Nigeria know their clientele

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Director Kunle Afolayan, on the set of his new movie, which will be distributed on Netflix. Photograph by Kunle Afolayan

Nigeria, ‘The Giant of Africa’ boasts 192 million people, with its capital city Lagos being a thriving super-city and the home of film making wonder – Nollywood! The second largest film industry in the world. Nollywood, relatively unknown to the western world, produces up to 35 films per week, that are reproduced up to 50,000 times, a staggering number that rivals other film industries worldwide. So why haven’t we heard about it?

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http://jaguda.com/movies-2/nollywood-2/watch-nollywood-movies-on-american-cable-networks-starting-feb-1/

Onookome argues that “Nollywood is commercially-savvy. It values the entertainments of its clientele.” (2007, p. 2).  Nollywood’s clientele is not the rich, they are the locals. The films are not produced for export to the overseas market, they are produced by locals with a small amount of capital.  Onookome also argues that “Nollywood provides the imagery for certain marginal sections of the society where it operates” (2007, p. 2). These films are not shown on television or in cinemas, as they are produced as videos, either to be watched at home, (often locals do not like to go out in the evenings because of the high crime rates in Lagos) or on a street corner with many others. Onookome states “Since the advent of popular video films, ‘street corner theatres’ have become part of the visual topography of the city…”  “This act of peculiar ‘coming together’ is often effected during the evening, just when workers of the city are heading home for the day”. (2007, p. 6).

Nollywood films are filmed locally. They are often filmed in venues like the local coffee shop, or in a local hotel room being rented by the hour. Dialog used is typically Pidgin English, the costumes are typically long dresses (for the women), as they have been brought from home to wear on set. The filming itself is usually on a home video recorder or a similar device. Quality it appears, is optional. However, it is loved by the locals and watched in droves.

Nigerian actress Ebbe Bassey (Image: Ebbesdream.com)
Nigerian actress Ebbe Bassey Image: Ebbesdream.com)

The narratives of the videos are created for locals based on traditional characters discussing contemporary issues. They can be up to three hours long, and do not focus on aesthetics. Alamu sates ‘Nollywood is not homologous with foreign traditions. The Nigerian film industry is instead defined and sustained by Nigerians. The commercial success and popularity of Nigerian films stem from their stories, which the audience finds fascinating and consonant with their expectations.’ (2010, p. 166). The themes are based on happenings that are close to home, stories that are typical within the daily life of a Nigerian people, making them relatable and easy to watch. These expressions of local life are often filled with magical mystic, spiritually creating enticement for the audiences.

Onookome states that ‘this pragmatic method of telling the social and economic concerns of the abject gradually builds up into neighbourhood feelings, which then offers alternative means of survival for members in these popular neighbourhoods whose social and economic interests are often left unattended in the larger political dispensation of the State.” (2007, p. 9). Because Nollywood knows its clientele, and remains focused on what its clientele wants to view, a sustainable industry generating billions each year for Nigeria has been developed and sustained for at least the past 20 years.

Reference:

Alamu, O (2010) ‘Narrative and style in Nigerian (Nollywood) films’, African Study Monographs, Vol 31, no. 4 pp. 163-171. < http://jambo.africa.kyoto-u.ac.jp/kiroku/asm_normal/abstracts/pdf/31-4/31-4-2.pdf> viewed online 17 August 2017

Onookome, O (2007) ‘Nollywood: Spectatorship, Audience and the Sites of Consumption’, Postcolonial Text, Vol 3, no. 2 p. 1-21.

 

 

 

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calling all global citizens

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(image from hop-online website)

Within this era of world globalisation, international trade has become a feature of primary industry.  Australia has ensured they have taken advantage of this continuing trend in various ways, one of them is offering International Education to the world. So much so that is has become one of Australia’s largest exports. However, on examining the international students’ experience whilst being educated here in Australia, it does not appear to be an export that is encouraged or nurtured by the student public, media, or government. A terrible shame from such an amazing country.

