[By Javier de Blas in Tindouf, Algeria] Between February and March 2015 I spent a month living with a Sahrawi family in their “haima” in the refugee camps of Tindouf. Every Tuesday, I’m posting here the notes and sketches I made about daily life in the camps.
I returned from the Saharawi camps on March 28th. Since then I’ve been preparing, scanning and retouching my drawings and watercolours, transcribing my written notes and publishing what I hadn’t finished for this blog and my Facebook page,
Giving the finishing touches to my drawings and watercolours has been laborious because so many people at the camps leafed through my notebooks and that the pencil lines have become blurred on watercolour paper and to rub them out preserving the lines is very delicate.
But in the midst of my work I am witness as a modest participant to a delightful and unique event. On April 16, the artist Federico Guzman, committed up to his ears with the Saharawi cause, pitched a haima in the Palacio de Cristal del Retiro Madrileño (Cristal Palace in the Retiro Park Madrid).
And with its elegant provocation, it culturally colonizes the building rooted in one of the harshest periods of colonial history.
Fede (Federico Guzman) has invited me to present my trip to Tindouf in his haima, in his Tuiza (A word which in Hassaniya means work in common).
And the public, free and relaxed, is how the guest should feel inside a haima, and who have closely followed my illustrated story and seen my notebooks in person.
Then Liman Boicha and Gabriel Flores, poet and musician, explained in the form of stories and songs, a lot of things about the Saharan life. There are two performances of a varied and abundant program which I had the opportunity of enjoying the following day with the haul and hassanya music.
From Aziza Brahim and her group Gulili Mankoo.
An excellent climax to a journey that I wouldn’t change for the best of any tourist destinations.
And was all.
Thanks for following the story!!