By Matthias Krings
Why may a Hollywood movie turn into a Nigerian video remake, a Tanzanian comedian ebook, or a Congolese track video? Matthias Krings explores the myriad methods Africans reply to the relentless onslaught of worldwide tradition. He seeks out areas the place they've got tailored pervasive cultural types to their very own reasons as picture novels, comedian books, songs, posters, or even rip-off letters. those African appropriations demonstrate the wide scope of cultural mediation that's attribute of our hyperlinked age. Krings argues that there's not an "original" or "faithful copy," yet simply never-ending adjustments that thrive within the fertile floor of African renowned culture.
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Extra resources for African Appropriations: Cultural Difference, Mimesis, and Media
24 a fr ica n a ppropr i ations In Tanzania, I observed a case of contact and copy which prompted a local critique akin to concerns in northern Nigeria over protecting local cultural identity. Interestingly enough, the influence of Nigerian Nollywood films on local Swahili video film production has come under fire by an intellectual elite in Tanzania. In chapter 5, I discuss such local copies of Nollywood movies in the context of the rapid spread of Nigerian video films across Africa within the past decade (cf.
When I encountered them in Kano, Nigeria, in the 1990s, they were integrated into the pantheon of the bori cult of spirit possession, where they appeared to be just one of several categories of foreign spirits. Unlike the others, however, they “embodied colonial memories” (Stoller 1995) and were sought after when it came to curing afflictions or solving problems somehow associated with modernity by their local clients: misuse of hemp, compulsivity in gambling, and failure in school. Chapter 2 addresses the remediation of Western modernity through African Film, a magazine of photo novels that enjoyed almost Pan-African circulation during the second half of the 1960s.
To highlight this aspect of appropriation, I rely on the term mimesis, as this implies some sort of relationship to an “original” (understood here simply as that to which a “copy” relates) and the borrowing of some of its qualities. The embodiment of spirits clad in European uniforms in Hausa rituals in Nigeria (chapter 1), Titanic songs sung by Tanzanian choirs (chapter 3), and the mimicry of bureaucracy by Nigerian cyber scammers (chapter 7) are all aimed at invoking contact— in quite a number of ways—with their originals by means of the fabricated copies, as is apparent throughout this book.
African Appropriations: Cultural Difference, Mimesis, and Media by Matthias Krings