50 years since the murder of Omar Blondin Diop

Fifty years ago, on May 11, 1973, young Senegalese revolutionary philosopher Omar Blondin Diop died in detention under suspicious circumstances in Dakar. Our understanding of liberation movements in Africa tends to focus on struggles in colonial settings, yet Florian Bobin argues that over sixty years after Senegal’s independence, Diop’s life, work, and legacy reveal what revolutionary politics looks like in a neo-colonial context.

Listen to Omar Blondin Diop’s story here. Read about the story in French here

By Florian Bobin

In June 2020, a few weeks after the murder of George Floyd, Senegalese graffiti collective Radikal Bomb Shot painted a colossal mural in the capital Dakar in memory of Black liberation fighters from around the world. Alongside renowned pan-Africanist Cheikh Anta Diop and abolitionist Harriet Tubman, Omar Blondin Diop is depicted, cigarette in hand, reading historian Amzat Boukari-Yabara’s Africa Unite! A History of Pan-Africanism.

The photograph that inspired this spray-painted portrait dates from 1970 and was captured shortly after his expulsion from France for partaking in the May 1968 protests. But five years later, the philosophy student Omar Blondin Diop was more than a radical dissident – he became a myth. When he died in prison fourteen months into his three-year sentence for “being a threat to national security,” authorities in Senegal claimed he committed suicide. Most had good reason to suspect he was murdered. Ever since, his family has tirelessly demanded justice be done, and artists alongside activists have taken the lead in holding on to his memory.

Omar Blondin Diop’s death cannot be understood as an isolated incident, but as one tragic episode in a long series of tenacious acts of state-led repression in Senegal. Decolonisation in Africa has often been the story of the birth of newly independent states in the 1960s. However, the persistence of foreign interests backed by national governments became a common sight in former French colonies. Well into nominal political independence, burgeoning autocracies largely stifled revolutionary prospects of emancipation from capitalism and imperialism.

We don’t often hear of resistance movements in Senegal during Léopold Sédar Senghor’s rule (1960-1980) because his regime successfully marketed the country as “Africa’s democratic success story.” Yet, under the single-party rule of the Progressive Senegalese Union, authorities resorted to brutal methods: intimidating, arresting, imprisoning, torturing, and killing dissidents [1].

An internationalist youth

Omar Blondin Diop was born in the French colony of Niger in 1946. His father, a medical practitioner, had been transferred from Dakar, the administrative capital of French West-Africa, to a small city near Niamey. He did not hold radical positions, but colonial authorities suspected him of “anti-French sentiment” because of his involvement with trade unionism and support of the socialist French Section of the Workers’ International led by lawyer Lamine Guèye [2]. The metropole monitored what it labeled “anti-French elements” because of their fear of growing anti-colonial movements. Once Blondin Diop’s family was allowed to return to Senegal, he spent the better part of his childhood in Dakar. At the age of 14, he settled in France, where his father enrolled in doctoral medical school [3].

For much of the 1960s, Blondin Diop lived in France. He spent most of his secondary education in Paris, where he attended a prestigious teachers’ college – l’École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud – and pursued his study of classical European thinkers, from Aristotle and Kant to Hegel and Rousseau. There, he began frequenting leftist circles. This is a time when anti-capitalist movements in Europe drew inspiration from China’s Cultural Revolution and strongly opposed American military aggression in Vietnam. Usually, Africans who pursued activism in France focused on politics from their home countries. Blondin Diop, for his part, had a foot in both worlds. Shortly after hearing about the Senegalese activist, radical filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard selected him to play in the movie “La Chinoise” (1967) [4].

In 1968, the 21-year-old philosophy student-professor actively partook in debates organized by far-left groups [5], joining at the new suburban Nanterre University the 22-March Movement, a driving force for the May ’68 protests and occupations. Inspired by the writings of Spinoza, Marx, and Fanon [6], Blondin Diop cultivated theoretical eclecticism – in and out of Situationism, Anarchism, Maoism, and Trotskyism, he never exclusively held onto one given ideology [7] – and considered internationalism as the upcoming revolution’s backbone, extensively writing on Senegal’s revolutionary youth defying President Senghor’s neocolonial rule; the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam’s efforts to counter-attack American bombings; and the rise of Rock and Roll among disenfranchised British youths [8].

