Memories of Sahara

The Western Sahara was known as the Spanish Sahara because of its colonization from 1885 to 1975.

It was declared Spain’s 53rd Province and its inhabitants held Spanish citizenship, reaching roles in public office and positions in the police force, army, etc.

In 1975, Spain abandoned the territory without holding the referendum on self- determination demanded by the United Nations. Morocco took advantage of the situation by illegally occupying the territory via the so-called “Green March”. The occupation remains in place today.

Morocco doesn’t want what’s going on in the occupied territories of The Western Sahara to be known. The Saharawi people live under constant threat, unable to even utter the names “Western Sahara” or “Polisario Front” of the word “referendum”, so the situation is merely referred to as “The Problem”. Any expression of Saharawi identify (songs, flags, public demonstrations) is totally prohibited and punishments vary.

The same can’t be said of the harshness and cruelty with which they are applied. Morocco wants to silence the occupied territories of the Sahara and with this, to drown out the voice of a nation.

Meanwhile, countries famed for defending democracy and human rights have other priorities when it comes to economic and political relations. They go about their business without wanting to look at what’s happening in this part of the Maghreb Region. They ignore the United Nations resolution that supports the right of the Saharawi people to vote in a referendum on self-determination, for which this population has now been waiting for over 30 years.

We wanted to interview the young Saharawi in the the project "Holidays in Peace" and the "Ulad el Mizna" association can leave the refugee camps and choose a better future here, in Catalonia. This way we can tell their story.

The Sahrawi people are the people living in the western part of the Sahara desert which includes Western Sahara (claimed by the Polisario and mostly controlled by Morocco), other parts of southern Morocco not claimed by the Polisario, most of Mauritania, [dubious – discuss] and the extreme southwest of Algeria.

Telling story about a child who wants to change his life and went to live in Catalonia.

Tell the conflict Saharawi through the different visions of Catalan, Moroccan and Saharawi experts.

Memories of Sahara Project

Maria Roca, Guillem Tarrés I Laura Soler. 03/14/2016