Almost four years have elapsed since a Tunisian fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, triggered the biggest social and political upheaval of modern times in the Arab world by setting himself on fire. This turmoil, which would afterwards lead to rulers being forced out of power in Tunisia, opened a cataclysmic reaction in other states across North Africa and surrounding countries. The fall from grace of North African rulers continued in Egypt and Libya whilst tensions and protests were found in Algeria, Sudan, Mauritania, Djibouti and Western Sahara with Mali experiencing ‘fallout’ of what was called the ‘‘North Africa Spring’’ or “Arab Spring,”.
The spring brought many promises to the people of these regions. However, if it did help score some progress with regard to freedom of speech, it failed to deliver on peace, stability, and most of all on democracy.
The theme, ‘North Africa Spring’ will look at the impact of the spring from a social, economic and political perspectives. It will explore how communities living in these countries have managed to adapt to new structures, giving a microscopic lens to issues and situations they faced before, during and after the spring. From the phenomenon use of social media during the spring, to highlights of key individuals involved in the fight for freedom as well as rediscovering of old culture and traditions and stories that are coming out related to previous regimes, this theme will look at changes in these dynamics which will retrospectively lead to changes in how citizens go on their day to day basis. For example Berber communities, who were once suppressed and experiencing human rights violations are now being recognised as citizens in most of these states; there is now greater emphasis of freedom of speech which creates room for arts and social dialogue and many of these regions have experienced internal transformations and policy shifts in an attempt to recover from the spring.


USA/UK/ 2014/Arabic/ 92 mins
Director: Greg Barker
Synopsis: ordinary citizens face the same moral questions that have defined revolutionary leaders across the ages, from Jefferson to Che to Mandela. With remarkable access, the film takes its audience inside the lives of six extraordinary people who grapple with the agonizing and universal dilemmas at the heart of all struggles for justice and freedom: whether to take up arms and fight, or to advocate change through peace and non-violence.
Cinema & Co, Swansea: 24th October from 20.00        Book Tickets
Butetown History and Arts Centre, Cardiff: 17th October from 16.30      Book Tickets!



horses-of-god (1)

Morocco/2013/Arabic/115 mins
Director: Nabil Ayouch
After a stint in prison, a young man (Abdelilah Rachid) becomes a violent Islamic fundamentalist and recruits his younger brother (Abdelhakim Rachi) and the youth’s best friend (Hamza Souidek) to his cause.
Magic Lantern Cinema, Tywyn: 10th October from 14.45   Book Tickets
Birt Acres Lecture Theatre, Bute Building, Cardiff University: 29th October from 19.00      Book Tickets


Egypt/2014/Arabic/96 mins
Director: Ibrahim El Batout
Set against the momentous backdrop of the whirlwind Tahrir Square protests, Winter of discontent poetically explores the anguish of a victim state terror in 2009, presaging and intertwining with the pivotal events in 2011 that changed the face of Egypt. As the stories of the characters unfold, we are propelled headlong into the heady, often surreal atmosphere of terror and uncertainty that characterized the last days of Mubarak’s rule.
Cinema & Co, Swansea: 25th October from 20.00        Book Tickets 

Wales African Film Festival