Montreal brings Graffiti Art to Senegal – 2M Graff International Festival

Posted on March 12, 2011


Africa…Africa: beautiful, motherland, exotic, lush, hungry, educated, walking, exploited, hurt, neglected, raped, diverse. Africa is a undeniably a continent with its very own history and each side of its landscape has a different account to relate. The cultures of this continent are breathtaking yet diverse from East Africa to North Africa…South Africa to West Africa.

In essence, taking this historical narrative into account, there have been many visions for this distinct continent over the centuries and if one were to pop in Nas and Damian Marley‘s latest album, one may hear and listen to so many things said and told about a continent pillaged over and over again to this very second where the struggle for so many of its children continues. There is no denying the reality. The reality that as I am typing this piece and that as you are reading this, a child in Africa has already died of either hunger, polio, AIDS or rape and violence. Africa is a continent in which one may spot a child soldier clad in torn garments, cigarette in mouth, not knowing what his/her tomorrow will bring.

All children deserve the right to education and basic necessities from clean drinking water to electricity. Having mentioned this, I recently crossed an initiative spearheaded by my very own beautiful sisters from Montreal’s Essencia Crew who will be travelling to Senegal for a humanitarian cause while bringing their colours and soul to the fore.

In essence, this coming 27th of March, 5 members of the Essencia Crew (SHALAK, FIYA, AISHAA, MARIEL, and Nomadic Massive’s MEDUZAH) will be traveling to Senegal to participate in the 2M Graff International Festival in the Nioro du Rip.

Some of us had the privilege of meeting with or crossing paths with Fanny Aisha, Gigi and Shalak’s beautiful work at Under Pressure here in Montreal or elsewhere in the Americas. Undoubtedly, their art, manifested in many forms beyond the Graffiti medium can be crossed over two continents and after their trip to Senegal, will be seen across three.


While Fanny Aisha, Gigi and Shalak will be doing art and giving workshops, fellow photographer Mariel Rosenbluth with be taking photography and giving a workshop as well.

They will be giving Graffiti, Photography and Singing workshops during the festival and would like to leave TOOLS with the youth that will be participating, so that they may keep creating long after the festival ends.

They are asking for Simple but important DONATIONS to bring on our journey.

If you donate 25$ of more we will write your name on a wall in Senegal (Beside or on the murals/graffitis we will be creating as part of the festival. They will be taking pictures, so you can see how your donation is such an integral part of this positive action ;)…

What is also being accepted:

*Packages of Coloring pencils/ markers
*Softcover sketch books,
*Camaras ( any kind that are in functioning mode)
*Specialized CAPs for graffiti spraycans

*(small scissors/ exatco knives)
*(poster paper)
*(BIC pens)

Your donations can be dropped them off at these following specific sites or email them at ( to arrange a specific time and place. REMEMBER THE LAST DAY TO DONATE IS THE 25th of MARCH…

to be announced in the coming days

msg FIYA at


As a hip-hop artist and photographer myself, the humanitarian cause is quintessential for all individuals, young or old alike, to partake in. Whether one is doing Graffiti, b-boying/b-girling or hip-hop or any form or fashion of the art that they do, the aspect of sharing this art for the greater good of humanity is undeniably a responsibility. When it comes to donating one’s money or time for a cause that can and will definitely either significantly change someone’s life and leave a lasting positive impression what more can be priceless? In this regard, even donating $5 in supplies easily purchased at Dollarama, will without doubt, go a very long way.