Ola Uduku (Manchester School of Architecture )
- Series C: Critical Perspective on Education and Heritage
- GR 358
- Start time:
- 13 September, 2008 at 11:00 (UTC+0)
- Session slots:
Author:Francoise Ugochukwu (Open University)
Paper long abstract:
Since Haynes’s publication of Nigerian Video Films in 1997, the young Nigerian video production has seen a multiplication defying both statistics and established conventions. Offering a mix of urban scenes and village encounters, appealing to both youths and families, reaching out to local audiences in several Nigerian languages including Pidgin and Engligbo, these films have now spilled out of Nigeria to reach the rest of Africa and beyond. This production now attracts a growing number of scholarly papers, with most of the publications emanating from Nigeria and the US and focusing on linguistic features, the treatment of politics, violence and religion in the films, their presentation of women and urban centres or their reception outside the country. While most of those films, produced in Lagos, are set in large towns, usually Lagos, the ancestral village is nearly always the scene of at least one family encounter. Surprisingly, the place of the characters’ ancestral home in this production is yet to be fully investigated. This paper will consider sixteen video films – The Battle of Muzanga (1996), Echidime (1996), Evil Men (1998), Okosisi (1999), Earthquake (1999), Izaga (1999), Calabash (2000), Evil Forest (2000), Seeds of Bondage (2001), The Village Hunter (2001), Evil Seed (2001), Conspiracy (n.d), Allegation (2002), Pound of Flesh (2002), All My life (2004) and Divine Twins (2007) - to evaluate the importance of the village in the scenarios, its cultural, traditional and religious input and the role it has so far been assigned by film directors.
Author:Author details not provided
Paper long abstract:
Author: James Tsaaior
The dialectical interaction between tradition and (post)modernity constitutes a bold and visible trajectory in African aesthetics. The video film in Nigeria particularly participates in and resonates this interactional reality. But rather than construct Manichean, fixed and ossified relations which are asymmetrical and conflictual, there exists a robust, healthy and symbiotic relationship between tradition and (post)modernity in this filmic tradition, pointing significantly to the continuum of history, culture and life in Africa, and Nigeria, in particular. Within this aesthetic tradition also is inscribed the politics of gender. This is contingent on the fact that much of Africa is phallocentric and societal institutions and values are patterned to privilege phallic ideology to the mutual exclusivity of matriarchal ideology.
This paper engages the video film tradition in Nigeria within the paradigmatic schema of (post)modernity and the gender politics that mediate and govern its practice. It deploys a historicist, feminist-deconstructive perspective as a strategy for the analytic exploration of Nigerian video films. It submits that the mutual interaction between tradition and (post)modernity foregrounds the nexus between heterogeneous cultures and values in the fashioning of a filmic tradition that is positioned and situated within its cultural milieu and yet valorizes inherited hybrid values which are relevant for its thriving and authenticity. The paper also negotiates the gender calculus that characterizes the landscape of the video film in Nigeria as a patriarchal society and calls for a re-configuration of gender relations in favour of women whose humanity is sometimes occluded and even negated in the films thereby constructing a meaningful space for women.