Dakhla juts out into the Atlantic, a windblown peninsula at the western edge of the Sahara. Until recently, the few people who wanted to make their way to this desert outpost had to travel by bus from Morocco, over interminable flatlands and through multiple military checkpoints.
Today, a direct flight connects Casablanca and Dakhla, further contracting our world and strengthening Morocco’s grip on Western Sahara, a region it has occupied since 1976. Swiss windsurfers are welcome in what is known as “Africa’s last colony,” but journalists are not.
We arrived in Dakhla as guests of Salmou “Doueh” Baamar, a music vendor, electronics repairer, and family man widely considered the greatest musician in Western Sahara. He was hosting a massive wedding celebration for his eldest daughter, Oulaya, and we were there to make a film about it.