Events

Cairo’s Chaotic Traffic and the Egyptian Revolution

14km Film and Discussion event

"Cairo Drive" (Documentary, Egypt, 2013, 79 min, with English subtitles) by Sherief Elkatsha on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm (screening at 7 pm) at Filmrauschpalast, Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin Moabit 14km presents the 4th film of this year's Film and Discussion Series On our fourth evening we will not only  broach the issue of Cairo's traffic, but also have a look at the past years' political and social development since the revolution in 2011. 14km screens Sherief Elkatsha's documentary "Cairo Drive" in original language (Arabic, English) with English subtitles. The film portrays people struggling in the chaotic environment of Cairene megacity traffic and paints a bigger picture of the diversity of life in the metropolis, its challenges and moments of happiness. As traffic concerns everyone, people of all parts of society appear and what they all have in common is one thing: humor. Following the screening we will have an open talk with the audienceto discuss the film as well as the director's approach in presenting the topic. We will also talk about Egypt's political, social and economic development with distinguished guests. The discussion will be held in English.   Director Sherif Elkatsha The documentary offers a unique, insightful and yet quite comical portrait of a country on the brink of change told through the metaphor of Cairo traffic. The film was shot over a three-year period before and during the Egyptian revolution in 2011. Accompanying a range of Cairo drivers, the film illustrates their daily struggle to navigate through the chaos, the unspoken rules and the more than 14 million vehicles and allows an insight into the different perspectives, sentiments and problems as well as the insecurities regarding the country’s collective identity and the people’s strong desire to get somewhere. Free entry - we appreciate donations The venue for the screening is Filmrauschpalast at the Kulturfabrik in Berlin Moabit (Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin). Facebook-Event


JOIN OUR 2016 ’14km Film and Discussion Series’ TEAM!

YOU CAN JOIN THE 2016 '14km Film and Discussion Series' TEAM! - You are interested in North Africa and the Middle East? - You like to volunteer in a young team? - You enjoy to bring people with different cultural backgrounds together? - You are interested in film and documentaries? - You are good in organising? - You can help with project administration, public relations or simply support events? - You like to prepare social, political or cultural topics for our open audience discussions, moderate them, and invite speakers for this purpose? If you answered one or more questions positively, or if you are simply interested, please join our project startup meeting on Monday, 29 February 2016, at 7 pm (19:00), at Caffeteria Buchhhandlung 32, Tucholskystr.32, 10117 Berlin Mitte. 14km.org stands up for exchange and understanding between both neighbouring regions north and south of the Mediterranian Sea, in order to reduce the symbolic distance the Strait of Gibraltar (14km) sets. Since 2013 film and discussion events had been organised about current topics in North Africa or the Middle East. 14km Film and Discussion Series Feel free to contact us: film@14km.org Facebook Event


Migration, Flight… and Far More!

