“Give me your hand” is a song that addresses racism against immigrants in Algeria, where it has sparked quite some controversy. For this reason, I had a conversation with Sadek, who wrote the song, in order to understand his point of view. I asked him to explain the song and the message behind it.
Lilas: First of all, can you please tell me who you are?
Sadek: I am an Algerian artist. I am a painter and singer, and I have established the band Democratoz. We have been singing this song together, as well as other songs.
Why has this song been so controversial in Algeria?
The song and video deals with racism against black immigrants who have fled their countries and come to Algeria to work, to study or to travel on to Europe. Many Algerians have forgotten that they are also Africans. With this song and video, I am trying to issue a wakeup call to people, telling them to open their hands and help and not to forget that we are all humans.
There are many symbols in the video. Would you like to explain some of them?
In the video you can see the immigrant girl surrounded by people wearing white T-shirts with red hearts on them. Those are the people who have opened their hearts to the girl, smiling at her and helping her in every way possible. At the end of the video, the girl starts to trust people. She takes my hand and can finally be a child again. People are reunited, and this ends the conflict.
What do you tell people who criticize the video?
They are saying that the song shows Algerians as racists, but that was not the aim of the video. I wanted to raise awareness about what immigrants go through on their way to finding a better future. So I tell people: Let’s get together and communicate, discuss this. Communication and talking is the most important way to end racism.
Would you like to add anything?
I wish all people would live together in peace and harmony. We should help and give our hands to others as long we can!
Interview by Lilas al Loulou (editor for “Encounter” Arabic)
Translation by Sarah Hartmann
Sadek Bouzinou is a member of “Encounter’s” editorial team since November 2017