Omar Blondin Diop and Daniel Cohn-Bendit during the Sorbonne occupation in May 1968 © Vincent Meessen via INA

In the summer of 1968, while in London as a Black Power consultant to Jean-Luc Godard’s latest film “One Plus One”, Blondin Diop met Nadia Wells, a journalist. Upon her return to New York, she wrote to him requesting an article on the French student movement’s latest developments, before going on to describe social struggles in the United Sates, from actions led by the Students for a Democratic Society against the Vietnam War to ongoing school strikes: “First, it was the teachers; then communities fighting to take control back of their schools (of course, these neighbourhoods are Black and Puerto Rican); finally, students who refused to go to school eight hours a day (to pay teachers extra because they lost money during the strike) and be even more “fucked-up”. […] All activists are not yet socialists, and capitalism is so complex that it is difficult to decide where to strike. It can’t suffer in New York: it’s the center of decadence. I have a large apartment but can’t open my windows because the air is so dirty” [9].

Counterattacking in a neo-colony

Due to his political activities, after breaking away from the elitist French grandes écoles system, Blondin Diop was expelled from France to Senegal in late 1969. Alongside other Senegalese comrades who had studied in Europe, he participated in the Movement of Marxist-Leninist Youth. The grouping later gave birth to the influential anti-imperialist front And Jëf (To Act Together), which would be forced into hiding until the early 1980s. Landing a part-time research position at the university, Blondin Diop often intervened in conferences, à la Dutch Provos, calling for students to question master-pupil dynamics within academia, inspiring a portion of the audience to gather and leave the lecture hall suddenly. He also spent much of his days walking throughout Dakar’s popular neighbourhoods alongside iconoclast creatives and his nights projecting, to the sound of Rhythm and Blues, the upcoming struggles with Black American comrades transiting through West Africa [10].

Pushing back formal structures, Blondin Diop promoted artistic performance. He developed the project of “a theater in the streets that will address the concerns and interests of the people,” closely related to Augusto Boal’s “Theatre of the Oppressed.” Expanding on art’s revolutionary potential, Blondin Diop writes: “Our theater will be a collective and active creation. Before playing in a neighborhood, we shall know its inhabitants, spend time with them, especially the young people. Our theater will go to the places where the population gathers (market, cinema, stadium). It is especially important that we make whatever we can ourselves. Moral conclusion: Better death than slavery” [11].

Independent Senegal was also a neo-colonial space. Senghor had initially opposed immediate independence, advocating instead for progressive autonomy over twenty years [12]. So, when he became President, he regularly called upon France’s support. In 1962, Senghor wrongfully accused his long-time collaborator Mamadou Dia, President of the Senegalese Council, of attempting a coup against him – Dia and his collaborators were later arrested and imprisoned for over ten years [13]. In 1968, when a general strike broke out in Dakar, the police suppressed the movement with the help of French troops. By 1971, Senghor’s embrace of France seemed to reach its peak with the state visit of French President Georges Pompidou, a close friend and former classmate [14]. For over a year, Dakar had been preparing for Pompidou’s two-day stay. On the official procession’s main route, authorities rehabilitated roads and buildings, attempting to invisibilise the city’s poverty.

Front page of Senegal’s official newspaper Le Soleil on February 5, 1971 reads: “Mr. Pompidou in Dakar: Long live the friendship between France and Senegal”

To young radical activists, Senegal’s reception of the French President was an open provocation. A few weeks prior, a group inspired by the American Black Panther Party and the Uruguayan Tupamaros set fire to the French cultural centre in Dakar and an annex building of the Ministry of Public Works. During the actual visit, they attempted to charge the presidential motorcade. But they were caught. Among those convicted were two of Blondin Diop’s brothers. He, too, believed in direct action but was not involved in planning this attack. He had returned to Paris a few months earlier, after the lift of his entry ban [15].