14km Film and Discussion Series - Looking Back on 2015

You can easily quantify the resounding success the 14km Film and Discussion Series had in 2015: we counted a total of 381 persons in our audiences, particulary encouraging was the increase in the share of people with personal migration background up to 23% (previous year 16%). The 14km Film Team was six times as large as in 2014, consisting of six volunteers. The maximum available budget (2,200 Euro) was around three times higher than in the year before. And, particularly striking: the number of events climbing by 100 % up to 8 full evening events - they lately took place in a short three weeks rhythm. The quality has been improved, too! This was due to our dedicated team, representing Europe and Northern Africa instead of Germany only. Composed by members originally from Germany, Tunisia and Spain we could hence formally live up to our slogan 14km - The shortest distance between North Africa and Europe. and include our inner diversity to our substantive work. Consequently "14km" became the heart of our series title, to point at perspectives of both parts of the Mediterranian to be equal parts of our Films and Discussions. We deliberately improved the film quality: in addition to indiependant documentary films we also screened more professionally made productions as well as feature movies for the first time, if they were suitable for the subsequent political debate. In the selection of topics, we considered previously not represented countries (Yemen, Sudan, Western Sahara) and devoted ourselves also to important transnational issues  (Amazigh, children, migration, pop music, women's rights). Already in the beginning of the year 2015 the region of Northern Africa and the Middle East stood in the spotlights of great general interest. This focus'es boost to extremes during the year proofs the high relevance and importance of our work. You can easily name Children in War and on Flight one of the most important European media topics of the year. We gave this issue a special focus, screening the cineastic dilicacy Turtles Can Fly: the film takes place at the beginning of US attacks on Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 2003 and displays the suffering of children in refugee camps. On one hand, those events happened at the beginning of a series of events unfolding huge impact on today's situation in Iraq and in Syria (reasons for the awakening of the "IS"). On the other hand, there recently shines some hope for a stable political system, especially in the Kurdish region in Northern Iraq, were the film was shot. Refugee camps also appeared to be part of our evening on Migration to Europe, the next central media issue of the year. The ever-increasing flow of refugees from Syria kept the entire European Union in suspense. With the movie 14 Kilometers we put our contrasting focus on the western part of the Mediterranian Sea and dealt with a second natural divide whose characteristics (refugee camps, traffickers, death) are the same: the sand seas of the Sahara deserts. With this, the second unstable country was discussed: Libya. Various motives for flight and migration became clear: lack of economic opportunities and individual fate. These are motives that go far beyond war and terror, and are highly topical in the European debates about immigration and crime in the beginning of 2016. For our series, we set ourselves the goal to communicate a wide range of informations, impressions and opinions within the single discussions and to do so also by a rich variety of event's topics. North Africa and the Middle East consist of far more than the well known crisises in Syria and Libya. Elsewere in this region there is war, terror and flight, too. Somewhat less in the European focus is Yemen, were currently a Shiite-Sunnite war takes place, a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. We apporached the culture and sociey of Yemen by the provocative viewpoint of an egocentric European adventurer in the film Expedition Yemen, and we intensiveley discussed stereotypes, cultural and societal questions and especially the role of women in Yemen. Other crisis spots are currently all but forgotten in Europe. The Darfur conflict in Sudan has hardly lost strength and sees no realistic solution approaching, as the lesson of our event told us, which included the screening of Darfur's Skeleton. The discussion between Sudanese' in the audience included vivid accounts, particularly a young men asking with tears in his eyes how he should rebuild the country, if no one dares to leave the houses due to people were arbritarily shot on a daily basis. This local drama barely finds attention since foreign reportings were effectively prevented. Little European attention is paid to another conflict: the independence movement of Western Sahara against Morocco. This conflict has been very peaceful, also testified by the documentary Life is Waiting. Nowadays activistists discuss out of their failure and frustation to be more militant, in order to eliminate their status as the "last colony of Africa". Three other very interesting topics had curtural and societaly backgrounds. Our evening about Amazigh (Berber) refered to the region of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. The focus of the film Azul was on the life of this indigenious minority in Tunisia, while the discussion concentrated on Morocco. It raises the question how to deal with this cultural heritage of ancestors: with new pride, or at least with shame? The two discussions following the yet unmentioned films were build up around the everyday culture in Northern Africa. The Source is set in the Amazigh' region. We discussed the situation of women's rights in North Africa in terms of tradition and modernity, questions of power, freedom and emancipation - and sexuality. Thus we approached in a sense the source of life! We already started to discuss these issues of women and men, provoking openness and cultural induced shame, during our event on Mahragan (festival music) in Egypt, within the broader topic of political pop music. The film Electro Chaabi led to the portrait of young (male) musicians in Cairo. As usual, we concluded our meeting with a comprehensive online report which also resumed additional information from the audience. In this case: two rare examples of Electro Chaabi made by female musicians. Our warmest thank you goes firstly to our loyal and engaged audience, whose active participation provide the spice to our event series. We thank the Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit (LEZ - Office of Development Corporation) - Federal State administration of Berlin, department for economy, technology and research - for their budgetary funds which made us realise our 14km Film and Discussion Series, and Mr. Walter Hättig and The North-South Bridges Foundation for the related and helpful support. Another thank you deserves the Filmrauschpalast volunteer team, which housed us on all eight evenings and made projections in digital and analogue (35mm) format possible on their cinema screen. On this occasion, we also thank the screening right distributors for the films shown. We like to take the opportunity to express gratefulness again to our invited guests, because without their inputs and contributions as experts (speakers) or witnesses, our public debates would not have been credible and authentic. My heartful thanks - last but not least - goes to my 14km Film Team. Carolin Bannorth, Silvia Limiñana, Khouloud Khalfallah, Houssein Ben Amor and Steffen Benzler - your cooperation made our dedicated project very interesting and succesful! In the name of the whole film team I express final thanks for the additional support of Susanne Kappe, Alex Odlum, Sarah Müller, Jana Vietze, Caroline Bunge and Helena Burgrova. Berlin, January 2016 Andreas Fricke (Project Manager) We express thanks for the support:        


