black teraanga bloc

Introductory notes by Abdourahmane Seck

Over the last few years, Senegalese social, cultural and political events have been marked by a recurrent pattern of verbal, physical and psychological violence that suggests a public space accommodating mentalities and behaviors that harm the social bond and physical integrity of citizens and foreign guests living in our communities. The Senegalese public space, in spite of a sometimes avant-gardist legislation, seems to experiment an unequal, inhospitable and violent social reproduction whose first victims are the spaces of critical thought, the women, the young people, the migrants, the environment, the Commons and the biodiversity.

This trend is translated into violations of the law of parity, the constitution of militias in the pay of political and religious leaders; the progression of bigotry against spaces of critical thought; the recrudescence of human insecurity; the rise of pre-emptions on community resources and the immunity protocols guaranteed to economic criminals; the calls for beatings and even murder against those who express a point of view different from the socially expected of this or that pressure group, and the generalized corruption that gangrene all professions.

The root and the nourishing sap of this regression, with respect to all the standards for a less submissive, less mediocre and more dignified life, is this great crisis of conviviality that the post-colony represents. And this is the challenge that the GAEC (Group of Action and Critical Study – Africa) wants to address: how to reinvent, reconfigure and rebirth inclusion and trust in the political project of society, and especially around which levers, knowledge and actions engage the whole social body in this sense? How, indeed, and under what conditions could we mobilize and (re)teach our societies the meaning of appeased pluralism? How can we intervene on the asymmetry of power relations between men and women and thus eradicate gender-based violence? How can we curb the monopolies and pre-emptions that are an essential basis for the general impoverishment of society? How to make ourselves available again to the urgent care we owe to our living environment? How to make triumph and protect, at the heart of our social contracts, an authentic ethic of teraanga or the sense of hospitality?

The GAEC – Africa considers that it is the social and historical responsibility of the academic community, political leaderships, civil society players, development partners, and above all, of each member of our diverse communities, to act here and now, with great urgency.

The absence of a regular, well-informed and high-quality public debate seems to us to be one of the major problems that impedes the emergence of an inclusive social contract based on a dynamic of social emancipation or on the political horizon of teraanga.

It is thus a question of understanding in order to act and of acting by understanding. In this perspective, our bloc is driven by two main and joint dimensions: co-production of knowledge and transformational actions. On the one hand, it is a question of better taking up the challenge of understanding the system of political, social, cultural and religious values that affects the ‘vivre-ensemble’ in Senegal, that impact negatively the social condition of various groups (women, youth, migrants), various resources (forests, biodiversity, oceans), but also spaces (neighborhoods, domestic and professional contexts). On the other hand, through pedagogical initiatives and social movements of different scope and nature, it is a matter of producing actions of sharing, awareness and popular education in order to promote a positive change of mentality and behaviors, in short: to produce a new society marked by a protective, inclusive, solidary and sustainable ‘vivre-ensemble’.

The tools of orality (discourses and imaginaries of everyday life), of research-action (co-production of knowledge) and of convivial pedagogy (learning in doing and sharing) will be placed at the beginning and at the end of the process that the project will implement.

Three types of actions will be carried out in a joint and cross-fertilizing way, with the central objective of generating a base of innovative curricula in the field of the protective and inclusive social link or teraanga:


1-Investigate and make good use of the experts’ voices, thus guaranteeing access to verified and accessible information through podcasts, WhatsApp content and other social networks, videos and manuals.

2-Listen to the testimonies of those concerned and make them heard, thus making room in the public debate for those who are the first victims by the issues raised.

3- Promote direct peaceful actions in terms of raising awareness and social mobilization of strategic relay spaces such as schools, universities, neighborhoods, cultural centers and collectifs youth, leaderships and community bases.

