It's not often that I hear about Western Sahara or come across Saharawi people or culture. And then, twice in one week, I come across things that I'd like to share about this little known territory in the west of our continent.
The first is Sandblast, an organisation that is and arts and human rights charity working with the Saharawis whose identity and culture is threatened by the impact of exile and Morocco's occupation. Sandblast works to empower the Saharawis to tell their own story, promote their own culture and earn a living through the arts. Along with information about their projects, the Sandblast website has a lot of interesting information on the history of and issues faced by Saharawi people and, introductions to the different arts disciplines (film, literature, fine art, theatre etc.) as practised in or representing the Saharawi context. A lot to explore …
"It’s evident this band is hell bent on redefining the sound of its influences and in turn, shape the future sound of its surroundings. It’s musical alchemy in its purest, most remarkable form, pushing at the boundaries of geographical divergence while simultaneously speaking to the shared resonances between Western rock rhythms and the pulse of the Saharan trance tradition."
Top image of Group Doueh from Altered Zones