Mahragan – Music as Revolution

While the political actors of the Tahrir generation seem to fade away, their revolutionary spirit still simmers within Egyptian society. The “Mahragan” with its often blasphemous but honest lyrics, remains a lasting symbol of the achievements made towards freedom of speech in 2011. Our 7th evening in the 2015 14km Film and Discussion Series was devoted to this phenomenon of Egyptian pop culture and its development in Cairo’s slums. With “Electro Chaabi,” director Hind Meddeb describes the rise of this eponymous musical style (its name, “Mahragan,” roughly translates to “festival”): from the slums of Cairo to the mainstream of Egyptian popular culture. The film features Mahragan’s pioneering artists (DJ Amr Haha, DJ Ramy, DJ Vigo, Figo, MC Alaa 50 Cent, MC Sadat, Oka & Ortega, Weza – the last three of whom perform together as Eight Percent), who took old PCs, keyboards, and downloaded remix tapes to reinvent traditional Chaabi music with an electronic spin. Often piercing rhythms mix with distorted melodies, whose sarcastic and provocative lyrics highlight the struggles of daily life in Cairo’s slums. The artists repeatedly suggest that their success lies in their ability to express what people on the street are thinking, often using banal examples and humorous exaggerations, but also without hesitating to take up controversial political issues. The artists are portrayed in multiple settings: while practising their songs, in interviews with friends and relatives, and, importantly, at four of their live wedding performances. The latter exemplify where Electro-Chaabi music first evolved and became known, before being spread through videos across Youtube and ending as an omnipresent vibe in the streets and on public transport. The film dives into this male dominated, youth sub-culture, fighting for freedom of speech in a society where artistic expression is often tightly constrained. Even the Mahragan performers uncritically accept strict rules of gender separation: men and women never dance together, but always separately. The film consistently offers rare glimpses into the social realities of the densely populated streets and yards in Cairo’s poorer areas, where countless Tuk-Tuks toot their way through an endless sea of houses, mountains of (occasionally burning) garbage, and minors looking for their chance to earn some cash as a taxi-driver. These suburbs operate decoupled, and largely marginalised, from the reach of Cairo’s formal public services. According to one song, drug consumption offers many residents a relief from the stress of these chaotic scenes. An every day occurrence, even children are often caught in the cycle of drugs. While the film mostly takes place in suburbs like Imbaba, Al-Matariyyah, El-Salam City, it moves into downtown Cairo by the end. Mahragan is becoming mainstream. Oka & Ortega sign their first contract with a record company, taking the chance to become national celebrities. We see them appearing in talk-shows, and soon learn they are touring Cairo’s clubs and playing at upper class weddings in five-star hotels. Having made the big time, the film’s director can no longer reach them for an interview. Meanwhile, the pair’s long-term partner, Weza, remains confined to suburbs after he fell out with the others and was excluded from the contract. A public discussion following the film welcomed Mohammed Abdelmageed M. Hussein and Ahmed Awadalla, who having witnessed the emergence of Electo Chaabi in Egypt, were both well placed to comment. Ahmed Awadalla noted that 30 per cent of Egyptians live in conditions similar to those experienced by Mahragam’s pioneers in the slums. Yet, not only does Mahragam directly represent this section of society, but also another 30 per cent of Egyptians can certainly relate to the phenomenon – youth make up almost 60 per cent of the population. Even before the 2011 revolution, this musical style was evolving. It dates to around 2007-8, when it grew out of the streets and weddings of Egypt’s under-represented working class. With revolution, came an opportunity to break down class barriers and expand into a new space. While previously ignored by the media, Mahragan was soon able to conquer not only the “streets,” but also the (mass) media. Mohammed Abdelmageed M. Hussein explained that Electro Chaabi was a fusion of electronic influences with older Chaabi (Egyptian folk music), which is traditionally played at weddings in Upper Egypt – his home region. Originally, Chaabi was simply the music of ordinary people and their stories, neither particularly cultural nor political. An audience member pointed out that, in contrast, Electro Chaabi is clearly distinguishable from its traditional roots as a highly critical “voice of the poor”. In this, it seems to more closely represent the dynamics of contemporary Egyptian society. Asked whether Mahragan was comparable to gangsta rap in the US or baile funk in Brazil, and whether it formed part of a global movement, Mohammed could only partially agree. Indeed, all three have grown out of repressive histories and share many common themes, such as drugs, violence, sex, and to some extent politics. However, in Egypt, there is an additional revolutionary element. In this sense, Mahragan is more accurately analogised with hip hop and blues, which share a comparable, emancipatory connection to the American civil rights movement. When questioned on how Mahragan had reacted to the military coup in 2013, Ahmed Awadalla argued that the music has retained its presence. However, the genre now faces a debate over whether it promotes drug abuse and violence (similar to the challenges faced by the popular Sobky movies). As a result, it is increasingly battles bans and censorship. Yet, songs about drugs are nothing new in Egypt, according to one audience member, who pointed out that Egyptian lyrics had been making drug references as early as the 1920s. For Chaabi, this tradition has been particularly present since the 1970s, a time of political and economic transformation. Another interesting perspective from the audience pointed out the paradox in Chaabi’s reference to drug culture, given that it emerged from the same slums where strong conservative and Islamist movements have spread. Mohamed Abdelmageed M. Hussein explained this by suggesting the slums were dynamic spaces, constantly reshaping themselves and their identities. Correspondingly, such seemingly contradictory developments are not impossible. In line with the theme of 14km’s upcoming Film and Discussion Series evening on 8 December, the current discussion brought up issues of gender and tackled the question of why women had such a weak presence in the film: “Why are the men and women always split into separate groups? Is there not also newfound freedom for women?” One audience member suggested that across the MENA region, “everything is divided” along gender lines. It is socially accepted that women and men do not mix, rather keeping a distance from one another. That, however, does not in and of itself mean women are oppressed. Instead, it only highlights that women have their own sphere – one which is not portrayed in this film. While we see a dominant male culture here, that is not representative of all society. Another commentator argued it could even be dangerous to challenge these invisible boundaries; bringing women and girls into the picture could make them subjects of harassment or worse. Further, it was pointed out that in Egypt’s upper classes, including at the popular music festivals they attend, both sexes dance together without such strict separation. In the slums, however, it remained striking how only the men were able to seize the opportunity to express themselves freely. Lastly, we learned that there are indeed public Mahragan shows by and for women, but that these are neither large nor famous. For example: Our guest Ahmed Awadalla blogs. Biography of director Hind Meddeb Music tips from the audience Film review on norient Event coordination and presentation: Andreas Fricke Coordination of the Film Series: Andreas Fricke Text: Steffen Benzler Translation: Alex Odlum Photos: Jana Vietze Organisation: The 14km Volunteer Film Crew The 14km Film and Discussion Series 2015 gets sponsorship by budgetary funds of the Federal State of Berlin – Office for Development Cooperation. Further events are scheduled as followed: 9 December The events are dedicatet to a single country or specific topic, in order to give an artistic-documentary impression. The ensuing audience discussion aims to include further informations by an affected person living in Berlin and by an scientific expert, always aiming to make links to North-South relationships. We express thanks for the support:


