August 4-7, 2016

Reveil: The Awakening – Alesh

August 3, 2012

Ben Herson, Democratic Republic of Congo, 5 min
Music Video


Out of the chaos and instability that has dominated the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) over the past decade comes the latest single from Congolese hip-hop artist Alesh, entitled ‘Reveil,’ or ‘the Awakening’. The song presents a vivid and complex picture of the Congolese experience at this critical juncture in the country’s history. A combination of frustration and hope, Alesh’s poignant lyrics reflect how, in many ways, both Congolese leaders and citizens have failed their country. In a country with strict censorship, it is rare to hear such an honest, introspective, and brave account of the Congolese struggle. Nomadic Wax, a US based independent media production company has been working with African and global hip-hop political movements for a decade, were honored to have the opportunity to produce a music video for the song. The video was filmed throughout the DRC, including Kinshasa, Bukavu, Kikwit. However, the core of the music video was filmed in Baniele, an illegal squatter settlement on the outskirts of Kinshasa. Baniele was built on land that is in a constant state of erosion and where a single electrical wire and a single well supports the entire neighborhood of thousands. Despite the seriousness of the political situation in the DRC, few people outside of the country have a grasp on the issues faced by the Congolese today. “Congolese as well as the rest of the world needs to see what is happening here and why” says Chirwisa, “I believe that music has the potential to create change and open peoples minds. This is exactly what the goal is with this video. To wake up the world.”