In spring 2014, there was no way out: Pharrell William’s song Happy was omnipresent on the radio, clubs and in the street. The song’s music video became one of the most viewed videos of all time, and this unusually high level of attention generated a worldwide movement. People created their own versions of the video or even of the song (as a remix) and uploaded them on YouTube. In doing so, they appropriated one of the original video’s main features: people dancing through the street, singing along automatically – joining in on the song and visually enhancing the video’s universal character.
In the course of this global hype, countless clips also emerged in Africa – some of them professional, others made by amateurs. Videomakers all over the world took the opportunity to present themselves, their communities, cities, regions and countries to the global network: young men dancing along the centre line of an urban highway, older people in cafés, pretty women in front of the city’s landmark or children in the schoolyard. One’s own identity is highlighted and presented and, after some time, something happens that would have been inconceivable and unreachable in times before the internet: the worldwide active production of pop culture is understood as being universal. Furthermore, viewers of every of the video variations made in Africa are exposed to the daily life of a continent in a candid and unpretentious way, showcasing a reality hitherto ignored.