Women’s Rights in Northern Africa

14km Film and Discussion Series

“The Source” (feature, Belgium/Italy/France, original version with German subtitles, 125 min) by Radu Mihaileanu on Wednesday, 09th December 2015 at 6:00 p.m. (1800) at Filmrauschpalast, Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin-Moabit 14km.org presents the eighth evening screening of the 2015 “14km Film and Discussion Series”: The film, “The Source” (Arabic with German subtitles), is set in a village in North Africa. Director Radu Mihaileanu demonstrates the traditional female duty of hauling water from its mountain source along trails into the village. However, when the women begin to protest and call for an aqueduct, a conflict develops over issues of power, tradition and religion – and above all over gender roles. Following the film screening, special guests and the audience will discuss the role of women and the struggle for women’s rights in the countries and societies of North Africa. Attendance is free, donations are welcome. Facebook-Event The event takes place at Filmrauschpalast cinema, on the 1st floor of the Kulturfabrik's backyard building in Berlin Moabit: Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin. Films distribution page The 14km Film and Discussion Series 2015 gets sponsorship by budgetary funds of the Federal State of Berlin – Office for Development Cooperation. This is the last of eight 14km Film and Discussion eventsin 2015. The events are dedicatet to a single country or specific topic, in order to give an artistic-documentary impression . The ensuing audience discussion aims to include further informations by an affected person living in Berlin and by an scientific expert, always aiming to make links to North-South relationships. We express thanks for the support:


