August 11th, 2008

Pieter Hugo’s “Nollywood”

Posted by Ben in Africa, General, Photojournalism

© Pieter Hugo

Pieter Hugo, who won a World Press Photo Award for this photo of a Nigerian hyena handler, has some new work on the subject of Nigeria’s always-booming film industry known as Nollywood.

Having lived in West Africa for a few years and having spent some time in Nigeria I’m well aware of how wildly popular these films are throughout the region. They’re mostly traded around on worn-out videotapes or VCDs and watched in makeshift cinemas charging a small fee and consisting of a crowd of people gathered around a flickering TV set. For the countless numbers of West Africans living in poverty it’s some of the only entertainment accessible to them.

Pieter apparently adopted a creative approach to this project, rather than pure photojournalism, but it fits the subject well and the photos are just great:

“His first attempt to photograph on film sets documenting these scenes failed to produce pictures that fully mirrored the intensity of the situations. He then decided to bring his interpretation of these staged realities into another realm by assembling a team of forty actors and assistants. He asked them to recreate the stereotypical myths and symbols that characterise Nollywood productions, reproducing the dynamic of movie sets.”

You can see a selection of Pieter’s Nollywood photos here.

And if you want some good Nigerian music to listen to as you view the photos, go here.

[via The Click]


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