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Voice Of The Sahara Film Night 30 March

Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA Victoria)

Voice Of The Sahara Film Night 30 March

The music of Western Sahara delighted world music fans at Womadelaide at the beginning of March. Now Melbournians have a chance to find out more about the lead singer of the Saharawi group, Mariem Hassan.

A documentary called Mariem Hassan, Voice of the Sahara is being shown at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on Federation Square on Tuesday 30 March at 7.30pm.

It is part of the program of Melbourne Filmoteca showing Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American films. This time Filmoteca is teaming up with the Australia Western Sahara Association to present two films about Western Sahara. Formerly known as Spanish Sahara, it was a colony of Spain and shared a similar fate to Portuguese Timor (East Timor) when the colonial regime crumbled.
First a short film called Children of the Clouds contains rare footage of life in occupied Western Sahara where the Moroccan military and police forces oppress the Saharawi people, including children, and also try to prevent any reporting about it reaching the outside world.

The feature film, Mariem Hassan, the Voice of the Sahara takes us through the ups and downs of Mariem’s life, which closely mirrors that of her people. Forced into exile at the age of 16, she lived in refugee camps in south west Algeria for many years. More recently, since becoming a celebrity artist on the international circuit, she is based in Spain. Life presents new challenges as she tries to overcome illness and the death of her lead guitarist. But through all the hardship she retains her amazing strength and dignity and conveys that spirit in her singing. A great morale booster for the Saharawis living under a brutal Moroccan regime, as for those in the harsh desert living on international aid as refugees for 34 years. Not to mention an inspiration to the rest of us!

Questions and discussion afterwards with Kamal Fadel, the representative of Western Sahara to Australia, chaired by Lyn Allison, president of AWSA.

Two copies of Mariem’s latest CD, Shouka will be raffled during the film night.

Tickets: $14, $11 (concession) on sale at box office: (03) 8663 2583

or online at

© Scoop Media

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