The long ignored prelude to the European migration crisis

Thousands of refugees are crossing the border daily into Germany in search of a more secure future. Unlike Germany, in Europe this situation is well-known. The 6th evening in our Film and Discussion Series for 2015 featured Gerardo Olivares’ Film “14 Kilometers – The Pursuit of Happiness” as well as Harald Glöde from Borderline Europe in a panel discussion. As the evening unfolded, we saw that the latest developments filling the news today have long been foreseeable, and could have been far earlier addressed by policies. The film, “14 Kilometers – The Pursuit of Happiness,” accompanies three refugees – Violeta from Mali, along with the two brothers, Buba and Mukela from Niger – on their difficult journey to Europe. From the outset, it is clear that all three have put everything on the table for this journey. The challenges of life as a refugee are clear from the very beginning in Agadez. To get from here to the Algerian border, passengers load into a truck headed for Algeria, constantly harassed at arbitrary checkpoints by corrupt border officials. Those who run out of cash are left to be exploited, working the worst jobs to survive and keep their hopes of onward travel alive. Having fled the prospect of a forced marriage, Violeta ultimately finds herself faced with sexual exploitation on her travels. Explotiation, danger, and an irrepressible will The truck halts in Ténéré desert, northern Niger. The three travellers are facing a walk through the desert (“heading northwest”), aiming for the Algerian Tamanrasset, while the truck continues onwards in a different direction. Violeta, Buba and Mukela become lost. Unable to find the border town between Niger and Algeria, they run circles before falling exhausted under the shade of some acacias. At the last minute, passing Tuaregs are able to save Violeta and Buba. For Mukela, the help arrives too late. On the unforgiving route to Europe, one of only sources of solace is the unconditional hospitality of the traditional, nomadic tribes. Onwards, towards the Algerian-Moroccan border, Violeta and Buba manage to cross the frontier after several attempts, taking advantage of the chaotic bureaucracy. In Morocco, we find the first state authority who does not exploit the refugees, even going so far as to help them. Once in Tangiers, Violeta and Buba give the last of their money to a well-dressed people smuggler who offers to transport them across the Straits of Gibraltar. But after a successful crossing, there is not much time to celebrate. With police in hot pursuit, Violeta and Buba seek cover in the woods, before noticing the Civil Guard officials have turned a blind eye. While they can now travel undisturbed, the refugees realise an uncertain future awaits them. Shot back in 2008, the film shows the long ignored prelude to the present European migration crisis – particularly in this last scene, which aptly highlights the current state of Europe’s external borders. Different escape routes, similar reasons to escape According to Harald Glöde (Borderline Europe) in the post-film audience discussion, the film closely reflects current realities. However, this particular route from Morocco is rarely taken today, with Frontex ships and strict controls blocking passages through the Straits of Gibraltar or to the Canary Islands. Yet, unperturbed by the high, NATO-enforced fences surrounding Ceuta and Melilla, thousands of refugees remain poised in the mountains ready to cross en masse, even if only a few make it across at a time. But as state structures weaken in Mali and Algeria and insecurity grows in the face of Islamist threats, fewer refugees are venturing down such dangerous paths today. Nowadays, the main migration route from Sub-Saharan Africa goes through Agadez, directly towards Libya, where militias finance vast smuggling operations. According to Sea-Watch, there are two well-known transit points where Europe could be directing humanitarian aid. The first is in Libya, from where around 150,000 have journeyed to Italy this year. The other is Greece, which has served as a contact point to the EU for over 450,000 people – not only because the EU’s Dublin regulations have been de facto overruled and refugees are being allowed to travel onwards through Europe, but also due to the simple proximity of Greece to Turkey, where millions of Syrians are already seeking refuge. New Syrian refugees in Europe do not have many other alternatives. In North Africa, Morocco alone is the only country where Syrian refugees can live legally, supported by UNHCR. Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt offer no asylum procedures that would open new perspectives. Here, Syrian refugees face disenfranchisement and discrimination, with few informal labour opportunities. Even richer Arab states show little interest in welcoming large numbers of Syrian refugees. Unlike Syrians, however, those leaving sub-Saharan African may be differently motivated, and are more often on the move due to the lack of future prospects in their homelands. Europe cannot be absolved of responsibility for this state of affairs: fisheries agreements, milk powder and meat exports have all impacted on the African economies. Climate change further impacts on livelihoods. As a result, refugees are fleeing despair not only in Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia, but also in countries such as Nigeria, Chad, Ghana and Kenya. Military, humanitarian and political measures Asked whether it was possible to improve the safety of current migration routes, Harald Glöde rejected the idea that improvements could be made under current policies. Symbolic polices will continue, but will have little positive effect. Suggested solutions like asylum centres in Greece and Italy will not solve the problem. The audience clearly agreed that refugees could not simply be sent “between camps as packages!” The EU’s plan to resettle 100,000 refugees across Europe was, for Glöde, not sufficient given the current number of refugee arrivals. In any case, having been resettled to countries that persist in marginalising them, refugees would move on to safe third-countries at any cost. Moreover, he pointed out that, despite the EU border countries’ pleas, Germany refused to reform the Dublin system for many years. As Spain, Greece, Hungary and Italy were left to fend for themselves, Germany sat contentedly behind its buffer states. It is only now, when Germany finally feels the pinch herself, that she is pushing for reform. It seems that the only sustainable long-term solution to the crisis is to foster legal migration routes for refugees. Renaming the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR Med) as “Opeation Sofia” represented another symbolic gesture for Glöde, after a young girl was rescued by a military ship off the Libyan coast on 22 August 2015. Giving the military operation such a name serves as a mere attempt to give it a human face. The Libya operation is geared around three goals (1) Education (2) Redirection (3) Destruction of the smuggling boats. By October 2015, phase 2 was underway, but with no date for the third phase in sight. Indeed, navy operations by Frontex and coastguards were being matched by civil society: Sea-Watch, MSF (two ships), and a Maltese millionaire’s own private rescue ship! Motivations behind the refugee policies Asked whether arson attacks on refugee settlements and groups such as Pegida negatively impact on efforts to help refugees in Germany, Glöde argued that “Pegida is a Saxon problem.” One should not forget the positive energies set free. The politicians were “light years away from the a welcoming culture expressed in civil society.” In that sense, Angela Merkel’s commitment to welcoming hundreds of thousands of refugees into Germany should be seen in the light of foreign policy, where it boosts Europe’s international prestige and Germany’s role as a leading nation in Europe rather than a well thought through policy on how to best accommodate and integrate a mass influx of refugees.   Press review about the film (German) Films about MIGRATION in the 14km Film Database   Event coordination and presentation: Andreas Fricke Coordination of the Film Series: Andreas Fricke Text: Steffen Benzler Translation: Alex Odlum Photos: Jana Vietze Organisation: The Volunteer 14km Film Crew At 11 and 12 July 2014 14km e.V. was hosting a symposium on “Displacement // Migration // Development" to discuss facets of migration between North Africa and Europe with human rights activists, scientists, fellows of diaspora organizations and interested participants. The report can be found here in German language. Additional informations: Nahrain Al-Mousawi (EUME) works currently on her book about migrant stories about the geographical borders Mediterranian Sean and Sahara. Both natural divides are analised as dividing as well as uniting for the affected humans. Reiner Klingholz and Stephan Sievert analyse factors steering the migration to Europe: "Crisis on Europe's Southern Borders" (Berlin Institute for Population and Development 2014) Paul Collier (2013): "Exodus" Ralph A. Austen (2010): "Trans-Saharan Africa in World History" The 14km Film and Discussion Series 2015 gets sponsorship by budgetary funds of the Federal State of Berlin – Office for Development Cooperation. The upcoming Film- and Discussion night will be about political pop music in Cairo. On November 18th we will screen the documentary "Electro Chaabi". Read more. Further events are scheduled as followed: 18 November / 9 December The events are dedicatet to a single country or specific topic, in order to give an artistic-documentary impression . The ensuing audience discussion aims to include further informations by an affected person living in Berlin and by an scientific expert, always aiming to make links to North-South relationships. We express thanks for the support:


