Al Khadra is a renowned Sahrawi war poetess, living in the windswept al-Auin camp in the Algerian desert.
Now in her late 70s, the oral verse of this illiterate nomad is vivid testament to three decades of the Sahara conflict.
We witness how this extraordinary matriarch survives the hardship and desolation of life in the camp, and see how she keeps her oral poetry alive and attempts to pass on her activism to the next generation.
Filmmaker’s view: Diaries from a Sahrawi tent (by filmmaker Noé Mendelle)
Sahrawi poetess Al Khadra is an old lady living in exile in one of the Polisario camps in the middle of Sahara. For those of you who do not know about the Sahrawi cause, these citizens of Western Sahara were not only colonised by the Spanish many moons ago. Once they managed to become independent, the Moroccans moved in on their territory, pushed them out, and built a 3,000km wall around it. They also planted over eight million landmines to make sure that the Sahrawi would not cross back into their land.
Algeria gave the Sahrawi liberation movement, the Polisario Front, refuge on its territory and set up several camps for people to live in - and so they have for the last 35 years. The war has moved into a stage of diplomacy rather than military action and therefore they now live peacefully in those camps - albeit in a state of complete dependence on international aid.
With Roxana Vilk, the producer of the series, we decided that Al Khadra would be the perfect example of grassroots poetry. She uses words instead of bullets in order to express her anger at Morocco’s invasion.
lunes, 8 de octubre de 2012
Al Khadra: Poet of the Desert
Capítulo de la serie Poets in Protest dedicado a la figura de mi abuela, Ljadra Mint Mabruk, por la directora escocesa Noe Mendelle para Aljazeera