Paper – Ambiguities of oppression: Engaged Chadian artist’s itinerary towards success
Mirjam de Bruijn and Chadian slam artist Didier Lalaye (aka Croquemort) wrote a paper together for the volume ‘Digital activism in the Social Media Era. Critical Reflections on Emerging Trends in sub-Saharan Africa’, edited by Bruce Mutsvairo.
In ‘Ambiguities of oppression: Engaged Chadian artist’s itinerary towards success’ De Bruijn and Lalaye follow the itinerary of the latter, to discover the reality of Chadian artists. The career of Didier Lalaye (aka Croquemort) reveals that an environment characterized by long and recurrent periods of unrest and oppression, but increasingly connected to ICTs and other innovative technologies is both an inspiration for engaged artists and a barrier to their development. We are witnessing a watershed moment in Chadian history where an emerging civil society is protesting and engaged artists are gradually gaining a space that allows them to contribute to political change. The analysis of Croquemort’s biography in context is at the core of this paper: understanding his ideas and experiences enables us to examine significant shifts in popular culture and politics. The paper is the result an interaction between the researcher and the artist, as a deep ethnographic encounter.