The ñullest Wall

Artist: Radi-K-L Bomb Shot Crew (RBS Crew)
Location: Dakar, Sacré Coeur 3, Liberté 6 sur la Voie de dégagement Nord (VDN)
Year: 2020
Researcher: Reine Bassene

The fresco named The Ñullest Wall is still visible on the Northern corridor of Dakar. The route is a passage for tens of thousands of Senegalese every day. The piece was originally made to remind Senegalese people of the messages of the Black rights advocate Stokely Carmichael also known as Kwame Ture (a key figure in the Black Panther Party). Additionally, the work was also intended - above all - to highlight an essential value in the collective's approach: Self-determination.

Interestingly, realisation of The Ñullest Wall coincided with the assassination of George Floyd in the United States in 2020. The work behind this fresco involved the participation of guest artists; Zeinixx Lfdm, Mystik de Am-o-niak Kru, Baye Ndiaga Diouf, Beenoush all evolving in the Senegalese Hip-Hop artistic milieu. Through works portraying Harriet Tubman, Cheikh Anta Diop, Kemi Seba, Omar Blondin Diop, Cheikh Ibra Fall, Winnie Mandela, the collective sought to show what commitment and determination can bring to a community.

The excellent visibility of the project has made it possible to communicate the message of self-determination to the people. It is intended to animate everyone; to inspire people to turn the message into a reality.

In its approach the collective seeks to move beyond the graphic style, and transmit a discourse whose perception will reflect aspirations for the continent and its pan-Africanist militancy.

Seeking to materialise its commitment, and to have a strong impact on the community, the collective has set up an academy titled RBS ACADEMYA.

The academy is intended to communicate the technical foundations of graffiti and tools that will allow the younger generations to redefine their scriptural approach, through incorporating a pan-African cultural background. This model, still not widespread in Africa, is intended to be the foundation of the academy, while recalling the way many traditional African societies teach and learn.

In African societies teaching and learning was traditionally done in generational groups and translated into experimentation and observation. Students come from different backgrounds and have often arrived at the academy via word of mouth or via social networks. Generally, the approach comes from these young people who join the academy.

For RBS Crew, the question has become one of how to transmit and share knowledge, using a philosophical approach compatible with the many challenges present in Africa.

In keeping with the logic of self-determination, the school aims at a completely autonomous management, and to promote digital inclusion. The economic model is thus based on membership fees, with artists who have won contracts, commisions and/or awards offering a percentage to the academy.

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The creative concept and artistic features of the artwork Radi-k-l Bomb Shot (RBS) CREW arose from the work of a graffiti collective who claim to be pan-African. Created in 2012 by MAD ZOO TRK, KING MOW 504 and KRAFTS, this collective now brings together thirty members in Africa, the United States and Europe, and is one of the most active in the world of graffiti in Senegal. For the collective, their Pan-Africanist philosophy must be reflected at all levels in their artistic approach. Apart from their jam sessions and their more spontaneous achievements, since 2014 they also organize traveling festivals throughout the regions of Senegal which also allows to convey their art outside the walls.

RBS CREW in its claim makes it a point of honour to raise awareness of the African and especially to remind them of their history through from different perspectives and sources. Its members advocate for a reconnection with what they consider to be another reality. Something different from that taught in schools: A more militant reality. The collective seeks through its achievements to highlight three perspectives that seem fundamental to them: spiritual, cultural, artistic.

The RBS Crew has produced many frescoes whose subjects are often topical. For example, its members collaborated at the African Contemporary Art Biennial in Dakar in 2018 with the DAPPER Foundation, a French foundation with which they created in the island of Gorée (Dakar) a mural to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal immigration.

The collective’s frescoes are generally very visible in the city and therefore necessarily appeal to passers-by. The works convey strong messages of self-determination and seek to rupture many paradigms in force within the economic situation on the African continent. The medium assists many to understand the messages of the works in a country where illiteracy exceeds 50%. The Ñullest Wall fulfils this mission of transmitting a philosophy and mindset of self-determination by presenting activists or heroic leading figures who worked for the betterment of the condition of their fellow citizens.

The collective, constituted in association, generally works with it's own funds. The members of the collective contribute and yield when they win awards or obtain funding, pay part of their remuneration to the Crew. In addition, they can also benefit from cash donations or in kind. This method follows on from when the group organised the Last World Tour, or when associations such as Colibri were able to support the initiative and enable young students from the regions of Senegal to learn the art of graffiti by developing themes such as women who have marked the history of Africa the environment to raise their awareness on ecology. The artists who participated in the realisation of the fresco worked with their own funds; their expenses manifested mainly in the purchase of sprays and paint, and possible rental of scaffolding.

The approach was inclusive and the members of the collective have. Invited other artists sharing their philosophy and evolving in the Senegalese Hip-Hop milieu.

Progress Agency