I really liked the argument Larkin put forward in the chapter from Signal and Noise which compared postmodernism as an ideology to Nigerian film as a practice. I’ve been rather enamored with the idea of postmodernism since I researched it briefly for a paper my freshman year: I appreciate how comprehensive it is as an encapsulation of the disjointedness and shifting nature of our world, and yet how it is simultaneously utterly useless for explaining anything for exactly the same reason.
Therefore, it really struck a chord with me when Larkin wrote that Nigerian film does similar work to “express and constitute Nigerian social and political subjectivities.” Nigerian cinema is an incredible window into the popular consciousness of Nigerians themselves, precisely because they portray what is known to be popular and marketable. These films also portray concurrent, if less dominant, lines of thought and discourse which exist within Nigeria, however in a marginalized, sometimes villainized form. Thus Nigerian cinema becomes, like postmodernism, a dominant cultural form, that still leaves room for competing cultural and political forms.
This is particularly important when considering our previous discussions about homosexuality’s portrayal in Nigerian cinema. The majority of the Nigerian community sees homosexuality as a sin that should be punished, and that line of thought is played out in the direct text of most GLBTI themed movies. Yet, simultaneously there is an undercurrent of titillation and curiosity with GLBTI people in Nigerian society, which cannot be legitimized by popular cinema, but is still allowed “space.” Homosexuality offers a competing cultural form which can be read into Nigerian cinema as tacit approval simply by its presence, in much the same way that political theories like realism can find space and relevance within the construct of postmodernism.