Institute for International
Cooperation and Development Studies

The 18th edition of the FiSahara awards second prize to “Insumisas” on an emotional day that connects different resistance movements around the world

Date: 2024 May 29

The Wilaya of Auserd, in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf (Algeria), hosted the 18th edition of the FiSahara international film festival between 29 April and 5 May. There were six intense days of screenings, talks, concerts, clown shows, intercultural encounters and cultural celebrations, among other activities.

The documentary Insumisas. Mujeres en lucha en el Sáhara Occidental opened the festival, with a large audience, and was awarded second prize. Two of the film’s protagonists, activists El Ghalia Djimi and Mina Baali, received the award from Galia Yahia, Director of Culture of the Wilaya of Auserd, and Sidami Hafed, Director of the Women’s House of Auserd.

The first prize (White Camel) was awarded to the work 200 meters (Palestine) and the third prize went to Igualada (Colombia). The Eduardo Galeano Human Rights Prize was awarded to the Collective of Human Rights Defenders of the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara.

To resist is to win

The slogan chosen for this edition of FiSahara was Jaimitna Fi Cinema (Our haima tent in the cinema): To resist is to win. As the festival organisers explain, FiSahara “embodies the vibrant and combative spirit of the Sahrawi people, who 20 years ago believed they were capable of creating a big event that would raise their voices for the rest of the world to hear”.

“In their long struggle against colonialism and occupation,” they continue, “the Sahrawi people have embraced film as an indispensable tool to document the injustices to which they are subjected, tell their stories of resistance and preserve their culture and identity.” 

In addition to highlighting the role of Sahrawi women, this edition of FiSahara has placed special emphasis “on connecting peoples who do not know each other but who share life experiences, parallel existences, stories of suffering and methods of resistance”. It therefore invited people from Timor-Leste, Puerto Rico, Palestine, Colombia, Senegal and Algeria, as well as a large delegation of advocates from occupied Western Sahara.

Insumisas. Mujeres en lucha en el Sáhara Occidental is a documentary co-directed by Brazilian Laura Dauden and Colombian Miguel Angel Herrera. It was made by the Hegoa Institute and produced by Forward Films with funding from the Asociación de Entidades Locales Vascas Cooperantes - Euskal Fondoa.
The documentary, based on the research report Que salga todo a la luz (“Bringing it all out in the open”) (Hegoa, 2022), brings to the screen the work of Sahrawi women human rights defenders, led by El Ghalia Djimi, Mina Baali, Soultana Khaya, Jadiyetu El Mohtar and Omeima Mahmud.
It includes four blocks of animations produced by the Leste studio (Brazil), which reflect the gravity and extent of the violence exercised by Morocco against the women, as well as the unwavering strength of these activists to fight for the rights of their people.


Photos: ©Sergio R. Moreno.