5 - De bul faale à Y’en a marre : continuités et dissonances dans les dynamiques de contestation sociopolitique et d’affirmation citoyenne chez les jeunes au Sénégal

by Mamadou Dimé


youth, political protest, social criticism, power, Senegal, citizenship, democracy, poverty


Senegal’s socio-political history is punctuated by episodes of youth commitment in which they expressed themselves through violent forms, using arts or speech forms of defiance, protest and dissent vis-à-vis the political power. It is the case of “bul faale” phenomenon (meaning in wolof, «don’t mind») in the 90s when urban youth performed acts of political and social dissent through the powerful tool of socio-political denunciation that is rap music. It was also the case in late 2000s when young people violently braved the regime of President Abdoulaye Wade. “Y’en a marre” movement (in wolof, “we are fed-up”) played a crucial role by arousing, capturing and exploiting juvenile anger in 2011 and 2012. This paper aims to retrace the dynamics of juvenile sociopolitical contestation and citizenship affirmation in Senegal. We focus on a comparative analysis of “bul faale” and “Y’en a marre”. Through an analysis of the actors and the vicissitudes of the two movements, their “achievements” («uprooting the Socialist baobab» and Abdoulaye Wade’s fall), the socio-economic and political-institutional contexts and their evolution, we highlight the continuities and discontinuities in the socio-political contestation by juvenile dynamics.

Mamadou Dimé, Département de sociologie, Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, Saint-Louis, Sénégal. E-mail : mamadou.dime@ugb.edu.sn