domingo, 14 de junho de 2009

Sandblast launches “Running the Sahara 2010” in support of the Saharawi refugees

UK Charity Sandblast held a multimedia launch at London-based Caravanserai Acting Studios, Today, to begin recruiting over 100 people for the 10th Sahara Marathon that will be organised in February 2010.

The cultural evening introduced the sporting event, informed about the charity’s work and raised awareness about the situation of the Saharawi through a short film-screening of the documentary “Deserted” and the UK premiere of selected preview scenes from the first British-Saharawi play “The Other Side of the Wall”, directed by Giles Foreman, founder of Caravanserai.

Sandblast works to give the Saharawis a voice through the arts and will be acting as the official UK facilitator for the Sahara Marathon in 2010, with the support of the Polisario Front office in London, the diplomatic representation of the Saharawis in the UK. The charity aims to fill an Air Algerie plane of participants for next year’s marathon.

The international sporting event takes place in the Saharawi refugee camps in the Algerian Sahara. It is organised by the camp-based Saharawi government-in-exile and volunteers from the world over, to show solidarity with the Saharawi people and raise money for projects to improve the lives of the long-term refugees.

Over 400 people participated in 2009 from Europe and the US, with 24 coming from the UK. Shorter races of 5km, 10km and a half marathon are also organized. Participants live with individual refugee families during their week stay in the camps.

The 2009 UK contingent included fourteen young professional actors from Caravanserai. They gave introductory acting workshops and developed further “The other Side of the wall” which will be premiered in London in July and tour in 2010.

During their visit, the Saharawi Culture Ministry requested help to build a national theatre and set up a film production company in the camps.

In all, the UK participants raised over £10,000 for the Saharawi Artist Fund, set up by Sandblast to run regular art workshops in the camps and provide vital training and resources for cultural and economic empowerment.

In 2010, Sandblast aims to set up a professional mobile recording studio and train Saharawis to run it in the camps.

For any UK based individual who plans to participate to the Sahara Marathon in February 2010, the organisers of the Charter flight indicated that interested individuals or groups can contact Ms. Danielle Smith – Sandblast’s Founding Director (Tel: 0044 7838463310/ Email: or Mr. Giles Foreman, Founder of Caravanserai Acting Studio, London (Tel: 0044 2089683769/ Email:

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