Waiting for Utopia: the resilience of an exiled nation, Western Sahara

2023, 2nd session Friday, Workshop

Sjors Beenker and Delia Arzoz

“Waiting for Utopia: the resilience of an exiled nation, Western Sahara”

Duration: 1 hour

VENUE: Day School


When we talk about Utopia we talk about goals and dreams for a better society, a better world. There are nations in the world for whom conflict, war, and international interests have denied or stopped the possibility of them building it. This workshop presents the situation of one of those nations, Western Sahara, and their will to continue living.

Utopias are many times seen as big dreams, and the Saharaui dream for an independent land is a big dream which has been blocked for decades. But the dream is alive, which many believe, work and fight for. However, in this workshop we aim to present the daily utopias, things that seemed impossible, of a nation living in the desert. A nation invisible for a good part of the world. Did you know about the green gardens on sand? Did you know there is publishing house in the middle of a refugee camp?



Sjors Beenker, International Peace Professional since 2005: civilian peace keeper and presidential election observer in Sri Lanka; trainer Alternatives to Violence in Armenia; guest teacher ‘peace’ to 9-12 year olds in the Netherlands; compressed PhD program ‘Peace and Conflict Resolution’ student in Bangkok/Nepal; international observer Morocco/Western Sahara; mediator to couples in Turkey and Denmark; trainer ‘nonviolence’ to homeless in Amsterdam; workshop leader ‘shanti sena’ all over Europe; and much more.

Delia Arzoz, DNS student, Peace Justice Conference co-organizer and future teacher.