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Title: Nigerian filmmakers and their construction of a political past (1967-1998)
Author: Agina, Anulika
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 4571
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2015
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Once criticised as ‘seemingly’ oblivious of the political and historical concerns of the state (Osofisan, 2007; Adesokan, 2009b; Alamu, 2010; Okome, 2010; Mistry & Ellapen, 2013), some southern Nigerian filmmakers have begun reversing such critical narratives through negotiated images of the country’s political history. In spite of that, academic attention to such videos remains on the margins of textual or isolated audience analyses. This research questions the motivations, narrative techniques, underlying ideologies and reception of video films that construct Nigeria’s political past between 1967 and 1998, two significant moments in the country’s postcolonial history. This is achieved through contextual and post-structuralist readings of the films as popular art as well as semi-structured interviews of filmmakers and film journalists. The study found that historicizing an ethnically-diverse postcolonial state such as Nigeria through the agency of film is fraught with potential dangers, most of which cannot be mitigated by the filmmakers. Each stage of the production/consumption process is compounded by societal factors including filmmaker’s background, finance, audience and censorship. Also evident from the findings is that popular Nigerian videos sustain and subvert the dominant narratives on popular arts to gain economic advantage. Whereas some filmmakers endorse politicians’ practices, others subvert authoritarian regimes through metaphoric filmic codes (negotiated images) intelligible to audiences and deployed by the producers in order to circumvent censorship. Interrogating film journalists in addition to filmmakers served as an antidote to film producers’ self-reporting. By examining the reception of films through the lens of journalists, this study makes no generalisable claims on audiences, but delivers an original methodological approach to understanding films made in the past, about the past. Thus, the study proposes opening up the methodological approaches to Nollywood to accommodate film texts, producers and audiences rather than lone textual analyses that silence creators and consumers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available