Saturday, July 7, 2018
Pieter Hugo's Misrepresentation of Nollywood
I am always angry everytime I see Nollywood by Pieter Hugo, Munich: Prestel, 2009, with texts by Chris Abani, Stacy Hardy and Zina Saro-Wiwa.
Why? Because of the author's erroneous images of the true pictures of this awesome sociocultural phenomenon of the first indie film industry in Africa.
This book of horrifying photographs of Pieter Hugo's misrepresentation of Nollywood is the typical misrepresentation of African arts and culture by white people; as bizarre and primitive.
What Hugo has published as "Nollywood" is not Nollywood. It is a cannibalisation of Nollywood by a white South African photographer for the exploitation of the phenomenon for the promotion of his own kind of sensational photography. And it is a shame that two Nigerian writers contributed to Hugo's bastardisation of Nollywood as an African Hammer House of Horror celebrating Voodoos.
Hugo's previous book, The Hyena and Other Men did not annoy me, because he simply documented the Nigerian street circus entertainers who went about with their wild hyenas and tamed baboons to entertain people on the streets of Nigeria. He did not turn them into horrifying monsters as he did with his distortions of the actors and movie sets of Nollywood of southern Nigeria.
There is nothing more to add to my analysis of this gothic photo book that should have been titled, "Pieter Hugo's Nightmares of South Africa".
I am happy that other authors have produced better and factual reports on Nollywood after Hugo.
Books by Pierre Barrot, Prof. Jonathan Haynes, Emily Witt, Matthias Krings and Onookome Okome are eye witness accounts and studies by honest authors without any misinformation about the film productions.
The celebrated Nigerian fashion icon and photographer, Iké Udé's Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty and my NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®Series have shown the beauty and ingenuity of the Nigerians who created the panorama of Nollywood.
See all the Essential Books on NOLLYWOOD￼.
~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Publisher/Editor of the NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®Series