Around DH 2020

Digital humanities projects in languages other than English or from minoritized groups worldwide.

Digital Nollywood

by James Yeku

About the project

Digital Nollywood is a DH project that collects and exhibits movie posters from what is now considered old Nollywood in Nigeria. In terms of output, Nollywood is the second largest film industry in the world. Old Nollywood posters, mostly from 1992 to the early 2000s, provide important historical perspectives on the evolution of film in Nigeria. As the most popular film industry in Africa and the African Diaspora, Nollywood has served as an important platform for telling the African story, highlighting how the film medium can embody the values, meanings and, identities of groups and communities. The goal of Digital Nollywood is the reconstruction of the history of Nollywood through a significant aspect of its production that is rarely discussed in the scholarly community on African cultural productions. A digital archive of film posters on Nollywood enables more historical documentation and academic research on the film medium in Nigeria.

What are the stakes?

This project offers an opportunity to do DH research in the context of Nigeria where a diversity of linguistic and cultural materials constitute the kind of data I am working with. What I hope to build through Digital Nollywood is an open-source digital archive with a large collection of Nigerian movie posters that scholars and students can refer to when writing the history of film in Nigeria.

What have you learned doing this project?

I am learning how the evolution of film in Nigeria can be understood through a DH project which enables me to focus on the ways in which the materiality of the film medium can support textual analyses. I am also becoming familiar with content management software such as Omeka, and am learning to integrate several tools that facilitate the exhibition and public display of film posters.

Tools

For now, I am just using Omeka.

Source material

The materials for the project come mainly from the streets of Lagos, Jos, Aba (Abia State). I also have collections from Ibadan, especially the Institute of African Studies.

Collaborators

For this project, I am working with Sola Olorunyomi, Digital Africana Project, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan.

Key: Collaborators: blue, Sources: purple. Map projection: Dymaxion.