THE OASIS OF MEMORY
Fragments of Saharawi culture

 

 

 

 

Direction and photography: Marco Mensa
Production: Roberta Contarini
Year of production: 2003

Prize for Best Documentary Ionio Film Festival – Plataci (CS) 2004
Special Mention – Parma Video Film Festival 2004
DiVisioni Un Cinema per i Diritti 2007
Un Film per la Pace – Medea (GO) 2008
Biennale Un Cinema per la Pace – Pisa 2003
Sguardi sull’Africa Officinema – Bologna
Medfilm – Roma 2003
Visioni d’archivio 2003
Rovigno Film Festival (Croazia) 2006

 

 

 

 

How is the memory of a people kept alive through decades of uprootedness? How does cultural identity survive in a state of permanent exile? The story of the Saharawi people is well known: 250.000 people camping in the middle of the desert, waiting for over 30 years to go back to their homeland, Western Sahara, today occupied and in fact annexed to Morocco. Stuck in the tent towns of Tindouf, in the refugee camps in Algeria, the Saharawis risk to be forgotten by the entire world, but continue stubbornly to remember their own culture and to pass it on to the young generations.

 

“Before each oasis there is a desert to confront”
(Saharawi proverb)