Distressed, Blondin Diop tried gathering the support of Samir Amin and Aimé Césaire before deciding, with close friends, to leave France to train for armed struggle. Aboard the Orient-Express, they crossed all of Europe by train before arriving in a Syrian camp with Fedayeen Palestinian fighters and Eritrean guerilleros. Their plan was to kidnap the French ambassador to Senegal in exchange of their imprisoned comrades. Two months into military training, Blondin Diop and his comrades left the desert for the city. They were hoping to garner support from the Black Panther Party, which had briefly opened an international chapter in Algiers. A split within the movement, however, forced them to reconsider. After swinging by Conakry, they moved to Bamako where part of Blondin Diop’s family lived. From there, they reorganized; meeting with sympathizers to former president Modibo Keïta’s ousted regime and unsuccessfully attempting to purchase weapons in Liberia, via Ivory Coast. In late November 1971, the police arrested the group days before President Senghor’s first state visit to Mali in over a decade. Under the control of the infamous Director of National Security Tiékoro Bagayoko, intelligence services had been monitoring them for months. In Blondin Diop’s pocket, they found a letter mentioning the group’s plan to free their imprisoned friends [16].

Florian Bobin, Tristan Bobin, Original map for “Omar Blondin Diop: Seeking Revolution in Senegal,” Review of African Political Economy, 2020.

“Blondin will live on”

Extradited to Senegal, Omar Blondin Diop was sentenced to three years in prison. For the more significant part of their days on the island of  Gorée, detainees were not allowed to leave their cells. To minimize interaction, experience of daylight was restricted – half an hour in the morning, another half hour in the afternoon. Following the administration’s guidelines, the guards were unyielding toward political prisoners and regularly sent them to solitary cells. Between two spells in the “hole”, Blondin Diop wrote a letter to the penitentiary authority to warn about the preoccupying state of detainment: “My visits, when not suppressed, are strictly weekly and limited to my parents. Parents are not a man’s only friends. Newspapers and books of my choice are censored and do not reach me, although they are in free circulation in Senegal. Regular visits from the doctor have been interrupted. When I ask to go to the hospital, the prison administration issues exit permits with delays that can be fatal in an emergency” [17].

Omar Blondin Diop was reported dead on 11 May, 1973. He was 26 years old. The news came as a bombshell. Hundreds of young people stormed the streets and graffitied the capital’s walls: “Senghor, assassin; They are killing your children, wake up; Assassins, Blondin will live on.” Interior Minister Jean Collin, a former French colonial administrator who obtained Senegalese citizenship around independence (and additionally Senghor’s nephew-in-law), is suspected of having ordered Blondin Diop’s fatal beating after a clash between the two [18]. On the day of the funeral, Collin refused to hand the corpse over to his family, instead instructing an expedited burial by riot policemen.

From the very beginning, the Senegalese state covered up the crime. While the official autopsy presented Blondin Diop’s death as a “suicide by hanging”, the deceased’s father, a medical practitioner, issued a counter-forensic report attesting blows received to the neck, thereafter, filing a complaint for voluntary assault and battery resulting in death. Going against official orders, the investigating judge started indicting suspects – after a failed attempt at recreating the “suicide” in the detainee’s cell, he had discovered in the prison’s registry that Blondin Diop had fainted days before the announcement of his death, and the penitentiary administration had done nothing about it. Before the judge had time to arrest the remaining suspects, authorities replaced him with another judge, who ended the legal proceedings a year and a half later, claiming the case was not within his jurisdiction [19]. Blondin Diop’s father ended up being the only person convicted in the case, made to pay the symbolic sum of one franc for “spreading false news” about his son’s death. Every May 11 until the 1990s, armed forces would surround the young activist’s grave to prevent any form of public commemoration.

