Globalization from the Fringes: A Theoretical Exploration of the Nollywood Paradigm and Third World Development
Liwhu BETIANG, PhD
Department of Theatre & Media Studies
University of Calabar, Nigeria
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Globalization, ‘a process, a condition, a system, a force and an age’, gives the impression of shrinking time-space dimensions and a virtual loss of geographical borders due to the combined effects of globalism and technological advances in telecommunications and convergent media. This phenomenon which spans all areas of human endeavour has far reaching influences on cultural production, international trade in goods and services and mobility of humans, cultural products and services; all of which speeds up the browning of national cultures. These global influences have occasioned in local spaces differing reactions to negotiate this momentous change. These local actions are here referred to as ‘globalization from the fringes’. The Nigerian 'film' Industry, Nollywood has its fair share of these influences, which traditionally originate from the globalizing centres of power in the West and North of the world. This paper articulates Nollywood Industry itself as an anti-globalization initiative from the 'bottom/fringes' as a postmodern response to the asphyxiating pressures of globalization from the global media empire; which paradigm can be creatively exploited as a sustainable model by the digitally-disempowered South of the world to contain the relentlessness of postmodern globalization in other areas of their national cultures.
Keywords: Counter-globalization, Post-modernity, Nollywood, Nigeria, and Media.
Dr. Liwhu BETIANG teaches Critical Theory and Broadcasting in the Department of Theatre & Media Studies, University of Calabar. Beyond academics, he practices Integrated Communication in Development Spaces. He is author of the novels: Beneath the Rubble (Kraft); The Cradle on the Scales (Authorhouse), The Rape of Hope (forthcoming); and a series of media drama.