AfricanBamba Human Rights Film Festival Project

AfricanBamba Human Rights Film & Arts Festival in Thiaroye, Senegal 3° edition took place from 12 to 16 November 2014 at the Centre Culturelle Jacques Chirac and other venues in Thiaroye, in the banlieue of Dakar. The festival presented film screenings, debates, music and sport to focus on women and children human rights issues. The festival was organised by AfricanBamba in partnership with Movies that Matter, Netherlans Embassy in Dakar, ActionAid International, Human Rights Nights, Marie Stopes International and La Comune de Djiddah Thiaroye Kao.

AfricanBamba Human Rights Film and Arts Festival – first human rights film festival in Senegal – showcases human rights and social issues documentaries to raise awareness and inspire change. AfricanBamba Human Rights Film Festival uses films as a mean to address urgent social issues: primary goal is to engage youth and the community towards positive social change and empowerment by raising awareness on human rights through the support of films screenings.

AfricanBamba had successfully inaugurated its 1° edition in 2012 with a programme of film screening, music concerts, arts exhibitions, building up a very significant community event in Senegal to debate and raise awareness on social contemporary issues affecting young people, with a special focus on Migration. In 2013 the Festival has continued with a 2° edition focused on Youth and Women, introducing also community screenings in the streets of the banlieue and free health checks and vaccinations for women and children.

AfricanBamba Human Rights Film and Arts Festival final 3rd edition was in 2014, focused on Boolo – Community and Non Violence, with a strong programme of film and debates, music and theatre performance, sports for peace, and continuing free health checks, vaccinations and family planning for women and children.

The potential of youth in the world, and particularly of African youth in countries such as Senegal, is enourmous and unfortunately yet not at all exploited: energy, dreams and hopes are crashed under pressing poverty, lack of employment and huge unequalities in the world economic system. Gender is a main factor for development and opportunity in Senegal, and young women are unfortunately very often in severe conditions which do not allow them to emancipate and fulfill their potential. AfricanBamba itself aims to become a project where such energy could be channelled to allow for youth and women’s empowerment in the community.

Core programme of the festival are the screening of films focused on human rights. Trying to engage participation from the community, AfricanBamba uses films as a medium to start discussion on themes that require urgent attention in the banlieue – from youth unemployment to migration, from early marriage to women’s emancipation, from street children to education and non violence. Youth resistance and women’s empowerment are portrayed through films, to celebrate and learn from the efforts that youth and women are making in other parts of the world and in Africa, facing similar difficulties and challenges, hopefully provocking inspiration towards positive social change also at local level.


AfricanBamba Human Rights Film & Arts Festival – first festival in Senegal dedicated to human rights films – is becoming a very important opportunity for community building and for creating alliances and networks at local and global level which facilitate also throughout the year projects towards development, empowerment, education and for the voicing of the concerns of the community, whilst offering an opportunity to debate issues – such as for instance, migration, street children exploitation, flooding, youth unemployment, gender inequality or violence. These and others key urgent themes are addressed during the festival through different artistic modalities, for then been discussed formally and informally throughout the day

The festival is one key opportunity for us to communicate to our governors, to our people and to the world what are our dreams, our worries, how we would see a social just and peaceful world. The Festival provides us in fact with one the very few opportunities for the youth of the banlieue to be exposed to socially engaged cinema – feature films and documentaries from around the world – and is an important chance for the community to be actively involved in a participatory programme of direct engagement on human rights, where films can act as tools for advocacy and voicing concerns of the community. The festival would ideally become – year after year – a permanent space where socially oriented communication, voicing of concerns, sharing of experiences and information / awareness would be happening at the local level, whilst globally connected.

The festival have a significant impact on the community of Thiaroye. For the youth of Thiaroye the location of the festival in the banlieue rather than in Dakar or Goree means recognition in itself and increases the identity of the festival as a participative project rooted in the community. In Thiaroye, where is very rare the presence of NGOs or international organisations, the festival is in fact viewed as a new way for the community to engage, be recognised and express themselves on their urgent social issues.


annually from November to Januar- next 4th edition: 10th December 2015, 3-6 March 2016


AfricanBamba Festival hub is Centre Culturelle Jacques Chirac, a community centre Central venue of the festival is Centre Culturelle Jacques Chirac, which is centrally located in Thiaroye and is renowned by the community, as it is a centre for youth engagement against drugs and abuse through sports. The venue will be set up with an open air screening space, a conference room, an outdoor performance stage and a bistrot cafè. The venue can host up to 400-500 people. The cinema screenings will happen in an area that is dedicated and that holds from 100 to 200 people. AfricanBamba Festival organises screening also in the banlieue neighbourhood,   in the streets and main squares of Thiaroye and the last after festival screening on the Malika beach.


  • to raise awareness on human rights and social contemporary issues, using films as key tools to start debates
  • to strenghten community building and create alliances at local and global level, for advocacy and social change
  • to create spaces for participation and representation of the concerns of the community


  • young people of Thiaroye
  • women and children (specific screenings and projects designed for involvement)
  • local community (for raising awareness projects on social issues and human rights and
  • the environment)


AfricanBamba Human Rights Film & Arts Festival features 5 full days of film screenings and 3 debates dedicated to the issues of human rights. In anticipation to the festival we organise 5 film community screenings in the banlieue neighborhood, schools and the university to promote the festival and start to engage the audience. We will also organise one final screening event on the beach of Malika. Alongside a few collateral events will be organised: an opening concert of traditional

Senegalese music, 1 theatre performance, 1 closing sport event.

3 debates on the main themes of the festival are organised during the festival by AfricanBamba in partnership with international NGOs, local association and the participation of local authorities and human rights activists to debate within the community of the issues that are more urgent for the people. In 2012 the theme was Migration, in 2013 the themes were Youth and Women, in 2014 the theme were Boolo – Community and Non Violence.

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