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Pieter Hugo: Nollywood

by Karen Day in Culture on 15 October 2009

Way scarier than Hallmark's Halloween, South African photographer Pieter Hugo's recent book "Nollywood" treats readers to an inside glimpse of the Nigerian film industry, the third largest in the world after the U.S.'s Hollywood and India's Bollywood productions. (Click on images for enlarged views.)

Striking photos accompany equally fascinating explanatory texts written by famed Nigerian author Chris Abani, Stacy Hardy and AfricaLab founder Zina Saro-Wiwa, who provide first-hand industry narratives that could possibly rival the films themselves. Abani's essay "A Storyboard in 10 Frames," for example, looks at guerrilla-style pitching methods—including a $15,000 loan from a bankroller and a two-day shooting period—sounding more like a scene from Godfather than a phone call between executives.

The 120-page book transitions from stories to photos with a quote from J.G. Ballard, claiming that "What our children have to fear is not the cars on the highways of tomorrow but our own pleasure in calculating the most elegant parameters of their deaths," setting the stage for images that are unquestionably fictitious—but due to the verisimilitude of the scene and its nod to real-world African turmoil questions how fabricated they truly are.

"Nollywood" sells from Amazon or Powell's.

See more images after the jump and check out Hugo's other stunning photographic work documenting Nigeria here.

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