Grupo Lokito © Gavin Durrant
In October last year, Algeria’s arid south-west Tindouf region, which currently provides shelter some 90,000 vulnerable Saharawi refugees, was devastated by heavy rains and flooding. A fortnight of continuous torrential rain damaged or destroyed more than 50% of the five refugee camps in the area, leaving up to 25,000 people homeless. Other vital infrastructure including dispensaries, hospitals and schools were also affected.
Following an appeal by the Saharawi Red Crescent and UNHCR, UK-based charity Sandblast will host a benefit concert at London’s Bolivar Hall on February 6. Drawn together by their close ties with the Saharawi struggle for self determination, artists including Grupo Lokito and Ramon Goose will gather together for a night of live music and poetry, all in aid of the appeal.
Sandblast’s founding director Danielle Smith spoke to Songlines about plans for the coming year. “We plan to launch the first-ever seed money fund – Saharawi Artivism Fund – to support grassroots activism in the camps and pilot Stave House, a pioneering early learning music system that aims to provide music education to all the primary schools.”
The concert will be held on February 6, and tickets are available here.