In Search of the Nigerian Pastoral: Nollywood and the Nigerian Creative-Industrial System

Bud, Alexander (2019). In Search of the Nigerian Pastoral: Nollywood and the Nigerian Creative-Industrial System. PhD thesis The Open University.



This thesis explores the Nigerian creative-industrial system through the window of Nollywood. It questions conventional models of development by suggesting an alternative approach inspired by the historiography of consumption-based industrialization. Involving over 200 interviews and an extended ethnographic investigation of set craftsmanship and house and-hotel film locations, the research was carried out in Lagos and Igboland.

The study focuses on several core elements of the consumer-industrial system -- film and television; carpentry and fabrication; and houses and hotels; and engages with other parts such as events’ industries and printing and artizanal advertising.

The structure reflects two trajectories in Nollywood production: location production in Igboland and the new studio-system in Lagos. In the first part, the ways in which Nollywood and the Igbo built environment have interacted to produce new kinds of space are explored. The second part considers how Nigerian techniques of material fabrication have developed to produce new styles in three main areas: furnishings, TV and film sets and promotional installations. The ability of these practices to extend in surprising directions, establishing economy-wide linkages in financing, sales promotions and event-marketing, is a key part of this analysis. In the conclusion, the themes are considered through the lens of the Nigerian Pastoral to illuminate the intertwined development of distinctive Nigerian styles and tastes and competitive industrial sectors.

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