For decades, Omar Blondin Diop has been a source of inspiration for activists and artists in Senegal, and elsewhere [20]. In recent years, exhibitions, paintings, and movies have revisited his story – one which sadly resonates with contemporary politics. The authoritarian methods deployed by Senegal’s current administration illustrate how impunity feeds off the past. President Macky Sall’s regime has repeatedly sought to suppress freedom of demonstration, embezzle public funds, and abuse of its authority. So long as governmental accountability serves no other purpose than an attractive concept to international donors, practices from the past are bound to live on. In Senegal today, as exemplified by the state-sponsored repression of the nationwide protests in March 2021, people are still imprisoned for demonstrating; activists like Guy Marius Sagna are time and again intimidated, arrested, and unlawfully detained. In this context, fifty years on, authorities have unsurprisingly refused to reopen Omar Blondin Diop’s case. Nonetheless, as his family’s saying goes, “No matter how long the night is, the sun always rises.”

Florian Bobin is a Dakar-based researcher in history who studies liberation struggles and state violence in 1960s-1970s Senegal. This article is an introduction to his work on Omar Blondin Diop, completed by two books to be released later in 2023: a biography (Cette si longue quête. Vie et mort d’Omar Blondin Diop) and selected writings (Nous voir nous-mêmes du dehors. Réflexions politiques d’Omar Blondin Diop, 1967-1970).

This research project has been made possible thanks to the precious time and resources of Omar Blondin Diop’s family members, friends, and acquaintances, as well as activists and researchers. Sincerest acknowledgments to: Dialo Diop, Cheikh Hamallah Diop, Alioune Sall ‘Paloma’, Ousmane Blondin Diop, Papa Konare Niang ‘Niangus’, Alymana Bathily, Mustapha Saha, Jean-Claude Lambert, Bécaye Blondin Diop, Omar Blondin Diop Jr, Mareme Blondin Diop, Khaly Moustapha Leye, Antoine Lefébure, Gilbert Vaudey, Bertrand Gallet, Michelle Zancarini-Fournel, Marc-Vincent Howlett, Patrick Talbot, Roland Colin, Aziz Salmone Fall, Ndongo Samba Sylla, Karim Ndiaye, Marie-Angélique Savané, Pape Touty Sow, Amadou Diagne ‘Vieux’, Ibez Diagne, Mansour Kebe, Ousmane Ndongo, Alioune Diop, Papalioune Dieng, Ndèye Fatou Kane, Kibili Demba Cissokho, Bara Diokhane, Barka Ba, Majaw Njaay, Khouma Gueye, Maky Sylla, Alhassane Diop, Hugues Segla, Fatimata Diallo Ba, Khalil Diallo, Awa Mbengue, Vincent Meessen, Pascal Bianchini, Françoise Blum, Martin Mourre, Romain Tiquet, Omar Gueye, Armelle Mabon, Christelle Lamy, Woppa Diallo, Yannek Simalla, Leo Zeilig, David Morton, Tristan Bobin, Njoki Mbũrũ, Njambanene Koffi.

Featured Photograph: Omar Blondin Diop depicted among other African and African American activists in a mural painted in Dakar in June 2020 © Radikal Bomb Shot. 


