Author:Melita Zajc (University of Maribor)
Paper short abstract:
The results of the fieldwork on Nigerian Video Film Culture show that it is innovating the film language, subverts the dominant systems of video production and distribution and provides space for the articulation of public oppinion. Could this be the ground for broader counclusions about the role of the visual in contemporary cultures and struggles?
Paper long abstract:
Nigeria, where education, health and social systems, cultural production and the media are mostly un-regulated parts of the free market, presents the Impire in its extreme. Nigerian Video Film Culture started as a free enterprise and movie making proved to be a profitable activity. Its movies became prime media for free expression of the oppinion on the contemporary Nigerian society. Its systems of production and distribution are based on the alternative (pirate) network for the distribution of video contents (initially VHS tapes). It's film language is using visual models and motives from existing popular Western and Indian contents, creating visual metaphors forming previously unseen worlds of horror and fantasy. By these innovations Nigerian Cinema is the location of resistance within the country and a challenge to the dominant global systems of representation and of video production and distribution.
The 20. Century considered the visual (as the ideology, the spectacle, or the simulacrum) to be the vehicle presenting the given power relations as unchangeable. Today, the use of images is becoming more democratic, yet the chances for revolt are being more limited than ever. Democratically-created images reproduce the dominant system of representation, their production is being part of an increased individualism blocking any sense of companionship that is the condition for envisioning a common, different future. Faced with this general observations, could the results of our fieldwork in Nigeria give us any knowledge regarding the chances for the improvement of social conditions, as the visual is gaining importance within contemporary cultures.
Empires and differences