We are reminded by Kell and Vogl that International students experience multiple complexities on arriving and living in Australia, aside from the language differences, they are missing home, feel lonely, and often must decipher transport arrangements, financial and accommodation concerns alone. It is important that we understand these difficulties and ensure they do not become overwhelming and that discrimination does not occur. This responsibility is placed in the hands of the hosting country and its people. (Kell & Vogel 2006, p. 3).

However, international students do not always receive this support;

Marcella Purnama from Meld Magazine, on Life as an international student: “I love Melbourne. I love studying here. I still think it’s the most liveable city in the world. That being said, I have my dark moments too. As an international student, I’ve experienced frustration and discrimination. I feel like I’m constantly being regarded as a second-class student.”

Research shows that international students want to be part of the Australian life style. Marginson states “they want closer interaction with local students, and are prepared to take risks to achieve this. And it shows that most local students are not interested.” (2000, p. 1).

Although, the international student adds to Australia’s culture and economic growth, there are reports of discrimination and mistreatment towards international students. The Cronulla Riots, during December 2005 are unfortunately an example of how far people will go, when fuelled by mislead anger and propaganda. It’s our responsibility as the citizens of the global world to ensure we think carefully when acting on information we may “hear” or “see”; we must research for ourselves, and look at both sides of the argument before making decisions on appropriate actions.

There are themes that occur in the Australian media. That reports that have emerged from the media provide information on the victim, like ‘Indian’ but little information on the wrongdoers. (Paltridge et al. 2010, p. 111).  Paltridge et al. state that ‘’Indian’ students were frequently identified as the subjects of attacks representing a shorthand for ‘international students’, while perpetrators were vaguely described (young men / numbers of men).’  (2014, p. 111).  The ethnicity of the young men was not reported. (Paltridge et al. 2010, p. 111).  Paltridge et al. also state ‘that denial of racism, by senior police, academics and government ministries is legitimised in statements like: “I think there’s a racial element. I see no point in denying that. But I think there are a lot of other social dynamics contributing to this, she (Dr Forbes-Mewett) said.” (2014, p. 111).

I’m calling all global citizens of the world to change this, to look outwards and remind ourselves to think globally, act locally.

References:

Kell, P, Vogl, G 2006, ‘Proceedings of the Everyday Multiculturalism Conference of the CRSI’ International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes, p 1-10.

Marginson, S 2012, ‘Morphing a profit-making business into an intercultural experience: International education as self-formation’, Center for the study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, p 1-11.

Paltridge, T, Mayson, S, & Schhapper, J (2014), ‘Welcome and exclusion: an analysis of The Australian newspaper’s coverage of international students’. Higher Education (00181560), vol. 68, no. 1, pp. 103-116.

On-line reference

HuffPost Australia 2015, The Cronulla Riots, December 11 2005, online video, viewed 12 August 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b7JSgfFzqs&gt=&gt; December 9, viewed 12 August 2017.

Purnama, M 2015 , Meld Magazine Life as an international student: Sometimes, it feels like we’re second-class, weblog post 12 August, viewed 13 August 2017. <http://www.meldmagazine.com.au/2015/08/international-students-second-class/&gt;

imagined communities

the evening post

During the 1980’s I read the daily newspaper and magazines in the lunch room at work, the reported events with my work colleagues. I did this without any notion that we were coming together through our discussions as a community. A workplace community, sharing ideas and opinions, over the printed articles we were reading. There was no real perception that we were an insulated group, our discussions going no further than our families and friends at home each night. No concept of how local our discussions were. No idea that this concept would change so much, and so quickly with globalisation, the buzzword for technology motivated communities combining cultures and media. My imagined community was safe, limited and local. However, globalisation had arrived and was opening the world, and I was about to be immersed in it.

