Jenny Fatou Mbaye

Role/Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

Archived Projects

Jenny F. Mbaye is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the African Centre for Cities (ACC) of the University of Cape Town (UCT). Her research interests include urban creativity, cultural development and entrepreneurship, cultural labour and creative work, practice and policy of cultural production in Africa, especially in the Francophone West African fields of urban music. She has a PhD in Human Geography (urban cultural economy) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE, 2011), a Graduate Diploma in Management of Cultural Organisations (HEC-Montreal, 2006), an MSc in International Studies specialised in Ethnomusicology (University of Montreal, 2005), and a BA in Sociology (Concordia University, 2003). She has worked in cultural and media organisations in Senegal and Burkina Faso, as an academic researcher in Canada and the UK, did consultancy work for the Foundations Lettera27 as well as Fitzcarraldo and is regularly consulted by the UNESCO for policy research (Creative Economy Reports, Praia Declaration). She was the recipient of the 2013 Ray Pahl Postdoctoral Fellowship.




Book chapters


MBaye J.F. (forthcoming, 2014) “Hip Hop Politics: Recognising a Southern Complexity”, A Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South, Parnell, S. & S. Oldfield (Eds), London: Routledge


MBaye, J.F. (forthcoming) “Géographies de l’économie de la musique hip hop au Sénégal”, Arts et territoires: Vers une nouvelle économie culturelle? Roy-Valex, M., G. Bellavance & M. Azam (dir.), Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, Coll. Questions de culture


MBaye, J.F. (2013) “On the Rogue Practices of West African Musical Entrepreneurs”, Rogue Urbanism Pieterse, E. & A.M. Simone (Eds), Cape Town: African Centre for Cities & Jacana Media


MBaye, J.F. (2011) “Hip Hop Political Production in West Africa: AURA and its Extraordinary Stories of Poto-Poto Children”, Native Tongues: An African Hip Hop Reader, Saucier, K. (Ed.), Trenton (N.J.): Africa World Press


MBaye, J.F. (2009) “Hip Hop Space of Politics in France”, Culture and the City, Nyströom L. & F. Eckardt (Eds), Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag, Berlin



Journal articles


MBaye, J.F. & A.C. Pratt (Guest Eds), Symposium (accepted) “Re-making Creative Cities in African Contexts”, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 


MBaye, J.F. (forthcoming, 2014) “Book Review” – Living the Hiplife: Celebrity and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Popular Music, by J.W. Shipley; Africa, Journal of the International African Institute


MBaye, J.F. (2014) “On the Biopolitics of Hip Hop Galsen: Contestation Art and Democratised Imaginations, SLUM Lab – Made in Africa: Sustainable Living Urban Model; Issue 9,


MBaye, J. “Unis par le Rap!” Courrier International, Special Issue: Afrique 3.0, March 2013


MBaye, J.F. (2011) “Spinning Translocal: A Discography of Central and West African Hip Hop”, African Cities Reader II: Mobilities & Fixtures, Edjabe, N. & E. Pieterse (Eds), Cape Town: African Centre for Cities & Chimurenga Magazine


MBaye, J.F. (2010) “AURA ou de la production politique de la musique hip hop”, Cahiers de recherche sociologique, no.49, UQAM, Montréal



Academic conferences


Panel chair & convenor: “Designing African Creative Cities”, European Conference on African Studies (ECAS 5), (Lisbon, 2013)


Paper presentation: “Designing African Creative Cities from a Southern Perspective” (final plenary lecture) Second Conference of the Association for Urban Creativity, (London, U.K.; 2013)


Paper presentation: “Systemic Notes on Design and Creative City in the South”, Infecting the City/ACC Public Seminar Series, (Cape Town, South Africa; 2013)


Paper presentation: “Hip Hop Flows and Solidarities in Francophone West African Musical Borderlands”, Point Sud Workshop (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; 2013)


Paper presentation: “Hip Hop Transcultural Politics: Reflexive Notes on the Senegalese Biopolity”, Crossroads in Cultural Studies (Paris, France; 2012)


Paper presentation: “Visualising Hip Hop Music in Senegal: A ‘Writing of the Voice’ in Images”, Iconic Turn in 21st Century African Music Symposium (Mainz, Germany; 2012)


Panel chair & convenor: “Musical Borderlands: A Cultural Perspective of Regional Integration in Africa”, CAS@50 Conference (Edinburg, U.K.; 2012)


Paper presentation: “Hip Hop Aesthetics and Practices: Redefining West African Borders”, CAS@50 Conference (Edinburg, U.K.; 2012)


Paper presentation: “Musical Entrepreneurship in Senegal: Insights from the Hip Hop Community”, European Conference on African Studies 4 (Uppsala, Sweden; 2011)


Panel chair & convenor: “Spatialities of Hip Hop Music in Africa”, European Conference on African Studies 3 (Leipzig, Germany; 2009)


Paper presentation: “West African Hip Hop: A Transnational Social Movement”, AEGIS (Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies) Summer School (Cortona, Italy; 2008)


Paper presentation: “Geographies of Hip Hop Music Industry in West Africa”, 86th Congress of ACFAS (Francophone Association for Knowledge) (Quebec, Canada; 2008)


Paper presentation: “Hip Hop Space of Politics in France”, FUTURE (Future Urban Research in Europe) Conference (Karlskrona, Sweden; 2007)



Professional conferences


Paper presentation: “Notes de réflexion sur une approche multisectorielle pour promouvoir l’emploi des jeunes dans l’économie créative en Afrique”, High-level ministerial meeting for the Praia Declaration (Praia, Cape Verde ; 2013)


Panel chair: “Definitions and Practices of Creative Cities in Africa”, Arterial Network Conference on Creative Economy in Africa (Dakar, Senegal; 2012)


Panel discussant: “Music and Mobile: The New Distribution Platform”, Mobile Entertainment Africa (Cape Town, South Africa; 2012)


Panel chair: “New Colonialists: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – BRICS relevance to African Creative Economy”, Arterial Network Conference on Creative Economy in Africa (Nairobi, Kenya; 2011)





From 2007-2010, I taught at undergraduate level (‘Qualitative Research Techniques: Spatial, Social and Environmental’) and honours level (‘Geographies of Gender’) in the Department of Geography and Environment of the London School of Economics (LSE). In 2013, I developed and lectured a section on ‘Culture and Economy’ for the undergraduate course ‘Geographical Thoughts’ in the Department of Geographical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Drawing on both social and cultural theories, this section focused on the current debates around the concepts and practices of cultural economy in human geography; and explored the potentials as well as the challenges of creativity and culture in situating urban economic development in broader frameworks concerned with the globalisation and the transformation of contemporary capitalism. Since 2012, I have been a recurrent moderator of the PhD Seminar Series on ‘Southern Urbanisms’ offered by the African Centre for Cities.




I am a member of the UNESCO Pool of Experts for Francophone Africa in the framework of its programme of capacity building in Africa for the 2005 Convention on Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions ( In 2013, I also became a member of the External Evaluation Panel for UNESCO Creative Cities Network (

Since 2010, I have been a member of the African Borderlands Research Network (ABORNE;