Western Sahara: crowd funding for female Sahrawi documentary

Just To Let You Know That I'm Alive, a woman's perspective

18 October, 19:41

(ANSAmed) - ROME, OCTOBER 18 - In 1980, plain clothes officers kidnapped Degja from her home: she spent the next 11 years blindfolded, being transported from one secret prison to another, awaiting interrogation and torture. Soukaina also spent 11 years in a tiny cell. After she was arrested, her youngest daughter died of starvation, because no one could take care of her. Leila is a contemporary Antigone, tormented by her inability to bury her brother Said, who died in 2010.

These are some of the stories in the 25-minute film 'Just To Let You Know That I'm Alive', by multi-award-winning photographer Simona Ghizzoni and reporter Emanuela Zaccala'.

Using testimonials, diaries and archival photos, the filmmakers tell the story of the Sahrawi people of the disputed Western Sahara territory, from a personal, female perspective. Having finished shooting with the help of a grant from the US-based foundation The Aftermath Project, they have now launched a virtual crowd-funding campaign to complete post-production. Still little-known in Italy, crowd-funding uses the web to solicit donations from as little as 10 dollars, in exchange for DVD copies of the project or other mementos. In this case, the filmmakers are also giving out photos by Ghizzoni, who has won prizes for her social reportage, and seminars on investigative journalism by Zaccala', who has also garnered recognition for her work.

To the rhythm of video, music and photos, 'Just To Let You Know That I'm Alive' tells the story of Sahrawi women both in the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony which was annexed by Morocco in 1975, and in the refugee camps in Algeria's Tindouf province, where an estimated 200,000 Sahrawis are languishing.

The documentary is supported by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, the Association of the Families of Sahrawi Prisoners and Disappeared (AFAPREDESA), the Sahrawi Association of Victims of Grave Violations of Human Rights Committed by the Moroccan State (ASVDH), and by the National Union of Sahrawi Women (NUSW). (ANSAmed).

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