Political Pop Music in Cairo

14km Film and Discussion Series

“Electro Chaabi” (documentary, France/Egypt, original version with English subtitles, 77 min) by Hind Meddeb on Wednesday, 18th November 2015 at 6:45 p.m. (1845) at Filmrauschpalast, Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin-Moabit 14km.org presents the seventh evening screening of the 2015 “14km Film and Discussion Series”: In the film, “Electro Chaabi” (Arabic with English subtitles), director Hind Meddeb meets young men from a poor area of Cairo famous for their own unique style of music, fusing electronic and hip-hop styles as DJs. From playing at street festivals and weddings, they find themselves writing political texts during the revolution, soon to become nationwide stars.   Following the film screening, special guests and the audience will discuss the role of pop-music culture as a mouthpiece for Egyptian youth after the revolution. Attendance is free, donations are welcome. Facebook-Event The event takes place at Filmrauschpalast cinema, on the 1st floor of the Kulturfabrik's backyard building in Berlin Moabit: Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin. Electro Chaabi Trailer from Monoduo Films on Vimeo. About the movie (film distributor)     The 14km Film and Discussion Series 2015 gets sponsorship by budgetary funds of the Federal State of Berlin – Office for Development Cooperation. Further events are scheduled as followed: 9 December The events are dedicatet to a single country or specific topic, in order to give an artistic-documentary impression . The ensuing audience discussion aims to include further informations by an affected person living in Berlin and by an scientific expert, always aiming to make links to North-South relationships. We express thanks for the support:


“Our patience is wearing thin!”

The forgotten Sahrawi resistance struggle in Africa’s last colony.

