In what ecological context do refugee populations live? (Tindouf, Algeria)
The very definition of refugee camp indicates that it is a temporary settlement –limited existence in time- which offers shelter and protection in harsh conditions, while the conflict which caused the flight of the population from their homeland is resolved. There is hardly any data about living conditions for refugee populations and no long-term studies on the effects on the population.
The photograph which goes with this text was taken in 2016, in the Saharan refugee camp at Tindouf (Algeria). The Saharan population left their land –a former Spanish colony- in 1975 and fled from the war with Morocco, finding refuge in Tindouf, an inhospitable and uninhabitable place known as the Hamada Desert. There they have lived for over 42 years with an uncertain future in spite of UN recognition of their right to a fair decolonisation process beneath the shelter of international law.
Silvia Arias. Director of the Oficina de Acción Solidaria y Cooperación (Cooperation and Solidarity Action Office) at UAM