At the invitation of Danielle Smith’s charity Sandblast, I visited Southern Algeria to create an art project working in the refugee camps of the Western Sahara. Over three days, the women of the 27th February camp sewed me a tent whilst singing songs and telling stories, this became a temporary camera obscura for the local school children. They visited the tent over the week to view the photographic image on their friends’ uniforms and handheld linen. These communities extraordinarily survive in the conditions of the desert welcoming artists such as myself with our quirky projects with kindness. Many people from all over the world visit these camps on a regular basis and I realised these communities have a sophistication and worldliness I was so pleased to see. It gave me hope about the plight of these refugees who we pray will leave these conditions and return to their home in the near future.
Nilu May 2012