Western Sahara & Palestine

An evening of artistic resistance against occupation

Thursday | March 5 | 7:30-9:00pm
Public Launch | 119 E 3rd St

Suggested donation: $10. No reservations necessary. Light refreshments will be served.

Hosted by Public Launch, a collaborative space and project of Engage Winona and Art of the Rural.


Settler colonization of Indigenous land is something we know intimately, living on the stolen land of Turtle Island [the United States of America]. This evening is a gathering to further expose and discuss additional cases of settler colonization where the Indigenous people also live under military occupation: Western Sahara and Palestine. Drawing parallels and Interweaving threads of solidarity between Western Sahara and Palestine, we seek to educate on the occupation of Western Sahara, which is less known about.

Through film, poetry, story sharing, dance, and conversation, we will learn more about what has happened, what is happening, and what we can do to 1) get informed, 2) raise awareness, 3) join transnational solidarity for justice.

This event is, in part, a fundraiser for Bike4WesternSahara, a two year cycling project from Japan to Western Sahara that will raise awareness on the ground through people to people connections.

Can’t make it? Support Bike4Western Sahara at: gogetfunding.com/bike4westernsahara/


Film: 3 Stolen Cameras, a Sahrawi documentary film produced by RåFILM and Équipe Média. Dance: Leila Awadallah
Poetry: Mai’a Williams
Story: Fatimatu Bachiri and Leila Awadallah
Discussion: Fatimatu Bachiri, Leila Awadallah, Alexis Salem


Leila Awadallah | leilawa is a Palestinian-American artist and cultural activist. Her work as a dancer, choreographer and film maker explore resistance to settler colonial violences, examining the architectures of occupation, creative / critical response to media and US foreign policy, and harnessing ancestral energy and memory through nurturing and knowing roots. She is based in the Twin Cities while continuing her work in various projects in Lebanon and Palestine. Leila is a founding member of Solidarity Rising: Bike4WesternSahara. www.leilaawadallah.com

Fatimatu Bachir Jatri was born and raised in the Sahrawi Refugee Camps in Southwest Algeria. She is a Red Cross Nordic United World College alumni, and she graduated from Luther College in 2017 with a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. She now works for the Winneshiek County as an IT Specialist.

Mary Jo Klinker (event advisor) is an associate professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Winona State University and is the faculty advisor of Winona State Students for Palestinian Liberation. Currently, she is conducting interviews for an oral history project on the movement for BDS and Palestinian solidarity in the National Women’s Studies Association.

Alexis Salem (They/Them) is a Black Palestinian student that is currently attending Winona State University. They will be graduating in May 2020 with a bachelors in Psychology, leaving behind the Students For Justice in Palestine they founded. @snacctheknife

Mai’a Williams is a writer and artist. It was her living and working with Egyptian, Palestinian, Congolese, and Central American indigenous mothers in resistance communities, that inspired her life-giving work and art-making practices. She is focused on how we survive in the face of the ongoing destruction of the only world we have ever known. She is the co-editor of the anthology, Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines and the author of the memoir, This is How We Survive: Revolutionary Mothering, War, and Exile in the 21st Century. www.maiawilliams.net


The Cedar Tree Project, curated by Winona, Minnesota based dance artist Sharon Mansur, amplifies the work of Arab and Arab American artists, and invites deeper understanding and empathy through artistic exchange. www.cedartreeproject.com

Sharon Mansur is a member of the River Arts Alliance. To learn more about the benefits of membership, please visit: riverartsalliance.org/JOIN.


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