Cheikh Darou Seck, the MY HERO Global Exchange Site Administrator in Dakar, Senegal.
Three Senegalese students looking at the footage they shot.
Group shot of the participants of the second workshop in Dakar.
Mame Fatou Ndiaye, maker of the "Malaria Queen"
One of the production teams leaving the Martin Luther King Secondary School to conduct street interviews.
A teacher and her student eworking on their editing skills.


Site Administrator: Cheikh Darou Seck
Martin Luther King Secondary School
Dakar, Senegal

Text and movie by Antonio Mendoza


Going to Dakar, Senegal, was an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. The people we met there were exceptionally warm and engaging, and our host, Cheikh Seck, was amazing. Cheikh was well prepared and organized. He arranged two sets of workshops - the first for middle-school girls and teachers, and the second for college students and media professionals.


The facility was great for our project. We worked at the school's computer lab, which we turned into a digital movie studio.


Though the environment is Dakar is challenging - dust, sand, heat, rain, and more dust - we were able keep working even though two cameras were clogged by a sand storm originating in Mauritania. The one problem we could not surpass was a six-hour blackout in the middle of our first key editing day during the second workshop.


The afternoon that I arrived to Dakar we had an opening ceremony in which Cheikh and school director, Rouguiatou Li, introduced the My Hero Project to the Martin Luther King School.


After we screened Flying Morning Glory (on Fire), Adam Sie, The Birdmaker, and Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show. The audience included, Mamadou Diedhiou, "The Birdmaker," and participants from both workshops.


On the first session of the first workshops we met the participants, then we separated them into groups, saw Calypso Tumblers, talked about hero movies and did Photoshop exercises.


The second day we started with Skip's camera exercises, then the groups went out to record street interviews. When they returned we taught them how to capture video, captured the footage the shot, and started editing.


On the final day of the first workshops the students finished editing their pieces, mixed their sound and added credits. We were able to subtitle one of the five interview videos produced. At the end of the day we screened the final videos to the class and selected guest.


We started the second workshop with the media professionals by screening "Calypso Tumblers". Then we did Skip's Camera Exercises. The participants separated into five groups and interviewed each other.


At the end of the day we screened the interviews. The next day we did a morning Photoshop session and the groups started planning and taping their final stories.


As soon as they returned with footage we taught each group individually how to capture and they started editing their work. Most groups recorded footage over two days, even as they started editing their pieces.


During this second workshop seven pieces were completed and four were subtitled. One successful project, The Bridge of Unity, by Cheikh Seck, is about a bridge from the city of Joal to Fadiouth that separates two communities, where Muslims and Christians, each with 50% of the population, live together in harmony (in a country that overall is more than 90% Muslim).


Another successful project. Awadi: Messenger of Truth, by Fatou Jupiter Toure and Aicha Thiam, is a portrait of an African activist rapper who is both eloquent and funky. This project should do very well in the My Hero Film Festival or in any other festival it participates.


Another successful project, Never Give Up, by Marie Dione and Moussa Seydi, is about the rehabilitation of abandoned movie theatres (and the abandoned film industry) in Senegal.


On the last day of workshops we had a screening of the completed projects with the participants and selected guests. That evening we all shared a collective sense of accomplishment as we watched all finished movies.


Featured Projects - Senegal


6:32 minutes
This project was done by Fatou Jupiter Toure and Aicha Thiam during the April 2008 My Hero Global Exchange Dakar Workshops.

2:42 minutes
This story is about a bridge in Fadiouth, a small island 114 Km. east of Dakar. The population is 50% Muslim, 50% Christian. The bridge symbolizes the harmony of the two communities living in the island.

3:53 minutes
Oumoul Kayri Sow is a Senegalese girl who devotes her life to the fight against Malaria after losing a cousin to the deadly disease. Ever since she's been traveling throughout the country distributing free mosquito nets, medicines and other equipment to fight malaria.

4:29 minutes
This is a new edit of the version already uploaded in the GX website

4:16 minutes
the film is about an old man who helps sick people curing them with plants and tree leaves

1:49 minutes
An English teacher celebrates his father, his hero, who made of him what he is.

4:41 minutes
this is a sort version of the movie already uploaded in the GX vebsite.

5:17 minutes
This is the movie of the first edition of HEROES DAY organized in Senegal. Students from the local MY HERO branch have created unique artworks to celebrate their heroes.

8:44 minutes
This is a movie about Doudou Ndiaye Rose, the internationally acclaimed drummer who revolutionized drumming in Senegal and made our culture known in the whole world.

Behind The Scenes
6:12 minutes
This is a movie about the people operating the MY HERO project it is a tribute to the heroes working behind the scenes to empower and promote the others.

Surf Rider
6:08 minutes
This is a movie about the Laguna Beach high School Surf Rider Foundation. Students are busy testing beach water to determine polluted beaches and raise awareness about acean protection for the coimmunity's safety.

No More Rains
2:03 minutes
This is a film about the dreadful consequences of climat change on the rural world. Peasants are more and more shifting to new activities to earn a living.

This project was produced by Marie Dione and Moussa Seydi during the April 2008 My Hero Global Exchange Workshops in Dakar, Senegal.

6:50 minutes
This movie shows how two committed people have been able to to help a community better manage their domestic waste. Through a composting process the domestic waste is recuperated and turned into fertilizer to be used by the farmers of the community.

MY Hero Forever
5:42 minutes
Senegal GX Workshop participant Fary Sakho made these paintings for MY HERO to thank the project for its generosity providing this unique opportunity to young Senegalese filmmakers to upgrade their media production skills.

Senegal Country of Teranga
1:28 minutes
This is the first video done by the students of The MY HERO Global Exchange Project in Dakar, Senegal. The word "teranga" means hospitality in Wolof, Senegal's national language.

9mns minutes
Adams Sie is a succesful young Senegalese filmmaker who raises awareness to global issues and necessities in a community torn apart between its tradition and the requirements and demands of a global era.

teachers on their heroes
2:49 minutes
Four Senegalese teachers talk about their heroes.

A gift to humanity
6.54 minutes
Isamu Noguchi is an artist, architect and furniture designer, who branded the major cities of this world creating unique art, recreational areas and parks. He is the creator of the California Garden in Costa Mesa,CA.

Senegal, Women Against Aids.
7.47 minutes
FRENCH version SIDA@ est un projet qui fait la promotion de la vulgarisation de la prevention contre le VIH/SIDA en milieu scolaire