[1] Research on revolutionary politics in Senegal under Léopold Sédar Senghor’s rule is still underway. Over the past decade, a significant number of works have deepened our understanding of the period. As follows, a list of major ones: Ibrahima Wane, Chanson populaire et conscience politique au Sénégal. L’art de penser la nation (Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, 2013); Roland Colin, Sénégal notre pirogue : au soleil de la liberté (Présence Africaine, 2007); Alassane Diagne, Momsarew ou le pari de l’indépendance (2014); Pascal Bianchini, « The 1968 years: revolutionary politics in Senegal » (Review of African Political Economy, 2019), « 1968 au Sénégal : un héritage politique en perspective » (Canadian Journal of African Studies, 2021) & « Les paradoxes du Parti africain de l’indépendance (PAI) au Sénégal autour de la décennie 1960 » (2016); Sadio Camara, L’épopée du Parti Africain de l’Indépendance au Sénégal (1957-1980) (L’Harmattan, 2013); Moctar Fofana Niang, Trajectoire et documents du Parti Africain de l’Indépendance (P.A.I.) au Sénégal (Les Éditions de la Brousse, 2015); Ousmane William Mbaye, Président Dia (2012); Mouhamadou Moustapha Sow, « Le traitement informationnel des évènements de décembre 1962 à Dakar » (Revue d’Histoire Contemporaine de l’Afrique, 2021); Omar Gueye, Mai 1968 au Sénégal, Senghor face au mouvement syndical(Éditions Karthala, 2017); Abdoulaye Bathily, Mai 68 à Dakar ou la révolte universitaire et la démocratie. Le Sénégal cinquante ans après (L’Harmattan, 2018); Françoise Blum, Révolutions africaines : Congo, Sénégal, Madagascar, années 1960-1970(Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2014) & « Sénégal 1968 : révolte étudiante et grève générale » (Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, 2012); Bocar Niang and Pascal Scallon-Chouinard, « ‘Mai 68’ au Sénégal et les médias : une mémoire en questions » (Le Temps des médias, 2016); Yannek Simalla, Sénégal contestataire (2017-…); Amadou Kah, De la lutte des classes à la bataille des places : le destin tragique de la gauche sénégalaise (L’Harmattan, 2016).

[2] This information was provided by Dialo Diop (brother of Omar Blondin Diop) in conversation with Cases Rebelles (9 May, 2018), and Omar in Memoriam (11 May, 2018).

[3] This information was provided by Cheikh Hamallah Diop (brother of Omar Blondin Diop) in conversation with Florian Bobin (12 July, 2018 & 4 July, 2019).

[4] Actress and author Anne Wiazemsky describes Blondin Diop’s encounter with Jean-Luc Godard, her partner at the time, in her novel Une année studieuse (Gallimard, 2012, pp. 157-158). Upon learning that the filmmaker was looking for ‘a Marxist-Leninist student,’ her friend Antoine Gallimard suggested casting Blondin Diop, a close companion of his. Charmed by the Senegalese activist, Godard later selected him to play Comrade X—his ‘own role’—in the film La Chinoise (1967).

[5] Historian Michelle Zancarini-Fournel highlights Blondin Diop’s role in student mobilizing in 1968 (they had crossed paths a few times) in her piece ‘En souvenir d’Omar’ for the collective book Étudiants africains en mouvement : contribution à une histoire des années 1968 (Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2017, pp. 11-12). “He probably didn’t go much to class that year, but he was at all the debates organized by far-left political groups,” she writes.

[6] This information was provided by Alymana Bathily (a close friend of Omar Blondin Diop) in conversation with Florian Bobin (9 July, 2019).

[7] Alioune Sall ‘Paloma’ (a close friend of Omar Blondin Diop) insists on the necessity of understanding Blondin Diop as a complex, multi-faceted being, in his testimony for the 40th anniversary of his friend’s death (10 May, 2013).

[8] A selection of Omar Blondin Diop’s writings (Nous voir nous-mêmes du dehors) preserved by his family and edited by Florian Bobin is set to be published later in 2023.

[9] Nadia Wells’ four-page handwritten letter to Omar Blondin Diop is featured in the aforementioned selected writings.

[10] Journalist Amandla Thomas-Johnson’s Becoming Kwame Ture (Chimurenga, 2020) explores post-independence circulations of Black American activists between the United States and West Africa.

[11] Artist Vincent Meessen published Blondin Diop’s ‘Urban Theater Project’ (circa 1970) in his artist book The Other Country (Sternberg Press, 2018, pp. 38-39).

[12] This information was provided by Roland Colin (chief of staff for President of the Senegalese Council Mamadou Dia, 1957-1962) in conversation with Étienne Smith and Thomas Perrot for Afrique contemporaine (2010, p. 118).