For decades, the Sahrawi have been fighting for political independence from Morocco. Faced with numerous expulsions and countless human rights violations at the hands of the Moroccan occupying power, the Sahrawi have fought for their rights, first militarily, and since the signing of a peace agreement in 1991, through peaceful resistance. The fact that this long-standing conflict over the last colony in Africa is so rarely given attention in the international media was a key motivation to highlight the issue for this fifth evening of 14km’s Film and Discussion Series. With her documentary, “Life is waiting – referendum and resistance in Western Sahara,” Brazilian film maker and political activist, Iara Lee, sheds light on the Sahrawi desert people and their almost forgotten struggle for national self-determination. The film explores over 40 years of history in north-west Africa, and highlights the living conditions of the people of Western Sahara along with their form of non-violent resistance. When Spain, after having ruled the territory as a colonial power, withdrew in 1975, both Morocco and Mauritania rushed in to occupy the resource rich country in violation of international law. A Sahrawi liberation and independence movement – the Polisario Front – soon emerged, calling and taking up arms for an independent “Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.” Whereas Mauritania withdrew its troops in 1979, Morocco did not abandon its territorial claims. Moroccan napalm and phosphorous bombs saw tens of thousands of Sahrawi flee into exile in Algeria, where they remain to this day in refugee camps, separated from their homeland by over 2,700km of walls and minefields. Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement in 1991, the conflict remains far from resolved. UN MINURSO, the international peacekeeping mission established to ensure the ceasefire held and pave the way for a referendum, has largely failed. So far, no referendum has been held. Instead, Moroccan troops have increased daily attacks on the Sahrawi, who have in turn fought back. The film gives a voice to many Sahrawi activists who express their opposition through art and political action. Take the young rapper, Flitoox Crazy, for example, who raps confidently about freedom and peace. Undeterred despite being severely tortured at the hands of the Moroccan police, he continues to fight for the rights of his people. Similarly, the film introduces us to Aminatou Haidar, perhaps the most well known Sahrawi rights activist. After being arrested during a demonstration, Haidar spent over four years in a Moroccan prison, suffering torture. “My children can grow up without parents, but not without dignity,” she says, explaining the struggle for justice and an independent homeland. The film is dedicated to the late Sahrawi singer, Marien Hassan – the “Voice of the Sahara.” For decades, her songs of resistance about everyday life in exile and Sahrawi identity touched close to the hearts of her people. She exemplified the power of art in expressing political resistance and highlighted the strong role Sahrawi women play in the struggle against the occupation of their homeland. The film makes it clear that the Sahrawi are a proud people, brought even closer together by a collective identity based on their common resistance against the occupiers. We witness a vivid description of Sahrawi resistance struggle in the film. The public discussion following the film gave rise to more important questions about the background and nature of the conflict, and the future of Western Sahara. The responsibility of Europe and the international community was a particularly salient topic. Saleh Mustapha is an activist from Western Sahara. Born in Smara refugee camp in Algeria, he is currently living as a student in Berlin. He stressed the fact that the United Nations has failed to fulfil its responsibilities in mediating a resolution to the conflict. For him, UNHCR’s support and WFP’s food assistance to the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria should not obscure the fact that the Sahrawi’s fundamental rights continue to be denied. International human rights organisations have been consistently complaining of the Sahrawi’s mistreatment, torture and even death in detention, as well as the ever-present danger of landmines. Reports of arbitrary arrests of Sahrawi activists, and restrictions on freedoms of assembly, speech and movement are also frequent. Saleh Mustapha reminded the audience of the high numbers of missing persons and political prisoners locked up in Moroccan prisons. Without a mandate to monitor human rights violations, the MINURSO peacekeeping mission is impotent and the violations of Moroccan security forces will continue to go unpunished. Berlin artist, Bettina Semmer, who has come to know Western Sahara through multiple visits and art projects, emphasised the role of European economic interests, and in particular, the economic importance to France and Spain of maintaining good relationships with Morocco. The western areas occupied by Morocco are located along the fishing-rich Atlantic coast, and also boast important minerals, especially phosphate. France’s veto power on the UN Security Council was seen as a key reason as to why MINURSO’s mandate was watered down to remain silent on the issue of documenting human rights violations. Parallels with the Israeli occupation of the Palestine and the resistance struggle there are readily apparent. The independence struggle of the Sahrawi, however, has gained far less attention. One Sahrawi audience member explained that the lack of international interest comes from the West’s interest in a stable Morocco and containing the Sahrawi movement to one of non-violent resistance. Frustrated, she lamented: “So long as there are no bombs exploding and no fighting, nobody looks any further.” But she warned that patience among the youth of the occupied territories is wearing thin. Living conditions of the Sahrawi are poor. About 540,000 Sahrawi live in Western Sahara, with between 210,000 and 420,000 in exile (mainly in Morocco and Algeria). Around 60 per cent of the camps’ inhabitants are teenagers and young adults. Saleh Mustapha spoke of the poor conditions in the camps. Of the Sahrawi who study, most do so abroad like him, predominantly in Algeria, Cuba and Spain. Yet, on their return, there are no jobs. Faced with hopelessness and isolation in the camps, the inaction of the international community and the changing political climate in North Africa after the Arab Spring, many are thinking about returning to armed struggle. “The Sahrawi people must decide whether or not to return to war. Without war, another forty years may pass,” declares a Sahrawi activist in the film. Saleh Mustapha, however, warned against a radicalisation of the struggle, pointing to the Middle East and the civil war in Syria as an example of the dangers of armed conflict. There seems to be no obvious solution to the conflict in Africa’s last remaining colony. Uncertainty over the future of this disputed territory on the Atlantic coast has prevailed for years, and the international community appears to accept the Sahrawi’s situation as the price to pay for maintaining political stability and its economic interests in the region. Nonetheless, there are hopeful, optimistic voices. Saleh Mustapha, for example, stressed the importance of international support. “Without international solidarity, our voices cannot be heard throughout the world,” says Saleh. Only with non-violent resistance can the conflict be highlighted to the world’s public. But the question remains, how long can the Sahrawi persevere in their peaceful struggle? We thank our guests, Bettina Semmer and Saleh Mustapha, for sharing their exciting and personal impressions and for contributing to a very interesting event about the situation in Western Sahara. Event coordination and presentation: Silvia Limiñana and Andreas Fricke Coordination of the Film Series: Andreas Fricke Text: Carolin Bannorth Text translation: Alex Odlum Photos: Andreas Fricke and Carolin Bannorth Organisation: The 14km Volunteer Film Crew The 14km Film and Discussion Series 2015 gets sponsorship by budgetary funds of the Federal State of Berlin – Office for Development Cooperation. Further events are scheduled as followed: October 28th  /  November 18th  /  Dezember 9th The events are dedicatet to a single country or specific topic, in order to give an artistic-documentary impression . The ensuing audience discussion aims to include further informations by an affected person living in Berlin and by an scientific expert, always aiming to make links to North-South relationships.   We express thanks for the support:


