Cinema du Desert is a Solar Mobile Cinema that has, since 2009, traveled the world overland bringing free cinema, play and joy to some of the most remote areas of the planet.
We mostly screen eco-awareness documentaries and cartoons.
Why this name? Because this cinema was born in the Sahara Desert, in the village of Korientze (located between Mopti and Timbuctu, Mali) during our 1st expedition in West Africa for Italian NGO Bambini nel Deserto.
We believe that free access to culture is "the foundation" for a better tomorrow, so we keep on spreading seeds around the globe because health also passes through culture and education.
We are strong believers in eco-responsibility, self-sustainability and the idea that "Education = Dignity".
During each of our expeditions, our crew of volunteers takes part in a variety of projects that improves the skills of the people we meet and, consequently, also their environment.
We use the power of images to create a bridge between cultures - so to deepen the dialogue about the dangers of globalisation and the challenges ahead - with the hope of developing sustainable social projects on the field whilst traveling and being creative at the same time!
Many of us were moved by a film we watched when we were young, that touched us and inspired our lives forever. Now we aim to trigger the same feeling to others!
Our Cinema is powered by the sun. Thanks to a photo-voltaic system, we store its energy in batteries and can guarantee 6 hours of screenings.
We pay careful attention to our Carbon Footprint. We estimate that by traveling overland in our vehicle (instead of flying), we cut our emissions by an average of 18% (by plane estimated in 11.4 T, by truck is 9.4 T, source: myclimate. Incredible but true!).
Going by truck also permits us to bring with us specific (and almost always heavy equipment, like for the "Tata project" or "Garage Italia") that otherwise would have to be shipped in a container, creating even more pollution. After every expedition we offset our carbon footprint by planting trees for the BnD project "Green Arrow", making our small contribution to stop the expansion of the Sahara desert (more info here) and helping the population of Burkina Faso's Sahel area with agricultural issues.
Mixing cinema with grassroots movements, with activism, with environmentalism, with people who are at risk of losing their livelihoods to just-for-profit structures. We aim to directly provide new information that can work as a trigger for some real palpable change in peoples' lives so to help them adapt to a rapidly changing world!
Empowering people through storytelling
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"If it's inaccessible to the poor it's neither radical or revolutionary"
• Mission: is Possible! (2009)
• Truck 4 Afrika (2011).
• Transahara (2013).
• Cinéma du Désert (2014)
• Parallèle 49/On the road to Mongolia (2015).
• Back 2 Sahara (2016).
• Artist Caravan 1 & 2 in the refugee camps of Idomeni and Thessaloniki (2016).
• North Italy's 'Cinema Solare Itinerante' (every summer since 2016).
• Back to West Africa (January-May 2017).
• Burkina Again! "Risk awareness campaign about illegal migration through the Sahara Desert and Libya" with CinemArena (Oct-Dec 2017).
• Ivory Coast (Nov. & Dec. 2018 / 2020) "CinemArena Côte d'Ivoire: Awareness campaign about risks of illegal migration and alternatives" in joint partnership with OIM Italia and AICS.
Other projects on the road
• Garbage disposal awareness actions (ML).
• Solar powered Ubuntu classrooms in 3 high-schools of Ouaga (BF).
• Garage Italia - for street kids to have a place to learn mechanic skills (BF).
• Radio Sangarani - A solar powered community ran radio station (ML).
• Renewal works in "Diallo" orphanage in NKC (RIM).
• Playground in the Desert (M).
• Festival International de Merzouga des musiques du monde (MA).
• Delivering humanitarian aid and cinema to the Greek refugee camps (GR).
• Agenzia Italiana per Ia Cooperazione allo Svilupo (AICS)
• Connect 4 Climate
• Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV)
• International Organization for Migration (UN Agency)
• Russian Federation
• Burkina Faso
• Côte d'Ivoire
• Islamic Republic of Mauritania
"When we are shown scenes of starving children in Africa, with a call for us to do something to help them, the underlying ideological message is something like: Don't think, don't politicize, forget about the true causes of their poverty, just act, contribute money, so that you will not have to think!”
If you like to use any of our photos or videos just email us please. Thank you!