Dakar: Who Wouldn't Love a City with All This Graffiti and Wall Art?
Bonjour de Dakar!
Here, graffiti is everywhere; it’s as if every wall is an opportunity for artistic, political and/or social statement. The more you look, the more you can learn about the city, its people, and their sentiments.
It’s my first day in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and one of the first things that struck me (visually) was the graffiti and wall art and designs that color the city. From political slogans to artistic creations, walls are a canvas for expression:
I met a young photographer named Ibrahima Thiam to chat about graffiti in the city, and the first person he brought up was Docta, a graffeur (graffiti artist) here in Dakar, and supporter of the Festigraff, an annual graffiti art festival in the city. In 2011, Docta described the role of graffiti and it’s artists, saying that “the true role of graffiti artists in Senegal is to use their work as a trampoline of communication between urban art and the population.” Docta’s work, which spans art, health, youth engagement and commentary, demonstrates the capacity for art to spur social development in the urban space.
Let’s see if we can track him down sometime in the next two weeks and learn more! Until then, enjoy the photos.
Victoria Okoye is founder of African Urbanism. A community planner, urbanist and communications professional based in Accra, Ghana, Victoria studied journalism, public policy and urban planning in the United States. Her passions: cities, urbanism in development (land use, placemaking and public spaces; arts, culture and urban creative economies; economic development and local/grassroots ...