Our Work

Influencing positive change
Current Projects
Past Projects
Read more about our two current projects: our ongoing core flagship Desert Voicebox project and our one year project on the UK Saharawi Diaspora

Desert Voicebox

(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.

UK Saharawi Diaspora Project


This first-of-its-kind research project, funded by the National Community Lottery Fund, fits within our aim of
raising awareness of and building support for the Saharawi cause here in the UK, and contributes to our
broader mission of amplifying the voices and visions of the Saharawi people.
Highlights of some of our past projects since 2005

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.

Fourty Years 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.

Sahara Live Week

Various venues, London (2013)

London tour of Saharawi singer Aziza Brahim and workshop activities

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.


The Art of the Struggle Conference

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. 

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. 
2007 - 2010

Saharawi Artist Fund

Refugee camps (2008-2010)

Supporting creative workshop leaders to visit the refugee camps

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.

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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