Nollywood: Fast, Furious, and Misunderstood

This weeks studies had us focus on Global Film ,and had us explore the two markets of Nollywood, and Korean Cinema. Now our tutor brought up a great point; we know Hollywood, we might have heard of Bollywood, but have any of us heard of Nollywood? In my case, I had not! And I am glad I have now. This brings us to the question, why have so many of u not heard of this sensation that is taking the movie industry by a storm?

“Nollywood compels attention from those outside its field
of operation and cultural vision, not that the industry cares for any
attention from the outside.” (Okome, 2007)

Nollywood is exactly what it sounds like, Nigeria’s answer to Hollywood. But saying just this would sell the industry short. Even to this day, despite finding success all over the world, Nollywood has stayed true to many African ideals and customs, and continues to be made by Africans, for Africans. Since its conception in Lagos in the 1990s, it has swiftly grown to account for more than 1844 movies in 2013 alone. By 2009, it had America’s Hollywood in becoming the second largest movie industry in the world, second to only India’s Bollywood (Bright, 2015). The secret behind this is this: cheap production, quantity and the extremely fast way in which the movies are created.

Nollywood is created by Nigerians, for Nigerians. they depict their every day lives, with a movie industry flair. The have incredibly short shoot times, as little as 5 days per film. This has enabled Nollywood creators to flood the market with their films. These are not blockbuster films, but their relatability in African culture through themes such as love, corruption and betrayal has garnered them attention and praise.

Despite never needing to find success in the first place, Nollywood is still viewed by the industry as a niche market, or something exotic. A Nollywood film would never win the “Best Picture”award, they would instead be confined to their own category, “Best Foreign Film”or even “Best Nollywood Picture”. It seems like Nollywood cannot exist outside the framework of Hollywood, despite it continuing to show that it stands out and on its own two feet.

Nollywood provides an escape for people as all movies do. People who identify as coming from that country find a kinship, a connection with the movies as they see problems that they face brought to the front, rather than pushed to the back. They see people who they identify with being represented on the screen, which empowers them. They represent real people, real lives, and real stories. It is the beauty of this that has taken the movie industry by a storm. But, rather funnily, they don’t need our recognition. Onookome Okome (2007) states this fact in her exploration of Nollywood; the inward view of these films establish the industry as an “autonomous local expression”. They have their autonomy, with or without the rest of the world.

Sophie Abrahams

Reference list:

Krings, M & Okome, O. 2013. ‘Global Nollywood: The transnational Dimensions of an African Video Film Industry’, Indiana University Press, 2013. p. 25-43

Okome, O. 2007. ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21.

This is Nollywood 2009, video, California Newsreel, 2nd December, viewed 5th August, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYDBiHEW1Os&gt;

Bright, J. (2015). Meet ‘Nollywood’: The second largest movie industry in the world. [Blog] Fortune. Available at: http://fortune.com/2015/06/24/nollywood-movie-industry/ [Accessed 8 Aug. 2017].

 

 

 

 

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Australia: Education Haven

iStock_000020672036Medium3
Stock Image, International Students

I don’t think many students realise just how good we have it. We have the opportunity to go to university, we have our fees subsidized and postponed until we have our life together, we get the support of our government for necessities such as microwaveable pasta, coffees for our 8:30 AM tutes and rent (thanks Centerlink), and many support services at our disposal. For students with a slightly different background, the story is very different.

I work almost every night at a local Thai restaurant, and the people I’ve met there have opened up my eyes to how hard it is for our international students. I’m the only Australian born person there, and many of the people I work with are diligently studying. They face so many obstacles while trying to get an education, such as visa problems, having to pay all the fees up front, job shortages (don’t even get me started on the fact that most international students are earning way less than the minimum wage) and last but not least, discrimination.

‘International education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be’ (Marginson, 2012)

We as a nation believe ourselves to be open to all cultures, to be accepting and inviting to others and to be compassionate. From what I have heard from our fellow international students, this is not always the case. I used to be of the mindset that international students preferred to make friends with other international students, as they would feel a kin ship that they would not feel from me, and of course I felt like the language barrier would keep us from forming a friendship. I admit that this was naive of me, and I have come to know that many international students would love to have more Australian friends, if we would give them a chance.

