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Cambridge African Film Festival (CAFF) 2016

CAFF 2016

Sponsoring: “Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara”

The University of Cambridge Language Centre is delighted to be sponsoring the Cambridge African Film Festival 2016, and in particular the screening of 'Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara' on Monday 24 October: 7:30pm - 9:30pm, St John's College Old Divinity School, All Saints Passage, CB2 1TP ; in association with the Festival of Ideas.

The Language Centre houses resources in more than 170 languages, notably a wide range of African languages. These are accessible not only to members of the University who particularly use them to prepare for fieldwork linked to their research interests in African countries, but also to members of the wider public in Cambridge. Resource-based learning is supported by our professional Language Advising service to guide learners in strategies and approaches to achieving their specific language learning goals and to source additional learning resources which might be required.

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About CAFF

The Cambridge African Film Festival (CAFF) is the longest running festival of its kind in the United Kingdom and this year celebrating, its 15th anniversary, CAFF is partnering with the renowned Cambridge Film Festival and the prestigious University of Cambridge’s Festival of Ideas to bring the best in contemporary African film as well as cherished classics to a wider audience. Expertly curated screenings, discussions and live events will take place from 21 to 27 October 2016 in a range of venues across the historic city of Cambridge. CAFF aims to increase understanding and awareness of African and black culture in the UK, and providing a UK audience for African filmmakers, while also offering an important counterbalance to the Western media’s stereotyping of Africa. The festival has won a reputation as a high-profile and important cinematic, entertaining and educational event in Cambridge.

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About The film

Movement is the last thing we usually associate with a refugee camp. But it is that precise combination – of stasis and motion – that makes Life is Waiting (2015, 59mins) such an inspiring documentary. Set in the Saharawi refugee camps near Tindouf, South West Algeria (which have existed since 1975, when Morocco began occupying Western Sahara), the film focuses on ordinary people’s everyday, non-violent resistance to their oppression through art and creativity. Music, painting, and calligraphy dance across the screen as the history of the Saharawi people’s plight is brought to life.

Saharawi Woman

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Saharawi cultural activist and filmmaker Brahim Buhaia and Violeta Ruano-Posada, who researches Saharawi musical creativity.

Brahim Buhaia is a documentary film and photojournalism student, and cultural and media activist, from the Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf, South West Algeria. He is currently living in London and working on a short documentary about the Saharawi artist and peaceful activist Yslem Hijo del Desierto. Brahim is also the co-author of the blog Saharawi Voice and co-founder of the initiative »Wall of Sand«.

Violeta Ruano-Posada is a PhD student at SOAS, University of London. Her research examines forms of musical creativity and expression among the Saharawi youth and their independent struggle, thus providing important insights into the role of music as non-violent protest.

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Should you have any queries, please email