100% Dakar, Sandra Krampelhuber’s documentary about Dakar’s thriving arts scene gives viewers an almost palpable sense of the energy that exists in the city.
Through interviews and sequences of the artists at work, we begin to understand the reasons for Dakar’s vitality and its creative boom, from the perspective of those who are at its forefront.
One of the main reasons Dakar has become a creative hub is the freedom that exists to create, something which cannot be taken for granted if we take into account some of the more authoritarian regimes that exist on the continent. As rapper Didier Awadi states:
“Freedom of expression is the key to understanding Dakar’s dynamism. It has always been this way. Under all [political] regimes you could express yourself, be critical. This is the power of Dakar. You can criticize and question everything.”
The new generation of creatives include fashion designers, musicians, graffiti artists, photographers, bloggers and dancers. They are hugely diverse in their backgrounds, aesthetics and aspirations but share some key commonalities; they are not looking to Europe or America for inspiration, but happily mining their own distinct urban environment – the crossroads and cultural melting pot that is Dakar – for their lyrics, images, themes and designs.
They are getting out there and creating, despite sometimes difficult circumstances and lack of institutional support.
They feed off each other’s ideas and energy, with the resulting collaborative work ethic creating a stronger and more unified presence.
Most importantly, they display a fierce passion and sense of ownership for what they have, a recognition that their city, their Dakar, has something to offer that is unique and cannot be found or replicated elsewhere.
Krampelhuber’s sensitive and non-intrusive style results in a real and authentic homage to the city that inspires the artists, and the artists who make the city come alive.
See the film’s website for more information and details of upcoming screenings.