Negotiating a Feminist Musical Language in a Twenty First Century Senegalese Muslim Society

  • Samba Camara


This chapter examines the language of Muslim feminism as expressed in Senegal’s signature pop music genre called mbàllax. First, it defines and contextualizes Senegalese moderate Muslim feminism vis-à-vis global feminisms and as iterated in the country’s broader literary and artistic discourses. Then, it draws from selected Wolof pop songs to examine how female Senegalese Muslim musicians have used music to negotiate feminist expression and tease out latent patterns of gender inequity in a twenty-first-century majority-Muslim African country. In doing so, the chapter argues that the female mbàllax singers have created a modern musical language articulating a double-edged feminist social commentary that embodies a woman’s self-praise, on the one hand, and an anti-patriarchal satire, on the other.


Mbàllax Islam Muslim feminism Senegal Popular music 


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© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samba Camara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of African, African American and Diaspora StudiesUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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