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Nigerian Actors are Exulted as the Potential for ‘Nollywood’ Grows

‘Hollywood’ is often referred to as the capital of the entertainment industry, as hopeful individuals are seen flocking there everyday to make there dreams a reality. However despite being one of the biggest industries, with various cultures existing in the world, Hollywood may no longer reign as supreme in the entertainment industry, as the Nollywood industry is increasing becoming more popular. ‘Nollywood’ refers to the film industry of Nigeria, and is seen to be the 3rd largest film industry in the world, producing 1687 movies as of 2007, trailing the very popular Indian film industry of Bollywood.

Nollywood-600x450Commencing in the 1990s ‘Nollywood’ was derived from Yoruba travelling theatre tradition. Unlike its North American counterpart, Nollywood movies are made directly to video rather than having a screening in theatres. These films are shot on tight budgets, with productions pricing varying anywhere from $10 000 to $50 000, which is a huge contrast to western produced higher budget films. Most of the content of these films relies heavily on the viewer, as most of these films and their themes are shown to cater toward Nigerian citizens

As technology is constantly evolving, the demand for quality equipment becomes very high, especially for the production of films/ television. Nowadays watching a film can be quite distracting if the quality is subpar, as the push for technology, has created viewers to expect high standards. Through ‘Nollywood’ producing films with low budgets, these Nigerian directors only purchase technology when it becomes affordable. However it is worth considering that this film industry has excellent grounds to increase the production quality of its films due to remaining on a low budget, possibly becoming the biggest film industry in the world.

 This popular ‘Nollywood’ film industry has numerously been labeled as a product of globalisation, however, Onookome Okome states “While there is no doubt that Nollywood exhibits the hybrid character that is obvious in many forms of African popular arts, it is its acute notation of locality that gives it an unprecedented acceptability as the local cinematic expression in Nigeria and indeed in Africa…Yet, the form and content of Nollywood narratives reminds the casual observer of the obvious ties it has to the complicated trade in global media images even when the point has been made of its unique place in world media culture”. To sum Okome’s quote whilst there is definitely an element of global media influence, Nigerian film directors are shown intentionally incorporating popular African arts and revolving their themes around Nigerian and African focused culture.

The introduction to Netflix’s on western culture has changed the way we view our media, even having influence on the ‘Nollywood’ industry as they begin to take advantage of the Internet and social media as a means of distributing their films. Labelled the ‘Netflix’s of Africa’ iRokoTV, is a streaming service that is home most ‘Nollywood’ films. Alfred Joyner’s article ‘Exploring the future of Nollywood’, this streaming service will more people around the world to have access to ‘Nollywood’ films as they are no longer exclusively available in a hard copy.

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Countries all want quality film industries that compete with Hollywood’s extremely successful industry. Our world is increasingly globalised through every aspect, and our cultures are always mixing and linking in some way.

So on a final note,

Do you believe that ‘Nollywood’ or even ‘Bollywood’ has the potential to over take the success of western industries?

Feel free to leave a comment down below.

Thanks,

– davidsdistrict

References:

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I-G-G- WHY?

Understanding what ‘Cultural Appropriation’ is throughout today’s society is as easy as turning on your television or watching your favourite music video, it occurs around us constantly. ‘Cultural Appropriation’ looks at individuals adopting aspects of a culture that’s not their own. On a deeper understanding it refers to a “particular power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group” (Maisha Z. Johnson). To many, the term implies the theft of culture, without respect to its history and an ignorance of underlying cultural meaning.

Through analysing today’s media, there are many well- known individuals whose actions have lead to negative connotations regarding the adoption of a culture rather than their own. An example of this is the Australian born female ‘Hip-Hop’ artist Iggy Azalea. In a genre dominated almost exclusively by African American men, Azalea stands out, but unfortunately it’s not for the right reasons. The hometown ‘rapper’ has recently sparked a great deal of controversy as her ‘Cultural Appropriation’, hints to underlining tones of racism.

iggy-showOne example of Azalea’s ‘Cultural Appropriation’ events first occurred on the song entitled ‘D.R.U.G.S’ as the artist refers to herself as a “runaway slave… master”. This incident caused massive amounts of controversy, especially in the African- American community, leading many to speak out on the issue, including Iggy’s peer, African- American ‘Hip-Hop’ artist Azealia Banks. Banks took to various media outlets to talk about the history of American capitalism beginning with slave labor as well the discussion about reparations. Banks goes on to state “at the very least y’all owe me the right to my f***ing identity and to not exploit that s***. That’s all we’re holding on to with ‘Hip-Hop” and ‘Rap’”. Being classified as any type of artist provides many individuals an outlet for self-expression and vehicle for identification, however using expressions whilst having a lack of cultural appreciation becomes dispensable, and is an insult stemming from a long history and trend of racial and ethnic discrimination and prejudice. When violence systematically targets a group of people through genocide, slavery, or colonisation, the resulting trauma lasts through generations. It’s insulting to say the least.

