Film screening : SAHARA – les voix des martyrs – April 5, 5pm, Paris

Film screening : SAHARA – les voix des martyrs – April 5, 5pm, Paris

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Screening of the film: Tabet M. and Boulay S., SAHARA – Les voix des martyrs, production: CEPED (University of Paris-IRD) & ERC Cap Sahara Project, 75 mins

Campus Condorcet, GED (Grand ensemble documentaire) 10 Cours des humanités, Aubervilliers

Metro ligne 12, station Front Populaire

This 75 min film was made as part of the ERC program “CapSahara” It takes place in the Sahrawi refugee camps established since 1975 near Tindouf, South-West Algeria, and deals with the legacy of the victims of mass violence within the Sahrawi population, the making of figures of martyrs and the meaning politics of sacrifice today.

It takes us on a filmed investigation conducted by two anthropologists and their Sahrawi guide with the families of martyrs and those seriously injured in the Sahara war (1975-1991). Throughout the encounters, the narration evokes the story of a rehabilitation center for war wounded known to all under the enigmatic name of Al-Madrasa, “the school”.

Through the history of this center and during this Saharan roadtrip, it is the story of those who sacrificed themselves for the liberation of their land that unfolds, it is the living conditions of refugees and their relatives (caregivers and families) that appear, it is the memory of the Sahrawi martyrs that emerges from the poems composed and set to music in their honor, it is the question of the transmission of the political struggle between three generations that crosses the discussions.


Michel Tabet is a Franco-Lebanese anthropologist and director whose approach is at the crossroads between documentary and social sciences. He has devoted numerous works to religious rituals in the Arab world (Lebanon, Syria, Algeria) and worked with musicians and dancers around experimental projects. He regularly collaborates with experts and researchers, notably from the CNRS and the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), to develop film investigation systems. He also works on issues related to civil society and democracy. His documentaries explore the ways people use body and speech to inhabit and make worlds.

Sébastien Boulay is an anthropologist, lecturer at the University of Paris and member of UMR 196 CEPED (Center Population & Development). He has been conducting research since 1999 in Mauritania and since 2011 in Western Sahara. His current work focuses on the role of artistic productions (notably satirical and humorous, but also elegiac) and new media in the political struggles at work in the region.

The screening will be followed by a dialogue with directors Michel Tabet, Sébastien Boulay and Cécile Boëx from EHESS.


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