Migrating to Europe

14km Film and Discussion Series

“14 KILÓMETROS” (feature, Spain 2008, original version with German subtitles, 95 min – screening on 35mm celluloid!) by Gerardo Olivares on Wednesday, 28th October 2015 at 6:30 p.m. (1830) at Filmrauschpalast, Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin-Moabit 14km.org presents the sixth evening screening of the 2015 “14km Film and Discussion Series.”: In the semi-documentary film, “14 KILOMETERS – The Pursuit of Happiness” (Hausa/French/Tamasheq/Arabic with German subtitles), Spanish director Gerado Olivares tells the story of three men’s escape from Mali and Niger to Europe, highlighting the hardships of the route through the desert. The three men hope to cross the last 14 kilometers across the sea to reach a better life in Europe. Following the film screening, special guests and the audience will discuss the motives and conditions of fleeing and migrating from North Africa, as well as the reactions and viewpoints on migration in Europe. Attendance is free, donations are welcome. Facebook-Event The event takes place at Filmrauschpalast cinema, on the 1st floor of the Kulturfabrik's backyard building in Berlin Moabit: Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin. Press Kit "14 Kilometers" film (German) The discussion ends at 22:00 (10 pm) at the latest. Facebook event The 14km Film and Discussion Series 2015 gets sponsorship by budgetary funds of the Federal State of Berlin – Office for Development Cooperation. Further events are scheduled as followed: 18 November / 9 December The events are dedicatet to a single country or specific topic, in order to give an artistic-documentary impression . The ensuing audience discussion aims to include further informations by an affected person living in Berlin and by an scientific expert, always aiming to make links to North-South relationships. We express thanks for the support:


14km at Africa Day in Berlin: 17th of October 2015

14km e.V. presents itself at the open Africa Days. We invite you to visit us on Saturday, October 17th 2015, at the Sprengelhaus in Berlin Wedding. At the same location and all around Berlin other associations, initiatives, institutions and companies with focus on Africa can be visited. The entrance is free. The events will take place in German language. During the complete period of time we invite you to get to know the volunteer 14km team in a personal conversation - we speak English as well. Press release (German): Afrika-Tage der Offenen Tür 2015   Programme overview (German)   Homepage Africa Days (German) The 14km programme on SAT, 10/17/15: 2:00 p.m.   Presentation of 14km e.V. 2:30 p.m.   Reading "Im Taxi" (Khalid Al-Chamissi) 3:30 p.m.   Presentation International Volunteer Programme 5:00 p.m.   Presentation 14km Film- and Discussion Series (incl. short movie screening)


|
©2013