MESSAGES MUSICAUX – LE SÉNÉGAL EN TRANSFORMATION
Cornelia Strasser | Senegal, Switzerland 2013 | 76 Min. | OmeU
In Senegalese tradition messages are transmitted through music. The traditional musicians, called griots, were in charge of preserving the history of their ethnic group alongside with their ways of thinking and behaving. Their aim was to conserve society and its rules. Nowadays, in a changing world, the griots lost the bigger part of their power and importance in and for society. Their world is vanishing but not their methods.
Awadi, one of the first and best-known rappers in Western Africa, picked up the method of the griots to spread his message among the people. But unlike the griots, his aim is to change society. His messages have a completely different content than those of the griots. Awadi is fighting for Pan-Africanism, the United States of Africa. This movement cannot be understood without the context and consequences of colonialism.
The film MESSAGES BY MUSIC offers an insight into contemporary Senegalese society, reflecting its ethnic, linguistic, religious and musical diversity. In depicting one society in transformation from tradition to modernity, this documentary may have relevance to any growing and shifting African nation.