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Notes Introduction 1. I have borrowed from Haynes’s comprehensive literature reviews (2010a and 2010b) for several of the citations included in this chapter. 2. According to Haynes (2010a), these conferences include Modes of Seeing; The Video Film in Africa (2001), organized by Onookome Okome and Till Forester at the University of Bayreuth, Germany; the First International Conference on Hausa Films (2003), organized by the Center for Hausa Cultural Studies in Kano; The Nigerian Video/DVD Film Industry: Background, Current Situation, and International Prospects (2007) at the Open University in the UK; African Film: An International Conference (2007) organized by Mahir S aul and Ralph Austen, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; an academic conference and film festival, African Video Film Arts Festival (2007), organized by Foluke Ogunleye at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; and Nollywood and Beyond: Transnational Dimensions of the African Video Industry (2009), organized by Matthias Krings and Onookome Okome at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. There have been the conferences organized by Kwara State University in July 2010, and two conferences in Lagos in 2011; one at the University of Lagos, called Reading and Producing Nollywood, and another at the conference at Pan-African University in July 2011. Both of the Lagos conferences were organized by Onookome Okome. 3. Documentaries include one on Ghana’s video industry, Ghanaian Video Tales (2006), and the following on Nollywood: Hollywood in Africa (2002); Nick Does Nollywood (2004); A Very, Very Short Story of Nollywood (2005); Nollywood Dreams (2005); Welcome to Nollywood (2007); This Is Nollywood (2007); Good Copy, Bad Copy (2007); Nollywood Convention (2007); Nollywood Babylon (2008); and Nollywood Lady (2008). 4. I want to thank Carmen McCain for reminding me that the scholarly and international press’s focus on English-language Nigerian videos has also eclipsed Nigerian video production in Hausa, Yoruba, and other languages (personal communication). In her research on Hausa video production in Nigeria, McCain has also mapped transnational circuits that link Northern Nigeria to Niger and Ghana, where a few Hausa-language movies have been made. These transnational networks have hardly been noticed by researchers. 5. Kenneth Harrow, the conference organizer, explained that the organizers did not receive one single proposal on popular video. 202 / Notes to Pages 6–24 6. The gap between the networks taken up by popular video and those maintained by academic and official cultural forms in part explains the appearance of the eleven documentaries on African popular video (see note 3 above). The documentaries bridge the space dividing the distinct circuits followed by the different forms. They provide the “context” needed to understand the forms and in this way translate it, effectively re-creating it, for transnational audiences. 7. For these very reasons, Moradewun Adejunmobi argues that video movies, as “commercial forms of transnational cultural productivity,” have the potential to “offer greater opportunity for autonomous voices from globally minoritized populations to engage in dialogue with local publics and outside dominant centers of cultural production, than do the non-commercial forms of cultural productivity” (2007, 12), such as African canonical cinema. 8. Both Kelani and Afolayan have screened their movies at FESPACO, and Kelani’s Thunderbolt is distributed by California Newsreel (see http:// Perhaps because his body of work conforms readily to the auteur criticism that has been dominant in African film criticism, Kelani continues to attract scholarly interest (Esonwanne 2008; Adesokan 2011; Haynes 2007b). 9. John McCall makes a related point when he writes that “the videos partake of a mix of local, national, and global discourses and aesthetics. They reproduce elements of Western cinema and indigenize those appropriations ” (McCall 2002, 88). 10. A similar point has been made by Ginsburg et al. (2002); Ezra and Rowden (2006), and Adejunmobi (2007). 11. Brian Larkin in Signal and Noise (2008) also refers to Sundaram’s work on pirate modernity, but in connection to the infrastructures of piracy out of which African video production has emerged. 12. Brian Larkin (2008) also focuses on noise, but his use of the concept is different from Ferguson’s use of the term, which Larkin himself notes (275n10). Larkin describes noise as a material artifact, a mediating surface that is an effect of the pirate infrastructures of Africa’s media environment. Chapter 1: Mapping the Modern 1. It is also worth noting that The Boy Kumasenu was broadcast many times on Ghanaian television until as late as 1998. 2. Now streamed in full online, as part of the BFI’s Colonial Film...


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