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Democracy in Dakar
Producer: Nomadic Wax and Sol Productions
66 minutes

Democracy in Dakar

"Democracy in Dakar" explores the transformative role of Hip-Hop in politics in Senegal, West Africa during the 2007 presidential election campaign. This documentary mixes interviews, freestyles, and commentary from journalists, artists and politicians. Senegalese society is seen on the brink of democratic change, where Hip-Hop artists are one of the few groups unafraid of speaking out.
Pricing & Ordering
Buyer Type Format Sale Type Price
Higher Education Institutions DVD Sale $275.00
Higher Education Institutions DVD w/Soundtrack Sale $375.00
K-12, Public Libraries & Select Groups DVD Sale $79.95
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"Democracy in Dakar is a film that all urban youth should see. It is a movement that has come full circle and return back to the United Sates." - Jessica Peavey, Educational director at TRUCE NYC
"Democracy in Dakar is a captivating analysis of the political scene in Senegal seen through the eyes of young hip hop artists and activists. Intellectually vibrant and artistically brilliant, this film brings to light a new way of seeing how young people engage with democracy. Herson, McIlvaine, and Moore seamlessly weave together a narrative of frustration, hope, and empowerment as a new generation finds its political voice." - Prof. Emily Musil, History & International Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
"I have screened Democracy in Dakar three times... I await with baited breath for Democracy in Paris!" - Christina Anderson, UNANCA Member - Chair of 2007 UN Week Event, UN & Hip Hop: Bridging the Gap
"Our viewers loved the unique take on African politics and global music culture." - Andrew Fitzgerald, Current TV
"Our crowd was captivated! It's no surprise that it has consistently risen to the top of our Documentaries Channel month after month." - Stephanie Fellingham, Our Stage
"I highly recommend Democracy in Dakar to any sensate creature in the Millennium age." - Sarah Walsworth Diouf, Assistant Director, Institute of African Studies, Columbia University
"The African Underground All Stars performance drew a large crowd and by all accounts was a great success. One of the concert highlights at Wesleyan University in a long time." - Prof. Eric Charry, Wesleyan University, Author of Mande Music
"The rappers took turns with rhymes that were by turns poignant and message-driven, all over sample-laced beats, accompanied by live musicians on percussion and brass instruments....Their rhymes...speak about Africa and their life experiences...." - The Hartford Advocate
"[Democracy in Dakar] is balanced and expresses its viewpoint with a certain charm that belies its subject matter and proved itself to be incredibly thought-provoking for the students at the school who were engaged in the discussion that followed the screening...The event proved to be a huge success all in all...In my 12/13 years of promoting events around the world, this would easily rate as one of the most positive that I have had the honor of being a part of, and that is saying something." - Mark Kets, Idyllwild Arts Academy
"Hip-Hop is not dead, at least not in Africa. That was the consensus after a recent screening here of the forthcoming documentary, 'African Underground: Democracy in Dakar.'" - Shane Brown, One World US (
"The documentary project, 'Democracy in Dakar; highlights the impact hip hop artists have had on the democratic process in Senegal, shedding light on the politics of one of francophone Africa's more stable democracies and showing the contradictions that lie just below the surface." - Msia Kibona Clark,
"A mixture of journalism, academic inquiry, internet reality TV, and hip-hop activism- it was fresh and current as any news item but had the Senegalese as the protagonists, not the anchormen, and this mad it something exciting to witness." - Lydia Martin, World Music
"The 'Democracy in Dakar' documentary follows the 2007 election and gives a down to earth perspective on the public opinion on the current leadership alongside interviews and performances from Senegalese rappers, giving their honest, undiluted stand point on the state of the country. The documentary alone is an intriguing insight into the sociopolitical structure of Senegal....If you are looking to get a deeper outlook on what's happening in Senegal both musically and politically or if you just want to listen to some fresh African hip-hop, then you must take a look at this highly motivated, politically conscious project." - Luke Branston, BBC NEWS
"The intersection of hip-hop and activism gets a lot of lip service in the U.S., but the reality is that popular rap music is still mostly about the bling, not the political ring. That's not the case in Senegal, where political hip-hop thrives." - Christopher Porter, The Washington Express
"Many Americans view commercial hip hop as little more than a venue for scantily clad women and shallow lyrics about drugs, fast cars and fast cash. But on the West African stage, hip hop is proving to be a political weapon, capable of inciting rebellion and change...The artists say that their desire to educate is what sets Senegalese hip hop apart from its American counterpart. The musicians have a preference for substance over entertainment value." - Kai Beasley, Black College Wire
"The African Underground concert here at Marywood was energizing and entertaining as performers played to the crowd, inspiring students to respond to and participate in the music. The concert was not only fun, but also politically charged. Most students had not been exposed to alternative hip hop, and they were blown away by the talent and the energy of the performers, with many students commenting specifically on Blitz the Ambassador and Baay Musa. The buzz after the concert was fantastic. The students and I felt inspired to support alternative hip hop and the social justice issues it engages." - Dr. Laurie McMillan, English Department, Marywood University
"Nomadic Wax was hip, professional, polished, on point, and edgy enough to make a difference with our audience. They speak, present, and perform from a grounding of great conscience and confidence; their sense of purpose and justice is infectious." - Dan Scheibe, Middlesex Boarding School
"Democracy in Dakar is a powerful and thought provoking insight into the relationship between politics and music at the heart of senegal. A reminder that Hip Hop has a strength and voice to affect important social change in the populations that politicians overlook." - Lauren Roth de Wolf, Kalabash Movement,
"Democracy in Dakar, and a performance of the African All Stars is a must have for any school! The amount of education and entertainment brought by these pieces is incredible. The film helps to raise awareness to an economic and political issue that the world knows little about, and students benefit highly from this perspective. The performance is enthralling, and gets students and staff who may not be into Hip Hop fully involved. It is an incredible package!" - Jamal Reid, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Vermont Academy
"Thanks guys for such a wonderful show. It all worked so well: the film, where you let the people speak for themselves, your very interesting observations during the Q and A, and then finally the actual music. It was truly wonderful, and they learned more in one period in your assembly than they would carry away from an equivalent class (or three or four), which was the intent of the French teachers - you've made it easy to learn something that would come in a lot more boring covers under other circumstances." - Tina Thuermer, Alumni Coordinator, Washington International School
"Presents the Senegalese capital of Dakar as a global center of hip hop, claiming that 3,000 groups are actively creating this style of music in the Wolof language... Combining freestyle hip hop segments with interviews of journalists, artists, and politicians, this is recommended for African studies collections and fans of world music." - P. Hall, Video Librarian Journal
"Music can call people to action and become a site of political struggle, both supporting and resisting the regime in power. DEMOCRACY IN DAKAR is a smart film that makes this point in the context of Senegal. The subject is hip hop and rap music, and the setting is the years of the administration of Abdoulaye Wade, including his first electoral victory in 2000 and his subsequent and much more controversial re-election in 2007. Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of art/music, political anthropology, and African studies, as well as general audiences." - Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database

• Winner, Accolade Film Festival
• Winner, Current TV Online Competion
• Winner, Our Stage Online Competion
• Winner, Texas Black Film Festival
• Winner, Media That Matters
• Bermuda International Film FestivalKenyan Film Festival
• Africa Fete
• Festival International Du Film Sur Les Droits Humains
• Vibe Magazine Urban World Film Festival
• Vibe Magazine Urban World Film Festival
• Black Soil-Black Arts Film Festival
• New Orleans Human Rights Film Festival
• Kenyan Film Festival
• Boston International Film Festival
• Tri-Continental Film Fesival

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