I have been told that my coworkers would try to make friends with other Australians, but would either be met with discrimination  or annoyance. They love to talk with Australians as it helps them improve their English, it helps accustom them to an Australian lifestyle and it overall improves their experiences while studying. But the intimidation of already formed cliques, rebuttals and generally feeling like an outsider gets in their way.

At best international education becomes intercultural education in which self-forming individuals engage with each other in a cosmopolitan relational space criss-crossed by changing differences. They are open to each other and learn much from each other” (Marginson P.61)

As Marginson states above, we both have so much to learn from each other. The very degree that we are studying is a field which requires us to be open minded and understanding, and improve our knowledge along the way. In the end, we are all striving to the same goal, why can’t we come together and experience it as one?

Let’s throw away our differences and make Australia live up to the the multicultural  image of a haven of education that so many people see it to be!

Sophie Abrahams

Reference List:

Marginson, S 2012, International education as self -formation, University of Wollongong, Pp 1 – 11.

Globalisation: The Cost of Convenience

I challenge you to put down your phone, and look around you in your next morning commute. I did this once while living in Sydney and observed my fellow passengers, and marveled the fact that every single person was on their phone. People were texting, scrolling, searching and basically just burning their time with their little machines with screens. Now this might not shock you (it certainly didn’t shock me) but what may is how these devices make their way into our palms, and the real cost behind the convenience of smartphones.

Globalisation as defined by O’Shaughnessy and Stadler is as follows:

‘Globalisation refers to an international community influenced by technological development and economic, political, and military interests. It is characterised by a worldwide increase in interdependence, interactivity, interconnectedness, and the virtually instantaneous exchange of information.

Globalisation could lead to the homogenisation of world cultures, or to hybridisation and multiculturalism’  (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, P 458)

Now globalisation itself seems like an amazing step in the evolution of human society, and from the quote above we can see many possible outcomes as to how it could benefit us. It could lead to an interconnected world, working in harmony to utilize information, communicate and work together to make our world a better, more interdependent multicultural safe haven. Sadly, as with most things, it is not that simple. An example of globalisation is the outsourcing of labor by many major companies, and one example is our beloved Apple Inc.

apple_really_number1_supply_chain_wide_image
(Supply Chain 247, 2013)

Apple has for years outsourced the manufacturing of Apple Iphones and Ipads to many different countries, but lets look at the big one; China. See above Apple’s supply chain. As we can see, the materials are sourced from many outside countries, and are then brought to china to begin the manufacturing process. Now, the main company handling this is Foxconn, and not surprisingly this company AND Apple have recently come under scrutiny by Amnesty International and Afrewatch after a report came out highlighting the child labor supporting manufacturing process that concerns some batteries found in Apple products.

Now some may say, “Well this is normal, so many companies do this to keep the cost down for consumers.”. This may be the case for some, but studies have actually shown that if Apple were to move its manufacturing process to America (which would also create thousands more jobs), the Iphone would only cost $2-$3 MORE (Kabin, 2013). The reason why they decided to do otherwise was so that they could maximise the profit cut for the corporation heads, and ensure that the work is done as fast as possible. Now, how do you think the work is done so fast? The workers in China work 12 hours, no break 7 days a week. Plus, if they were to buy an Iphone for themselves, it would cost them many years of hard, manual labor to do so.

McLuhen’s view of a Global Village is idyllic and in some respects is emerging, given our growing exploration of our own and other cultures around us, but things like this are in my opinion turning back the clock. We sit here with the ultimate machine of convenience in our hands, while the hands that created them are sore, tired, and struggling. The dichotomy of this is the exact opposite effect of what globalisation is supposed to cause, and something needs to be done.

Sophie Abrahams

Reference List:

O’Shaughnessy M & Stadler J, 2012, ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 458 – 471.  

Kabin, B 2013, Apple’s iPhone: Designed in California But Manufactured Fast All Around the World (Infographic), Entrepreneur, weblog post, September 11, viewed 5 August 2017 <https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228315&gt;.

Supply Chain 247, 2013, Apple Supply Chain [ONLINE], available at: http://www.supplychain247.com/article/is_apples_supply_chain_really_the_no._1_a_case_study, assessed 5 August 2017.