An article in The Telegraph (India) offers insights about the relations between Mumbai’s Bollywood film industry and its sister industry in Nigeria, Nollywood. Nollywood is the world’s second largest film producer after Bollywood. The article includes commentary from Brian Larkin, professor of anthropology at Columbia University and author of the book, Bollywood Comes to Nigeria: “After Maine Pyar Kiya was released, one friend told me it was his favourite movie: ‘I liked the film…’ because it taught me about the world’… The style of the movies and plots deal with the problem of how to modernise while preserving traditional values – not usually a narrative theme in a Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steven Spielberg movie.” However, Larkin also points out that the Nigerian audience is not happy with the contemporary “westernised content” of Hindi films.
global and local politics vs. cultural heritage
National Public Radio (U.S.) reported on a China-financed city rail system in historic Lahore, Pakistan. Activists objecting to the construction say that the method used to dig the train route is tearing through Lahore’s dense urban fabric rather than spending more time and money to build the system underground. “It has become an election stunt,” said Nadeem Omar Tarar, an anthropologist and director of the National College of Arts in Lahore who has written against the new rail line. The project is being executed in a short time and with immediate positive visibility, he said, in order to complete it before national elections, expected this summer. Mega transport projects are a signature of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the conservative party that rules both the federal government and Punjab state, whose capital is Lahore.