Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria

Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria

by Brian Larkin
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822341085

ISBN-13: 9780822341086

Pub. Date: 03/31/2008

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

Mainstream media and film theory are based on the ways that media technologies operate in Europe and the United States. In this groundbreaking work, Brian Larkin provides a history and ethnography of media in Nigeria, asking what media theory looks like when Nigeria rather than a European nation or the United States is taken as the starting point. Concentrating on

Overview

Mainstream media and film theory are based on the ways that media technologies operate in Europe and the United States. In this groundbreaking work, Brian Larkin provides a history and ethnography of media in Nigeria, asking what media theory looks like when Nigeria rather than a European nation or the United States is taken as the starting point. Concentrating on the Muslim city of Kano in the north of Nigeria, Larkin charts how the material qualities of technologies and the cultural ambitions they represent feed into the everyday experiences of urban Nigeria.

Media technologies were introduced to Nigeria by colonial regimes as part of an attempt to shape political subjects and create modern, urban Africans. Larkin considers the introduction of media along with electric plants and railroads as part of the wider infrastructural project of colonial and postcolonial urbanism. Focusing on radio networks, mobile cinema units, and the building of cinema theaters, he argues that what media come to be in Kano is the outcome of technology's encounter with the social formations of northern Nigeria and with norms shaped by colonialism, postcolonial nationalism, and Islam. Larkin examines how media technologies produce the modes of leisure and cultural forms of urban Africa by analyzing the circulation of Hindi films to Muslim Nigeria, the leisure practices of Hausa cinemagoers in Kano, and the dynamic emergence of Nigerian video films. His analysis highlights the diverse, unexpected media forms and practices that thrive in urban Africa. Signal and Noise brings anthropology and media together in an original analysis of media's place in urban life.

About the Author:
BrianLarkin is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822341086
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
03/31/2008
Series:
a John Hope Franklin Center Book
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
1,382,661
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
Infrastructure, the Colonial Sublime, and Indirect Rule     16
Unstable Objects: The Making of Radio in Nigeria     48
Majigi, Colonial Film, State Publicity, and the Political Form of Cinema     73
Colonialism and the Built Space of Cinema     123
Immaterial Urbanism and the Cinematic Event     146
Extravagant Aesthetics: Instability and the Excessive World of Nigerian Film     168
Degraded Images, Distorted Sounds: Nigerian Video and the Infrastructure of Piracy     217
Conclusion     242
Notes     257
Bibliography     277
Index     301

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