Iggy Azalea 'Blackcent' memeThe Daily Dot’s Derrick Clifton writes: “‘Fancy’ new starlet is now dominating the entire genre, especially since she’s now the female rapper with the longest reign on the ‘Billboard Top 100’ But it seems as though every time conversations crop up about Iggy Azalea, the vocal critics get panned—mainly by white people—as a horde of racists for ‘attacking’ their participation in black art forms, no matter how intrinsically rooted they are to black experiences… Our sayings, dialects, and even vocal dynamics may bear common roots, but are heavily influenced by life experiences, education and regional differences. Iggy azaleas ‘natural speaking voice’ is actually the sugary-sweet, rural Australian accent she grew’ up with—not the grungy, Southern ‘’blackcent’ she adopts for the sake of rapping”

As Clifton suggests here, there are ways to imitate black artists that don’t explicitly demean them or the black community, and that actually honor the legacy of black music. In fact, he singles out Adele, Duffy, and Sam Smith as prime examples. However the problem with Azalea here is with her accent, her clothes, and her general image, as he agues that she’s basically a step away from black face. That’s not to say Azalea doesn’t truly love the kind of music she’s taking from. The ‘rapper’ personally shares her admiration for legendary rap artists such as Tupac, even citing him as the reason why she felt so inspired to enter the industry in the first place. Nevertheless loving hip-hop, or any kind of music relating to a culture for that matter, doesn’t really make it okay for you to “act black,” as it becomes a strike against her authenticity and tips her over the line from appreciation into appropriation.

So what do you think?

Do you believe Azalea is inappropriate when it comes to ‘Cultural Appropriation’?

If so, what other individuals have you seen been doing the same?

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks,

– davidsdistrict.

References:

  • Chang, Jeff. ‘Azealia Banks, Iggy Azalea And Hip-Hop’s Appropriation Problem’. the Guardian. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Clifton, Derrick. ’17 Things White People Need To Know About #Yesallblackpeople’. The Daily Dot. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Johnson, Maisha. ‘What’S Wrong With Cultural Appropriation? These 9 Answers Reveal Its Harm’. Everyday Feminism. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Morrison, Aaron. ‘Rachel Dolezal, Iggy Azalea And Cultural Appropriation: When Admiration Of Black Culture Becomes Offensive’. International Business Times. N.p., 2015. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Osterndorf, Chris. ‘Iggy Azalea And A Culture Of Appropriation’. Media Diversified. N.p., 2013. Web. 4 Sept. 2015.
  • Iggy Azalea Photo: prettystatus.com
  • Iggy Azalea Photo meme: davidsdistrict
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No Need For A Plane Ticket, Experiencing Diverse Culture Is Just A Click Away

The world of the 21st century is immensely different in that which our parents or even grandparents have been being raised in. Increases in technological advances and developments over these last decades have created a virtual sense of connection between different global boarders, which occurs through ‘Globalisation’. “Globalisation offers a sense of interconnectedness by facilitating interpersonal communication and the formation of communities and relationships across geographic, racial, religious and cultural barriers” (O’Shaughnessy & Stadler P45)

This can be more accurately understood in reference to ‘Americanisation’. American is often referred to as having one of the largest impacts on the world, therefore ‘Americanisation’ is a commonly used analogy to describe the idea of globalisation as it looks at the influence of American culture on countries, determining its effects on food, technology, media, business practices, and political techniques.

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Analysing Australia’s media, with popular shows such as F.R.I.E.N.D.S, The Simpsons and Orange is the New Black; it is evident that American culture frequently played out on Aussie screens. With many countries including Australia adopting and reconstructing adaptions of American shows such as ‘Big Brother’ this idea of ‘Americanisation’ and its effects on culture is further reinforced.

This phenomenon of ‘Globalisation’ is characterised by a sense of interdependence, where national borders become blurred in the face of instantaneous connections and the virtual sharing of information. No matter the physical difference, with just a click of a mouse, we are able to make quick connections on a global scale, exposing many new experiences, as different countries can shape and adapt different diverse culture.

Although American is seen to be very influential, our world today is defiantly becoming more multi -cultural, as our society adapts to different cultural influences including the music we listen to, how we dress and the food we consume. Going out for dinner has never been more difficult in todays society, from Thai to Mexican to Italian, the endless amount of cultural options has opened up the world to different experiences without even having to leave a 5km radius, a great positive that ‘Globalisation’ offers to many individuals.

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The ease of exchanging information is also becoming the most evident in today’s media. Through analysing today’s media, well-known celebrities and pop stars are embracing many aspects of different cultures other than their own. Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Selena Gomez are three examples in particular, as they find inspiration from Indian, Native American and Asian culture (represented in the images above). Through integrating several traditions into their music and fashion, they allow individual’s to positively embrace and understand different cultures without having to even visit the country, which is pretty amazing.

So on a final note- Do you believe ‘Globalisation’ is helping to make a positive change in the integration of diverse cultures in our society, or is there no need for Globalisation?

Please feel free to leave a comment down below.

Have a great day and Thanks for visiting.

– davidsdistrict

References List:

  1. O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471.