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Courtesy – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Benedict Anderson states “the fellow members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of the communion…Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity or genuineness, but in the style in which they are imagined.” (Anderson, 1983)

In 1983 Benedict Anderson wrote the book ‘Imagined Communities’, in which he argues his theory that communities are imagined. Brought together by groups of audiences gathering to discuss stories, verbally communicated stories and printed stories. It’s the printed stories, and how they were dispersed and read that underlies the concept of imagined communities and the notion of the nation. Anderson discusses printing and how it was used to produce communications, produced in a common language, that most individuals could read. Groups formed to read the news sheets (and other printed matter), gathering on streets and in coffee shops, thus, introducing the theory of print capitalism. (Anderson, 1983).

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free image from creative commons

Appadurai brings us up-to-date by reminding us of past restrictions (i.e. no internet, expensive travel), alongside the theories that are now current. He writes about global cultural flows and the complexities of the current global fundamentals, alongside the concerns that are forming due to the perception of cultures being lost in the new world of globalisation. (Appadunai, 2000). However, with the ease of travel and the speed of the internet, we can only move forward. We can remain in our imagined communities, but with an outlook that is global.

“Think local and act global. Think local, as people need to be rooted in their identity, in their interests, and in their institutions of political representation. But act global, via the Internet, connectivity, media politics and international competitiveness, as the powers that be inhabit the global space.” Manual Castells, Challenges of Globalisation, 2001.

Reference:

Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47

the medium is the massage

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Reading one of my favourite books tonight.  The World of the Book, written by Des Cowley and Clare Williamson. The chapter I’m reading – books that changed the world. “McLuhan was prophetic in recognising that our future lives would be lived in a global village of communication networks, a brand new world of allatonceness. For him, the form by which we communicate would, in the future, carry a greater weight than the content of communication.

This raises the question of who or what has changed the world: the books or the people who wrote them?

lost in the story

transmedia-storytelling11In September 2004 a new series began on television, Lost. I’m pretty sure I watched most of the 121 episodes. I guess that made me a fan of the show. I loved it, but always felt in a little lost in the mystery. Until recently I had no idea how much mystery was involved. I also didn’t realise that there was a website – hosting a alternate reality game – “The Lost Experience” that was full of more mysteries and ran in conjunction with the television show. I feel ripped off!  This series was one of the first Transmedia stories to hit television. And it was a huge success story.

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Henry Jenkins tells the transmedia story : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk3pahtpsVY

‘Many different characters, many different stories, on many different platforms’ – Henry Jenkins. Any content that can engage audiences over many platforms creates the interest desired by audiences today. The passive audience is becoming obsolete, the participating audience is becoming the new norm.

ed sheeran & copyright laws

He seems to me like a pretty cool dude, he loves New Zealand and Australia and his music, I love it.  So when I was told that he had been sued a couple of times for copying other peoples music, I thought ‘whatever’ that’s probably just a Facebook story!

However, last week we had a lecture on copyright laws, and figured I should check it out. Ridiculously it’s true. A couple of Eds songs have been considered copied and Ed has been sued. His song ‘Photograph’ apparently is a rip off of ‘Amazing’, a song written by Harrington & Leonard is and sung by Matt Cardle, an X-Factor winner.

Created by Eire Creative, Sydney. Posted on You Tube.

They sound a bit similar to me, but not the same. Even the singer himself said “This is not my lawsuit. I think Ed Sheeran is a genius and 100 per cent deserves all his success”. Well said Matt!

I figured I need to dig a bit deeper, what does it really mean when someone says “The chorus sections of ‘Amazing’ and the infringing ‘Photograph’ share 39 identical notes”. But I keep finding this comment… “THE 12 NOTE scale, is what defines western music. END of STORY.” So how does someone copy 39 identical notes, when only 12 exist? I googled and couldn’t find the answer to that question. I’ve placed the question on Quora, I’ll have to wait to see if anyone answers me.

