watch a festival
Eighth Annual Festival
African Underground: Hip Hop in Senegal
Director: Magee McIlvaine, Ben Herson, and Chris Moore
Producer: Nomadic Wax and Sol Productions
Winner of the Roots & Rhymes Award
ABOUT THE FILM
More About African Underground: Hip Hop in Senegal from Director Ben Herson
I was inspired to make this film when I was writing my thesis in college about the role of Hip Hop in the 2000 presidential election and the positive impact that young people had on creating non-violent peaceful change in their country. The story inspired me to start Nomadic Wax - a global Hip Hop record label and film/events production company.
Our longer film, African Underground: Democracy in Dakar, of which this piece is just one part, explores the transformative role of Hip Hop on politics in Senegal, West Africa during the February 2007 presidential election campaign. Looking at the election through the eyes of Hip Hop artists around Dakar, Senegal’s capital, 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 not afraid of speaking out, despite real attempts at intimidation. Originally shot as a series of shorts distributed online, African Underground: Democracy In Dakar explores the boundaries of guerrilla-style film production and distribution.
Since the production of the film, there have been many developments in Senegal. Many opposition parties have boycotted parliamentary elections, many journalists have been arrested and newspapers that have voiced opposition have been shut down. Change is still occurring in Senegal and we hope that this film will help support the non-violent movement towards a more efficient democratic government.