“Resistance and change often begin in art”. Novelist Ursula Le Guin

Nomads HRC (legal name Concordia 21) is a Madrid-based NGO whose work focuses on supporting Sahrawi-led cultural, media and human rights projects in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria, in the Morocco-occupied Western Sahara and in the diaspora with the ultimate goal of strengthening the struggle for justice, peace, human rights and self-determination of the Sahrawi people.

We work in partnership and/or collaboration with scores of organizations, institutions, collectives and artists in the refugee camps and in the occupied Western Sahara, combining culture, human rights, activism and media work to strengthen the Sahrawi quest for justice.

Nomads HRC’s work takes place in the context of one of the world’s most forgotten, long-running conflicts whose victims, the indigenous Sahrawi population of Western Sahara, have been occupied, displaced, massacred, jailed, disappeared and repressed for over four decades, since Morocco invaded Western Sahara in 1975.

Our aim is to help multiply the impact of Sahrawi cultural, human rights and media projects by helping Sahrawis overcome financial, language, logistical and legal barriers due to conditions in the refugee camps and in the occupied territory.

“The Arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Selma to Montgomery March, 1965

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano’s sobering reflections on the Sahrawis as a people eternally condemned to suffering ring all too true. The world’s great powers refuse to implement a long-promised UN referendum on self-determination for fear of antagonizing Morocco and its main supporter, France. Financial and strategic interests have so far trumped justice while Sahrawis have languished for decades under occupation and in exile.

But the Sahrawi cause is essentially a just cause, and the Sahrawis’ infinite patience and their decades-long use of non-violence in the tradition espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. bring their struggle in line with the words that he pronounced over 50 years ago on the steps of the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery: the moral arc of the universe must bend towards justice in Western Sahara.

UN resolutions and numerous rulings by international courts have recognized the Sahrawis’ right to decide their own political future. Armed with nothing but diplomacy, peaceful protests, poetry, music and art to advance their cause, Sahrawis have the potential of galvanizing global solidarity if their principal enemy can be overcome: their invisibility.

We are guided by the Sahrawis’ conviction that the defense, preservation and transmission of Sahrawi culture are essential to their very survival as a people, as well as the most effective weapon against tanks, police batons and landmines used by the Moroccan rĂ©gime against them. We work with a sense of urgency knowing that Sahrawi culture faces the twin threats of long-term occupation and exile.

We are motivated to support the Sahrawi cause through culture and the arts because we also believe that culture is a powerful awareness-raising tool that has the potential of reaching beyond the political and diplomatic channels to connect globally with civil society, media and key decision-makers. By working through cultural channels and connecting with projects and artists who use culture as a tool for resistance, Sahrawis can generate increased mobilization and solidarity towards their cause.

Culture and the arts are also key tools to fight off the growing despair experienced by Sahrawi youth, both in the refugee camps and in the occupied territory. Facing a stagnated present devoid of opportunities and an uncertain future with few beacons of hope, Sahrawi youth suffer increasing rates of depression and is vulnerable to substance abuse and radicalization. Film, theater, music, literature and art help young people to find their own voices and project them to their communities and to the outside world.

Culture, we believe, can bring peace to Western Sahara.

To support Sahrawi efforts to preserve and protect the vibrant culture of Western Sahara, including the transmission of oral history;

To shed light on the forgotten conflict in Western Sahara;

To bring international awareness on the human rights violations taking place in the occupied territory and on the grave humanitarian crisis faced by Sahrawi refugees;

To support Sahrawi cultural initiatives in the refugee camps including theater, film, music, art, poetry and cultural festivals, concerts and film screenings;

To support cultural educational projects and institutions including the arts, music, theater and film schools in the refugee camps;

To facilitate capacity building in the refugee camps, including project management skills;

To train and support Sahrawi citizen journalists and film activists in the occupied Western Sahara;

To act as a catalyst between Sahrawi cultural practitioners in the occupied Western Sahara and in the refugee camps, as well as between them and artists from other parts of the world;

To support the production and distribution of films on Western Sahara, especially those by Sahrawi filmmakers.