[13] Since Senegal’s independence in 1960, President of the Council Mamadou Dia had been increasingly calling for decentralizing public administration and empowering peasant communities. Towards the end of 1962, tension mounted within the ruling party (Progressive Senegalese Union), between sympathizers to Senghor and Dia. Among the former, some decided to table a vote of no confidence against Dia’s government. At the time, every decision went through the party first, provided that it was the only recognized political force. Dia opposed a motion he deemed illegitimate and Senghor accused him of ‘attempting a coup against him.’ On December 18, 1962, Senghor ordered the arrest of Dia, alongside ministers Valdiodio N’diaye, Ibrahima Sarr, Joseph Mbaye, and Alioune Tall. They were incarcerated in the arid region of Kedougou until 1974. Mansour Bouna Ndiaye (a young official within the ruling party in 1962) and Roland Colin (chief of staff for Mamadou Dia, 1957-1962) offer two thorough first-hand accounts of the ‘December 1962 crisis’ in their memoirs Panorama politique du Sénégal ou Les mémoires d’un enfant du siècle (Les Nouvelles Éditions Africaines, 1986, pp. 136-154) and Sénégal notre pirogue : au soleil de la liberté (Présence africaine, 2007, pp. 253-293). Colin also testified in Archives d’Afrique (Radio France Internationale, 2019). Additionally, see Mouhamadou Moustapha Sow’s article Crise politique et discours médiatiques au Sénégal. Le traitement informationnel des évènements de décembre 1962 à Dakar.

[14] Léopold Sédar Senghor and Georges Pompidou met in 1928 at the prestigious secondary school lycée Louis-le-Grand. Maintaining a strong friendship throughout the years, they later collaborated politically, practically non-stop, between 1962 and 1974. While Senghor was Senegal’s President (1960-1980), Pompidou became France’s Prime Minister (1962-1968) and President (1969-1974). When Pompidou visited Dakar in February 1971, Senghor declared on the airport apron: “The Senegalese people feel particularly honored to receive the President of the French Republic. […] Because the French-Senegalese friendship dates back to nearly three centuries. […] I am pleased to host in my country an old classmate from high school, and a friend.”

[15] Senegalese authorities prided at President Senghor’s involvement in the reversal of Blondin Diop’s ban from the French territory (The White Book on the Suicide of Oumar Blondin Diop, Republic of Senegal, 1973, pp. 14-15). Historians Françoise Blum and Martin Mourre expose his possible motivations in their article Omar Blondin Diop : d’un monde l’autre (Centre d’histoire sociale des mondes contemporains, 2019): “Police sources explain this intervention by Senghor’s wish to rid Senegal of the very active Omar Blondin. He would have preferred knowing he was in France. For our part, we instead think that Senghor was concerned that the student pursued the brilliant studies he had started to become one of the flagships of Senegal’s future elite.” Evidently, Senghor saw himself in Blondin Diop: both were Senegalese, French-educated, and classically trained in the humanities. Perhaps, he believed that his younger compatriot could pursue his political agenda. But Blondin Diop famouslydisapproved of it in the strongest terms. By the late 1960s, the authorities had been closely monitoring him; it seemed apparent that they preferred to have him out of the country.

[16] This information was provided by Alioune Sall ‘Paloma’ in conversation with Françoise Blum and Martin Mourre for Maitron (8 May, 2019).

[17] In this striking letter to the penitentiary authority before his death in custody (featured in Nous voir nous-mêmes du dehors), Omar Blondin Diop denounced the drastic measures limiting detainees’ access to daylight, before concluding in a request for a general improvement of living conditions in prison.

[18] This information was provided by Roland Colin (chief of staff for President of the Senegalese Council Mamadou Dia, 1957-1962) in his memoir Sénégal notre pirogue : au soleil de la liberté (Présence africaine, 2007, pp. 324): “Oumar Blondin Diop, imprisoned at Gorée prison, received Jean Collin’s visit with whom he had an altercation. The Interior Minister, we later learned, would have ordered the guards to punish him. The next day, he was found hanging in his cell.”