17 May 2017

QUORA Question answered… “well remember there are many more notes, than the 12 note scale” .. got me I still have no idea what he’s talking about.

But what I did find was a load of information re copyright laws and music. “Under the Copyright Act of 1976, which took effect in 1978, anytime a person writes or records an original piece of music, a copyright automatically exists.” So as of 1978 any music written even “If a single chord progression were elaborate enough and unconventional enough, it could be protected.”

Should this kid be sued, hes sings beautifully and hes changed it up here and there it make it his own!  I say No, let him be a creative as he possibly can! Let him sing his heart out and enjoy it as much as he can.

Copyright laws need to be reconsidered for what they really stand for. Protecting creatively or limiting creatively.

amen break…

When music sampling began in the hip hop scene during the mid 80’s, the almost 6 second drum loop instrumental the ‘Amen Break’ was revitalised – 20 years after it’s creation. It’s been used in music remixes about 2,000 times since. Music that we hear everyday, on the radio, in commercials and pubs / clubs. The influence the Amen Break (or Break or Break Beat) has been phenomenal. It’s funky, smooth and catchy, its been re-used at normal speed, fast and slow.  However its used, it always sounds very cool. Here’s a version from Youtube:

At first sliced into a track, but with the technology we have available to us today, it’s become much easier to add into a track. DJ’s and produsers can built tracks quickly, they can be unique, original and ready to play immediately.

When I was in my twenty’s, remixing was happening in a much simpler way, we didn’t call it remixing, we were just making music. A couple of decks and my now husband would, from his large record collection, play records, overlap them, double back them, then bring in something new. We were creating our own music, and loving it. No recordings were made, it was considered a hobby. Sometimes now he says….”I wish I still had my decks and records”… good times!

 

 

 

 

 

 

facts are true, the news is fake

Story.   ….Legacy media

or should it be…

Event. Frame. Story.  ….Active participation

which do you choose?

Legacy media, tells us the story. The framing has been done for us, and the event – which was probably a real event – but it’s also been framed by someone else. In most cases a journalist, who ‘knew’ how we would want to view this event.  Facts are true, but the news is fake. Everything was conditional.

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(TUI Advertisement… an iconic ad for Tui Beer in New Zealand… Yeah Right!)

Now that we have access the internet, we can become aware of an event, chose to frame it ourselves and create our own story. Be an active participant, ask questions, make comments, find out the truth.

A lot of us (particularly us baby boomers) the have been trained to be an audience to legacy media. But this is changing, and fast. Newspapers have been on the decline for some time now.  Plus there are news channels on TV or on the internet, like –  Media Watch and Q&A available for us to view, and gain further insights.

get-active-participate

 

meme warfare

Who knew that memes went to war, well in a manner of speaking they do!

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When I first learnt about meme’s I thought they were there for frivolous fun, which of course they are, but they are also a very powerful weapon! According to YourNewsWire.Com, US defence documents; memes can be used to win wars and influence the general population. The 2016 American elections are evidence of this, with Hilary Clintons brand sabotaged by meme warfare. Her brand was used against her with meme magic. 4chan was the forum used for the meme warfare created to undermine Hilary Clinton. Within 24 hours a bunch of anonymous people from around the world produced and launched (on Facebook) a campaign that was brutal and believable, it had an irreversible effect – that’s powerful!

Anyone with internet access can create meme warfare. I found a ‘book’ on the internet called How to Overthrow The Powers That Be on a Low Budget by Stephen DeVoy. It’s a brilliant read, in his conclusion he says:

“A memetic weapon depends only on its inspiration of human behaviour to carry its payload. Such a weapon, when well designed and deployed with ingenuity, can affect mass social change. Each and every individual, armed only with an understanding of meme warfare, a creative impulse, and a will to act, is empowered with the means to undermine his or her oppressor. All human behaviour is fertile ground for meme warfare.”

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