Frankie Goes to Nollywood, While Korea Waves to the World.

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In the globalised world transnational popular cultural flow is having an impact on everyone, and many people in the Asia Pacific region are consuming increasingly transnational media- notable from Korea (Ryoo, 2008 pp137).  Ryoo suggests that this spread of Korean culture re-enforces Appadurai’s theory that cultural homogenisation, or Americanisation would be indigenousized into local cultures.

However South Korea is a unique position- it is industrialised, the twelfth highest economy of the world,  and producing ‘impressive looking’ television shows that were inexpensive to syndicate (Ryoo, pp139). The result of being geographically close to the rest of Asia and sharing salutary proximity, is that the content is more readily and easily consumed by neighbouring asian countries, as opposed to western content.  I would argue that this is why Korean content has been popular in Asian, rather than Americana.  It is still an example of dominant culture enveloping a smaller or subordinate culture- just from an Asian perspective.

Previously Asian countries were distant from their neighbouring countries, and tending to link more closely with former colonial empires,but Ryoo suggest that the Korean Wave is representative of a shift towards a more asian centric shared community through popular culture (2008, pp144).

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This content development stands in contrast to the production of content in Nigiera, aka Nollywood.  Where the Korean content is specifically Korean, but gentle enough to be consumed elsewhere, Nigerian produces content that looks ‘inward and not outward’ (Okome 2007, p1).  Hollywood films are produced on extemremly low budgets, made in a few days, and in staggering numbers. Not only is the content produced drastically differently (the most obvious case being very low production values), but the films are shown neither r in the movie theatres nor on TV, but released as DVDS to be watched at home ( Okome, p5). The juxtaposition of the two industries could not be more pronounced.

That is not to say that Nollywood is not effected by hybridisation and cultural exchange. Nigeria is a diverse nation of many tribes and languages. Nollywood films are now made in english, (or pigeon english) and this allows diverse cultures within Nigeria to enjoy the imagined communities through consuming similar content.

References

Appadurai, A (1996) ‘Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy’, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 27-47.

Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, 3.2, pp. 1-21.

Ryoo, W. (2009). Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave. Asian Journal of Communication19(2), 137-151.

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