About movie

Messages by Music – Senegal in transition

Original title Messages Musicaux – Le Sénégal en transformation


MESSAGES BY MUSIC examines a society in transition towards modernity: Senegal. In this West-African country there is a tradition of transmitting messages through music. This is true for the featured traditional singers (griots) as well as their contemporary musical counterparts: Awadi, renowned rapper and Pan-Africanist, and R&B-singer Facoly. These younger artists embody the modern, or progressive, aspects of Senegal. Their worldviews challenge traditional conventions. They each express a dynamic vision of society whereas the three griots reflect a static society. Contrasting the griots with the modern musicians, the film provides an insight into contemporary Senegalese culture. Depicting Senegal’s diversity with respect to ethnic backgrounds, languages, and religious beliefs, this documentary strives to understand one growing African nation, but has relevance to any shifting African society.

Author/s Cornelia Strasser

Bio & Filmo of Cornelia Strasser, author and director 2013 MESSAGES MUSICAUX, doc, 76’ 2011 AMIET, doc, 52\’ (in collaboration with Iwan Schumacher) 2008 BALKAN BLUES, doc, 55\’ 2004 CONTINUITY & TRANSFORMATION, doc, 19\’ 2002 INTO THE STORY, doc, 22\’ 2001/2002 UNE ENTENTE ARCHITECTURALE, doc, 15’ HÄUSER WIE SKULPTUREN, doc, 15’ STRATEGIEN DER VERLANGSAMUNG, doc, 15’ AUF DER SUCHE NACH DEM ALLGEMEINEN, doc, 15’ 1990 – Working for the print- and the TV-media as author, journalist, editor and producer 1990 Master in Cultural Anthropology, German Literature, and Philosophy, University of Zurich 1961 Born in the city of Kreuzlingen, Switzerland

Research Cornelia Strasser
Photography Adam Sie, Mamadou Dia, Moussa Seydi, Tino Diop, Ousmane Gaye, Michael Moussa Dvorak
Sound Adam Sie, Mamadou Dia, Moussa Seydi, Tino Diop, Ousmane Gaye, Michael Moussa Dvorak
Editing Ruth Schläpfer