The originality of this project is the need to propose collective and concerted initiatives around new ways of knowing, mobilizing, raising awareness and rallying communities in the perspective of a more inclusive and critical ‘vivre-ensemble’ towards all forms of violence: those based on gender, those directed against biodiversity, those constituted by the misappropriation of public funds, those that result in the denial of rights to equitable access to basic social services such as water, health, education, decent housing, decent work, food quality, or the opportunity to travel. These collective and concerted actions will be as much about direct action as about alternative pedagogical action. The project’s experience also aims to interrogate the oral heritage of our communities in order to restore the mechanisms by which it promotes social justice, inclusion, advocacy and resilience. This experience is also one of collaboration between witnesses, victims, academics, professionals, and volunteers from diverse backgrounds, all of whom are committed to issues of societal transformation, to open up a new opportunity for the humanities and social sciences: that of ending the tyranny of “only practice” or “only research” which so far does not seem to have worked well. In this sense, this project is also a project of critical humanities, socially engaged in the field of epistemic, historical, and political reparations.

Every year, Gaec-Africa organizes large-scale public actions in the form of Campaigns, Exhibitions and Festivals, based on its research themes, training programs and conversations with communities. These events allow us to work on issues, topics and knowledges that are then proposed as itinerant didactic resources throughout Senegal and the sub-region. These events are therefore tools for raising awareness and for taking intellectual, social and political positions on the major issues that traverse the life of African societies and its diasporas, as well as on the major challenges that shake the global world of which we are witnesses and beneficiaries.

Let’s cut to the chase.  Breaking the structure of the imperialists’ takeover of the African continent, particularly of its French-speaking part. Breaking the imaginaries and the preparatory speeches to the friendly pat on the shoulder… the one which console, ever since, the rape of a people.
We carry the OIAO in our baptismal font to support the outbursts of anger and indignation, the snubs and rebellions, increasingly uncontrollable, which, from our diasporas confined to the dark quarters of the former colonial metropolises to the cities and fields of our forsaken nation-states, allow us to hear the current coming directly to the old world and its ancient achievements. Our aim is unambiguous. To provide this formidable momentum with a scientific and theoretical tool that will break down, once and for all, the hegemonic morality of the imposture of the old and new imperialisms in Africa, under their various and fallacious pretexts. In the present historical moment, this implies, to a great extent, a task of critical nourishment of the current and future mobilizations, which preserves them from the childishness of conspiratorial discourses, characterized by trapping our efforts to divert them better. The OIAO wants to provide this nourishing framework, through a rough inventory of figures and dates, conventions and frameworks, stakeholders and relations, weapons and crimes, conferences and betrayals, from summit to summit, from 1884 to today. The OIAO wants to be this crucible of political, critical and organizational rearmament of the new struggles for liberation that are being carried out in the continent, and that are so vigorously manifested through the brutal rejection of the gatekeepers: intellectuals, politicians, socio-religious leaders, businessmen, intermediaries committed to the shameful chain of command that keeps the continent on its knees. But not for much longer.

They cover meetings and conversations with and around professions, craftsmen, artists, and authors, around activities and spaces dedicated to initiations to languages, know-how, and professions in the form of visits to workshops, conferences, and training modules between authors, artists, masters of crafts, and various audiences. That includes writing, cinema and crafts workshops. These activities, spaces, meetings and practical work are organized for training purposes but also for the co-production of knowledge materialized by the realization of collective or individual archives, notably in the framework of the Oral History Library Project of Saint-Louis.

There is a second component. That is a matter of organizing moments of community convergence for the assumption of technological, social and environmental challenges, aiming to increase the level of resistance of the communities in the face of the aggressions related to the economic decline, the effects of the climate change, the crisis of the spaces of sociability and generational transmission of the tangible as well as the intangible heritages (infrastructures, knowledge and know-how) It is also a question of creating tools for the production of knowledge, measurements, and the monitoring of changes and trends in attitudes and opinions regarding societal and international issues.

black teraanga bloc
black teraanga bloc



Panel Citoyen GAEC Africa - Saint Louis, 23 juillet 2023

Le programme Ndar Dèmb ak Tay reçoit Baba Badji, poète et écrivain, Professeur à l'Université de Rutgers, dans le cadre de sa résidence d'écriture au GAEC-Afrique. Ce Panel Citoyen sur l'Afrique qui (nous) attend et que nous attendons, est organisé avec : le projet Dakar Translation Symposium, l'ONG Hahatay, le laboratoire POEME, Rutgers Global, l'UASZ, Rutgers Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, l'UCAD, NYU Global Inclusion, Diversity and (...)