November 05
14:00 - 15:30

Cultural Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation in Africa and Asia


Vinzenz Hediger

Vinzenz Hediger is Professor of Cinema Studies at the Goethe University, Frankfurt and the Director of the Graduiertenkolleg “Configurations of Film.” He is a co-founder of NECS – European Network for Cinema and Media Studies and the founding editor of the Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (Journal for Media Studies). His research concerns the aesthetics of film within the larger framework of a history of risk and uncertainty in modernity. His objects of study include Hollywood cinema and industrial and ephemeral films. In addition, he has a strong interest in the main currents, deviations, and dead ends in the histories of film theories, an interest that he pursues in part as the co-editor of the book series Film Theory in Media History. He is the Project Leader of the collaborative HERA Jrp research project "ViCTOR-E" and a member of the steering committee of the BMBF-funded "CEDITRAA" project.

Networks of Circulations: Nigerian film cultures on the Move, Back and Forth (or Maybe in between)

This paper presents some preliminary research I am conducting in the frame of the Project CEDITRAA - Cultural Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation in Africa and Asia. I focus on the circulation of Nigerian film cultures during the 1990s (video Nollywood) and the 2010s (digital Nollywood) and I inquiry the differences of the circulation networks in these two historical phases from an economical, technological and geopolitical point of view (Turquety 2019, Haynes 2016, Lobato 2012). In this frame I investigate issues related to formats and platforms for the distribution of filmic content, the changes related to the establishment of Netflix Nigeria, the transformation from an industry based on novelty to an industry based on copyright (Hediger, Campanini, Cheeka 2021). Conceptually I intend to elaborate on the concept Networks of Circulations, by which I refer to economic, technological, infrastructural as well as geopolitical networks. In my understanding networks of circulations indicate commercial distribution circuits (theatrical, television, home video, VoD and streaming platforms), film festivals, institutions of film culture (archives, museums, cinematheque), informal and independent institutions (associations, cineclubs, private collectors), press and reviews, fan circuits. The (hypo)thesis of the work is that in present days production, distribution, archiving and dissemination of audiovisual products are not separated activities that pertain different domains and (institutional or independent) actors, but are intertwined through networks and infrastructures that allow the circulation of these products in different cultural, economical and geopolitical domains. I assume that these networks of circulations are not just the (pre)condition for the circulation of audiovisual content, but they indeed shape and inform production, distribution and archiving through platforms, formats, policies. 

Sonia Campanini

Sonia Campanini is assistant professor of film culture at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, where she is responsible for the master program “Film Culture: Archiving, Programming, Presentation”.

TikTok as an ethnographic fieldsite

Using the example of my research on West African popular music (widely known as “Afrobeats”), my talk aims to explore the possibilities of TikTok as a digital field site for ethnographic research in a post-pandemic context. In the short time since its introduction, TikTok has already had a significant impact on the interaction between musicians and audiences, and the modalities of creating, remixing and sharing audiovisual content. Based on my initial experiences in the field, I address the opportunities and challenges that both participants and researchers are facing due to the affordances of the platform and its constant and dynamic development.

Tom Simmert

Tom Simmert is a doctoral candidate at Mainz University and a research fellow in the project “CEDITRAA: Cultural Entrepreneurship and Digital Transformation”. His research interests include popular music, popular culture, social media and celebrity in Nigeria and South Africa.