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‘Life Is Waiting’: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara, Film & Q&A

‘Life Is Waiting’: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara, Film & Q&A

Sun, 4 Apr 2021 17:00 - 18:30 British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Tickets here.

Join Kassiha 2025 for a screening and discussion of Life Is Waiting: Resistance & Referendum in Western Sahara directed by Iara Lee.

About this Event

Western Sahara is one of the most landmine-contaminated territories in the world due to a 40-year conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front. Dozens of Sahrawi people are mutilated or killed by landmines every year, and most of the population is confined in refugee camps, without a safe land to return to.

On Sunday the 4th of April, the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, Kassiha 2025 present…

A screening of Cultures of Resistance films, Life Is Waiting: Resistance & Referendum in Western Sahara. The event will be followed by an open conversation taking place via Zoom with our special guests. Join us to learn more about the culture and heritage of the Sahrawi people and their struggle against remnants of war.

Featured guests include:

Salah Abdeahe: (Co-producer) Salah is a Sahrawi activist and a blogger from the occupied territory of Western Sahara. He is a member of the Sahrawi underground resistance which is a worldwide resistance network that cooperates with many international pro-Sahrawi NGOs. For the last few decades, he has helped coordinate and translate for filmmakers raising awareness on the Western Sahara issue and the suffering of the Sahrawi people.

Danielle Smith: (Founder of Sandblast charity, UK) Danielle first visited the Sahrawi refugee camps in 1991. This marked the beginning of her long-term involvement in educational and cultural activism for the Sahrawi self-determination cause. In 1993 and 1994, Smith taught English in the camps and learned the Sahrawi Hassaniya dialect.

Throughout the late ‘90s and early 2000s, she focused on photography and documentary filmmaking, including Song of Umm Dalaila and award-winning Beat of Distant Hearts: the art of revolution in Western Sahara, featured in numerous international festivals.

Smith’s growing interest in the role of the arts in Sahrawi resistance led to setting up the London-based Sandblast charity, in 2005, to organize the first-ever arts and culture festival on Western Sahara in 2007 at Rich Mix in London.

In 2010, Smith’s charity launched the Studio- Live project to provide sound-engineering skills-training in the refugee camps and facilitate the growth of the local music industry. In 2015, she set up the Saharawi Artivism Fund to support non-violent activism in the camps and encourage youth engagement with their local communities to bring about long-term positive change. Since 2016, Smith has been dedicated to driving the early-learning Desert Voicebox project, providing English and Music education to Saharawi refugee children in primary school.

The discussion will be moderated by the artist and creative producer of Kassiha 2025, Juan delGado.

About Kassiha 2025

We are a nonprofit arts initiative with one goal: to remove all landmines from Western Sahara. For this project, we are focusing on the works of Moulud Yeslem with the aim to elevate his art project ‘For Each Mine, A Flower’ and fundraise for a prototype anti-landmine device by 2025. Alongside other Sahrawi artists, Moulud’s work is the cornerstone of our initiative to share the indigenous culture of Western Sahara.


Most people think that colonialism in Africa has ended. But in the territory of Western Sahara, the end of European rule only gave way to a new occupation, this time by Morocco. More than four decades later, the world continues to look the other way as the Sahrawi people face arrests, torture, and disappearances for demanding their independence.

About the film:

Life Is Waiting, a film by director Iara Lee, chronicles this struggle. What will it take for the people of Western Sahara to reverse decades of broken promises and gain their freedom? What lessons does Sahrawi resistance offer for nonviolent movements around the world? In Life Is Waiting, join an incredible cast of Sahrawi activists and artists as they offer their answers.

Length: 58 minutes long

Suggested donation: Although there are free tickets (Ticket option 1) available, Kassiha 2025 is suggesting a donation (£1 or more) be made to Sandblast who are currently fundraising for their Desert Voicebox project (Ticket option 2). When you select a ‘Ticket option 2’ you will be registering for 1 ticket and will be required to choose the amount you wish to donate, before filling in your details to receive the zoom link via email. If you wish to donate later, there will be a link available at the screening.

Desert Voicebox project is working to provide music and English language education for primary school children in the Sahrawi refugee camps in SW Algeria. The project has been running since 2016 and is offering unique opportunities for Sahrawi children to develop their potential and use their voices to reach new audiences to express their culture and tell their story.

Please do not share the zoom link with anyone who has not registered for a ticket.

HOW TO JOIN THE EVENT: This event will be broadcast live. Remember to register for tickets to receive the Zoom webinar link via email.

The Q&A will be held in English.

for any questions on the event please email

Starting time:

17:00 London, United Kingdom BST (UTC +1)

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