Tina Luchetta '22 is a junior at St. Lawrence University and is a History major with African Studies and Creative Writing minors. Her academic interests pertain to gender relations, creative expression and West Africa. Tina is currently interning for Foreign Policy Interrupted and assists with Interruptrr Africa, which is a news source that shares female expertise on African politics, business, economics and science & tech. As an aspiring journalist, she hopes to learn as much as possible throughout her life and empower women through sharing female perspectives and expertise.
In Senegal, as elsewhere, hip hop has been a key avenue of popular criticism and political action. While the genre has often been dominated by male voices, female performers have also been active participants in the Senegalese hip hop scene. Female hip hop artists are also gaining recognition as beat makers, rappers, and graffiti artists. Women are utilizing hip hop to make a space for female artists while also advocating for women’s rights and other social and political concerns. Often lacking a place in which to publicly express themselves, hip hop offers women a space to grapple with pressing political issues and bring about change. However, women face additional challenges as the hip hop industry is traditionally dominated by men. In addition to forming a space in a typically male dominated industry, female hip hop artists are also faced with certain cultural expectations, such as marriage, which particularly shape their experience. So while women are challenging social expectations through making music or graffiti, cultural influences, especially those that pertain to the domestic sphere, are still present and have the potential to conflict with their careers.