ARTifariti is an appointment with artistic practices as a tool to vindicate Human rights; the right of the people to their land, their culture, their roots and their freedom. It is an annual encounter of public art to reflect on creation, and society, and a point of contact for artists interested in the capacity of art to question and transform the reality.
ARTifariti wants to promote intercultural relations, fomenting the interchange of experiences and skills between local artists and international artists from other parts of the world; to contribute to the international diffusion of the Sahrawi reality, causing a reflection from the world of Art and the Culture through direct knowledge, and promote the development of these people through their cultural patrimony.
A wall of sand, over two thousand kilometers long, separates the Sahrawi territories occupied by Morocco from the liberated zone by the Polisario Front. On the Sahrawi side, the Moroccan army has scattered landmines along the wall, a thousand meters in length, a line of death with over 3 million landmines. Near the wall is Tifariti, scene of many battles between both armies, until the Polisario took over…It was also the scene of a massacre, the bombing of the Sahrawi population with napalm and phosphorous the same day the cease fire agreement came into effect. It is here where the Sahrawi government will promote ARTifariti, with the hope of generating a common ground for coexistence, where interconnection and intercommunication transcend the artistic fact in itself and also a place where the arts adopt a public role, suggestive and thought provoking…the breeding ground for the development of other cultural activities with the help of all kinds of artists involved in social issues.
Since the beginning, the Sahrawi people have decided to resist peacefully and today, despite the bumps along the road, have also decided to invest in the arts as the best way to defend their cause. Pablo Picasso outlined the art of creation in these words: “Painting was not created to decorate walls. It is an instrument of war, defensive and offensive, employed against the enemy”. The “Guernica” is good proof of that. ARTIFARITI´s objective is to become a cultural challenge, such as the ones that took place along other walls of shame like in Berlin and in Palestine. With the “Bienal de La Habana” in Cuba or the “Encuentros de Arte de Genualguacil” in Málaga as references, the city of Tifariti wishes to become a place where public arts trigger the symbolic fall of the wall, right where the Sahrawi caravans expect to return from exile in search of their dream: a democratic and independent nation.
It is this way that this city, shaped by the war, wishes to become a symbol of hope for the Sahrawis and other nations. This symbolic enclave was in the past an African savannah, its remnants reaching back to the cave paintings preserved in the Erqueyez archeological complex. Taking over for those other inhabitants in the region who, in the past reflected through paintings a testimony of their history, their way of life, their fears and expectations, it wishes to send a message of hope, through the arts, in favor of human rights. Today, the arts are back in Tifariti to demand dignity for all nations and against all the walls of shame.
“In order to understand each other, we have to meet each other.
In order to meet, we have to find each other"
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the Ministry for the Arts is the creator and organizer of ARTIFARITI and is counting on associations of friends of the Sahrawi people, other NGO´s and collaborating entities, as well as the artistic and professional advice from people that have experience in these types of events. It is an international event and its goal is to promote discussions about the artists’ common experiences and knowledge. Besides all these artistic activities, a program for foreign participants takes place at the same time, so that they can come to understand the Sahrawi culture and its people.
Tifariti School, with spacious rooms as well as a huge dining room, houses the workspace and boarding accommodations. All artists will be provided with the necessary materials, favoring the native and recycled ones, as well as the tools necessary for the development of their works of art. All travel expenses from Madrid, as well as room and board, run on the Organization’s behalf, throughout the 15 days of the event. The works of art created will become part of Tifariti’s cultural heritage and will be exhibited in outdoor venues, where they were created, or at the Ministry for the Arts Museum. Likewise, all artists wave their works of art’s copyrights to this Ministry. During this event, several audiovisual and photographic reports of the activities will be produced, so that they can, later, be broadcast in the media, as well as a traveling exhibition that includes the artists’ creations and one about the event in itself, in response to the spirit and goals of this encounter.