[19] This information was provided by Moustapha Touré (chief investigating judge of the High Court of Dakar, initially in charge of Blondin Diop’s case) in conversation with La Gazette (21 December, 2009). In this interview, he recounts the state’s efforts to intimidate and coerce him during his investigation: “I had made the decision to indict the prison officers who had custody of detainee Oumar Blondin Diop. There were three of them, but I had only charged two of them, waiting for the third. At the time, we were in the absolute reign of a single party. The order that was in place left little room for maneuver for senior officials like us. And yet, I had responsibly and fairly fulfilled my duty as a judge, where others would have chosen to do something else, by obeying orders emanating from the political authority. I naturally refused and came to the decision to indict, because I was convinced, against the advice of my department and the state, that the detainee could not have committed suicide. This was impossible under the conditions in which the autopsy report sought to accredit the thesis of suicide. I was reinforced in such a belief by the prison logbook [registry]. It carried edifying mentions in this regard. This logbook did indeed mention that detainee Oumar Blondin Diop had fainted during the week in which he was pronounced dead by suicide. Nowhere was a medical examination mentioned in this same logbook, in order to determine the causes of the recorded fainting. The circumstances revealed credible and consistent evidence, tending to prove that the suicide, officially mentioned to justify the death of Oumar Blondin Diop, was in reality made up. So, I decided, in the secrecy of my investigative office, to indict. After this indictment, deemed bold at the time, I was immediately transferred. Ten days later, I was promoted to president of the Court of Dakar and adviser to the Court of Appeal. Let’s say that at the time, it was like a kind of a promotion-sanction which tried to hide its true nature.”

[20] Accounts of Blondin Diop often focus solely on his activism, and not so much on his art (see Omar Blondin Diop : un artiste et militant ouest-africain en mouvement). When he became a martyr figure, deeply traumatized activists, as well as artists, held on to his memory. Before his assassination, he had nurtured strong connections with artists who would later form the Laboratoire Agit’Art. In 2019, artist Mbaye Diop painted a mural of its members (Issa Samb ‘Joe Ouakam’, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Bouna Medoune Seye, Mame Less Dia, Mamadou Diop Traoré) on the wall of the Ngor Yaadikon Complex, and included Blondin Diop in it. As follows, a list of major pieces influenced by Omar Blondin Diop: Portrait d’Omar Diop (Issa Samb ‘Joe Ouakam’, 1974); Degluleen mbokk yi (El Hadji Momar Sambe ‘Mor Faama’, 1975); Omar Blondin Diop (Heldon, 1975); Lettre de Dakar(Libre Association d’Individus Libres, 1978); Afrik (Seydina Insa Wade, 1978) ; Le Temps de Tamango (Boubacar Boris Diop, 1981); Le lait s’était caillé trop tôt (Issa Samb ‘Joe Ouakam’, 1983); Omar 4.0. Hommage à Omar Blondin Diop (Bara Diokhane, 2013); Le malheur de vivre (Ndèye Fatou Kane, 2014); Congrès de Minuit (Laboratoire Agit’Art, 2016); L’enterrement d’Omar Blondin Diop (Issa Samb ‘Joe Ouakam’, non-daté); Omar B.D. (Issa Samb ‘Joe Ouakam’, 2017); Omar in May (Vincent Meessen, 2018); La Cloche des Fourmis (Laboratoire Agit’Art, 2018); Hommage à Omar Blondin Diop (Lebergedeliledengor, 2019); Omar Blondin Diop, le laborantin (Mbaye Diop, 2019); Juste un Mouvement (Vincent Meessen, 2018-2021); The Wall the ñuulest (RBS Crew, 2020); Omar Blondin Diop pour le Frapp (Chics, 2021); URICA (RBS Crew, 2021); Omar Blondin Diop, un révolté(Djeydi Djigo, 2021).


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