Amoniak – “a name, a passion or just a pun in the Wolof language” – formed in 2011 and is currently the largest collective of graffiti artists in Senegal. Young artists from different cities (including Dakar, Pikine, Yeumbeul Thiaroye and Rufisque) get together, united by the same passion – their love for art and graffiti.
The group comprises of some of the best local graffiti artists and they have been involved in the big hip hop festivals in Senegal. Although the anchor for the group is in Dakar, this does not prevent members from initiating projects around the country. Education and social awareness, including the fight against malaria, AIDS, and poverty, are all things that Amoniak enjoys being involved with. Several villages in various regions have benefited by works painted on the walls of elementary schools.
“We are committed to open to the world, to bring our art to the underprivileged, painting a better world and to restore the aesthetic of colour to our lives.”
In 2013, they started a festival, or more specifically, a Kaffrine – KAFFGRAFF. The festival consists of studio painting, drawings and writing in schools, and murals made with live participants and local people.
The group believes painting live in front of people is important because it presents the art to them as an experience, instead of in the form of mundane lectures. With the help of NGO’s, the shared experiences with street children has made the group aware that through art, a child can feel comfortable in his skin and explore his free spirit. “Children need to touch to capture images, and through the exchange, it was found that they can freely express themselves through colours, lines and forms.”
Passionate and committed, the Amoniak group gain ground and spread their positive messages. With hopes of safer streets, their work decorates disadvantaged neighborhoods with multi-coloured art works, challenging and educating people too.
FB page: http://www.facebook.com/amoniak.nh3