Screening of 'Insumisas. Mujeres en lucha en el Sáhara Occidental' and 'DESETH PHOSfate'.

From: Wednesday, 13 December 2023

To: Wednesday, 20 December 2023

As part of the Land of Friends exhibition by Carolina Caycedo, and in partnership with Alava’s Friends of the SADR Association, Artium Museoa, Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country is screening two films that depict the Sahrawi people as they coexist with various forms of violence. These include the extractive ventures on their lands, the role played by state forces to enable these forms and dominant colonial narratives that normalise these exploitative practices in the name of “progress” and “civilisation”.


13 December at 7 pm
Insumisas. Mujeres en lucha en el Sáhara Occidental
Laura Dauden and Miguel Angel Herrera, 2023, 26’

Women have always been at the forefront of Sahrawi resistance against colonialism and the plunder of their Western Sahara territory by the Kingdom of Morocco.

Despite increased repression because of the ceasefire collapse between Moroccan forces and the Sahrawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, in November 2020, women activists living under occupation came together to document the various forms of violence committed against them, their daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers from 1975 to the present day.

Insumisas presents this historical process through the voices of its main characters in their triple role as victims, researchers and international activists by looking closely and sensitively at the experiences of these women activists.

Following the screening of the film, the researcher Irantzu Mendia Azkue, Director of the Hegoa Institute, will present the main findings of the report Que salga todo a la luz (Bring it all to light), to be followed by a discussion that includes the participation of El Ghalia Djimi and Mina Baali, Saharawi human rights defenders and activists.


20 December at 7 pm
DESERT PHOSfate
Mohamed Sleiman Labat, 2023, 58'

DESERT PHOSfate is a documentary film by Sahrawi artist Mohamed Sleiman Labat. It weaves through the story of phosphate, exploring the multi-layered narrations about sand particles, plants and human displacement. The film explores ways of telling about realities, metaphors and imaginative poetics in the desert. It highlights connections between colonial practices, traces of anthropocentric extractions and the loss of original ways of knowing and telling about the world.

The Sahrawi are from Western Sahara, a region in the western north part of Africa. It is a rich area in phosphate minerals, something that has attracted European and Moroccan extractivists since the 1950s. The Sahrawi, the indigenous nomads who lived in the area for millennia had a different way of relating to the desert and navigating it, one that is based on oral poetics and constant movement. The heated conflict in Western Sahara drove the majority of the Saharawi nomads into Algeria following the war breakout in the 1970s.

The Saharawi now live in the barren inhospitable desert called Hamda, where the temperatures are high and life conditions are harsh, but surprisingly, the Saharawi are starting to engage in an unexpected practice. They are starting to farm! They are developing the knowledge to grow food locally in this specific context.

Mohamed Sleiman Labat, the film’s director, will participate in the post-screening discussion.

In collaboration with:

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