Censorship is at an all-time high in Senegal. This Saturday, September 17, 2022, it was the prefect, who by a sovereign law, decided “unilaterally” to cancel a concert in front of an audience of less than 300 people. This Wednesday, September 21, 2022, it is the turn of the Direction de la Cinématographie, the equivalent in Senegal of the CSA in France, to cancel the broadcast of the television series “Rebels” by the production company Marodi TV. Tomorrow, it will be the turn of which authority to enter the stage. The question remains.
“Rebels” is shaking the Direction de la Cinématographie, in Senegal. It’s a shakedown. The instances, like earthworms on which we have just poured acid, are agitated in all directions. The first broadcast of “Rebels” should take place this Wednesday, September 21, 2022. But, following a “formal notice” from the Direction de la Cinématographie to stop filming and remove the trailer from its Youtube channel, the Marodi TV channel was forced to deprogram the long-awaited series by the Senegalese. An incomprehensible decision that never ceases to make Internet users react.
Senegal continues to fall low according to some Internet users disappointed by this unexpected decision. An Internet user on Marodi TV’s Facebook page drops: “I’m not at all surprised. The rebel series denounces injustice, corruption within African governments especially West Africa during the trailer of this series I asked myself many questions”. Another sweeps this vision and says, “You know very well that it was not going to pass you stupid. They are right, it can undermine the stability of this country. You don’t even measure your actions, you’re just motivated by the profit of the project. For a Senegalese aware of what this war has caused, he will never endorse such a series. You deliberately use Diola names, casamance… and you think it would pass quietly. You really have the nerve to think that you can deal with such a sensitive subject”. There are different opinions. But the vast majority of comments are disappointed and do not understand this decision of the Cinematography Directorate.
Everything was ready, according to Marodi TV. On the Youtube page of the production channel, we were watered by some unreleased sequences. From the reading we were given to make, it is a beautiful film. One of the most beautiful in terms of content, images and castings. Rebels is a didactic film, because inspired by real facts even though the subject is sensitive. Is this not the very essence of modern cinema? Rebels is a film that draws as much from various facts as from the imagination. It presents itself as a series in several episodes bathed in realism and fiction. A man rolls in the mud against a backdrop of flushing noise. It’s about telling the country’s story to the nascent generation. We are in Casamance. The separatist rebels and the regular army are waging a war against imperialist interests. A newly promoted politician arrives at the presidential cabinet, displaying his ambitions. One thing led to another, he will find himself at the heart of a state plot.
This decision, thumbing its nose at democracy
This avalanche of censorship is unprecedented in Senegal. A country that has gradually landed in a sub-region plagued by chronic instabilities leading to censorship. What motivated this decision? The CEO of the production company Marodi, Serigne Massamba Ndour, evokes that he had been informed that this series presented: “risks of disturbance of public order”, without however telling him whether: “this is the title, this is the content, this is such sentence”.