-of-its-kind project, funded by the National Community Lottery Fund, aims to learn about the little-known but growing immigrant Saharawi community, in the UK, in order to better support its aspirations and the needs of its most vulnerable members. 
Highlights of some of our past projects
Our main project funders have been: Trade Unions, Art Council England, Staples Foundation, Roskilde Festival foundation, and Run the Sahara runners. 
2010 - 2018
The Saharawi Artivism Fund
Refugee camps (2016-2018)
Supporting the strengthening of Saharawi civil society and encouraging small-scale volunteer initiatives that engage the community to bring about positive change in the cultural, social and environmental lives of the Saharawi refugees.
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Fourty Year's Not Forgotten: Africa's Last Colony
100 Years Gallery and Bolivar Hall, London (October 2015-February 2016)
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.
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Sahara Live Week
Various venues, London (2013)
London tour of Saharawi singer Aziza Brahim and workshop activities
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Saharawi Music Conference in Spain
Vitoria, Spain (2013)

A historical conference on Saharawi music and its role in the independence struggle brought together three generations of Saharawi musicians in Spain, followed by a sold-out concert. Legendary Saharawi singer Umm Dalaila performed at this historic encounter of Saharawi musicians and Um Murghiya performed "The Sahara is not for Sale," a powerful liberation song.

Watch Clip
Conference: The Art of the Struggle
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, London (2013)
A day-long event looking at the Saharawi situation and other case studies to address human rights through music at SOAS. The conference consisted of talks, film-screenings and debate as part of a conversation about cultural rights and the potential of using music to demand the respect of human rights. Contributors to the day included Ben Mandleson a world musician, manager and producer. All funds raised through donations at this event supported Studio-Live.

This conference was organised by Sandblast in partnership with SOAS MA Music and Development.
Sahara Nights
Roundhouse, London (2012)
Multi-media multi-artist extravaganza headlined by Aziza Brahim, Luzmira Zerpa, Inua Ellams and more at Roundhouse to launch Studio-Live project, in partnership with Fairtunes, Lyrix Organix, and more.
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Studio Live
Refugee camps (2011-2016)
A project providing sound engineering training workshops for live and recorded music events to help develop professional skills and build a local music industry in the refugee camps.
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2007 - 2010
Saharawi Artist Fund
Refugee camps (2008-2010)
Supporting creative workshop leaders to visit the refugee camps
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Sandblast Festival
Richmix, London (November 4-7, 2007)
London's first-ever 3-day festival celebrating Saharawi arts and culture. It brought over 20 multi-media artists from the refugee camps and involved collaborations with international artists and over 60 UK-based artists.
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UK Tiris Tour
October - November 2007
Saharawi camp-based Tiris band did a 6-stop tour performing at Southbank, Brighton Dome, Musicport festival, and more
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Registered Charity (England and Wales) :1115288 | Companies House Registration number : 05397223
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