Wednesday, August 12, 2020

How to live a week in Nigeria with Netflix

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Mit may seem a bit of a shrewdness whether these days you better travel “around” your closer living environment (as Xavier de Maistre put it in his “trip around my room”) or “through my room” (as Karl-Markus Gauss suggests), in any case, the excursion “from” the home usually comes up against limits very early on. And traveling in the actual sense may not be possible for a long time. Even Meckpomm does not want to see any Berliners, and Italy is still too much affected by the plague to even think about when cruise shiploads can be slid across the Rialto Bridge again.

It is a time of traveling with imagination. You can find suggestions for the noble activity of “armchair traveling” or the somewhat more profane sofa tourism everywhere. Netflix offers a comparatively rarely sufficiently noticed one. The streaming service, like all other American data giants, is currently one of the big winners of the protective shutdown. However, a curiosity is emerging these days, which has already been noticed by the user control of the video-on-demand portal: It almost seems as if Netflix does not want the subscribers to really go into depth – or expand – the offer.

Nollywood has been booming for twenty years

In any case, the start page shows up relatively stubbornly with its conditioning to the current top titles, and you have to take countermeasures for a while with the personal list until you see the first signs of diversity. Netflix is ​​globally active, so it also has a lot of international content. If you start looking for it, you will quickly discover that there are completely different Netflixes than American and German: a Filipino, an Indian, a Turkish, a Brazilian. And also a Nigerian. One could have used any of these countries for the little self-experiment on which this text is based: living with Netflix in another country for a week, in addition to the exam in Germany.

Nigeria is a good starting point for such a perception and imagination travel experiment for various reasons – not just watching a film or series, but a concrete industry, in the formatting that Netflix naturally brings with it. A film industry has been booming in Nigeria for almost twenty years, and it has quickly developed from a very simple situation to a billion dollar business. In the beginning, all it took was a simple consumer video camera, an editing program and the ubiquitous semi-public television sets that acted as “cinemas” to launch Nollywood. The label came at the moment when it was no longer overlooked that a nation had switched to audiovisual self-sufficiency, meaning that it no longer wanted to be supplied solely from Hollywood and Bollywood.

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