Joseph Gaï Ramaka and Nicolas Sawalo Cissé are two contemporary Senegalese filmmakers who depict the social and environmental issues of flooding and trash that impact those living in the periphery of Dakar. Ramaka’s documentary Plan Jaxaay! (2007) illustrates how former President Wade and his administration failed to adequately respond to the urban flooding crisis in Dakar despite the creation of the Plan Jaxaay intended to relocate those most affected. Cissé’s fiction feature Hope of Green (2014) portrays the life and work of garbage pickers residing at Dakar’s landfill, one of the largest on the African continent. I argue that in these aforementioned films, Ramaka and Cissé highlight marginalized locations, populations, and issues, encourage localized citizen activism, and advocate for social, political, and environmental reform within their country. Through their depiction of what critic Kenneth Harrow refers to as “trashy” subjects, these innovative filmmakers show that cinema can function as a tool to promote social change and national pride.


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pp. 427-449
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