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Alternative Title

Hip hop and youth political engagement in contemporary Senegal

Publication Date


First Advisor

Jeffrey Ahlman

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Africana Studies


Political engagement, Youth, Civil society, Hip hop, Music, African politics


This study explores youth political engagement in contemporary Senegal. Senegalese youth use various platforms to express their political dissent, protest the conditions they live in, and even voice support for the government. Youth engagement with political and social issues through art such as hip-hop is the main focus of this study. Since the late 1980s, lyrics and images advocating for political and social reform have flooded the streets of cities all over Senegal in hopes of elevating people’s voices. Today, artists continue to use their platforms to be the voice of the youth during a period of turmoil. My investigation into Senegalese urban culture highlights that youth involvement is not always easily captured in survey data on political engagement (e.g., discussing politics, voting). Even if Senegalese youth are not turning out to vote in high numbers, they are engaged in other forms of political life. The study has implications for studying and understanding youth political engagement, and the systems that constrain it.


©2019 Aminata Diallo. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




113 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 105-113)