BABATOPE BABAFEMI JOHNSON

Meet BABATOPE BABAFEMI JOHNSON, an Academic Staff of Lagos State University.

Specialization

Performance Studies, Film Arts And Sociology Of Drama

Designation

Senior Lecturer

Department

Theatre Arts and Music

Office

At the Theatre Arts And Music department office

Visiting Hour

Appointment on Visitation important

Research Interest

Topic: Exploring The Interplay Of Film And Culture

Description: Peoples cultures define them, it is their identity. No matter the level of modernism, civilization, technological breakthrough and advancement, a people s culture distinguishes them. Globalization, notwithstanding, the beauty of the universe, as a global village, hinges not on cultural domination but cultural identification, uniqueness and integration. It is when the various world cultures come together with individuals retaining its uniqueness that there is beauty in diversity. Unfortunately, what seems to be the case today is cultural subjugation, perversion, alienation and migration. The West, with her technological power, is swallowing the cultures of the rest of the world. English, French, and to a significant dimension, Portuguese are official languages in most African countries. Though ethic multiplicity and diversity make this expedient is some cases, it is however sad that that these African countries venerate the foreign languages at the detriment of indigenous African languages. Nigerians, eat, dress, marry and do all sorts of things the western way. This is sad and unfortunate and amounts to an ill wind that offers no good for cultural sustainability. This development and many of its kind have resulted in to cultural migration and loss of identity This trend inspired my research orientation and my focus is on the employment of theatre and film arts for the decolonization of Africans with emphasis on Nigeria. This is the orientation of my PhD dissertation where I studied film as a cultural agent and evaluated the directorial approaches of Nigerian film directors with a view to establishing the fact that film directors are the authors of their films and as such are at liberty to influence the story being told and make them address issues of cultural elevation, propagation and preservation. To this effect I propounded a home grown directorial paradigm for identity based Nigerian films. My PhD dissertation captures Nigerian film as having largely remained a poor imitation of its western counterpart with evident aesthetics and identity poverty which it attributes to the mediocre approaches of some Nigerian film directors. Therefore I critical analysed the directorial approaches of selected formally and informally trained Nigerian film directors with a view to devising a home-grown directorial model that would give Nigerian films Nigerian identity. In pursuant of the set goal of the research, I adopted the auteur and media representation theories for the analysis of the data collected. The auteur French word for author enabled me to examine the film director as a visionary whose vision permeates all the phases of filmmaking and whose responsibility it is to make his film a cultural expression. The media representation theory creates the possibility of examining the film medium as having the ability to represent or misrepresent a people and their culture. Both the auteur and media representation theories served as the framework for my discussing the Nigerian film director as a film maker who can and must employ his art to tell the Nigerian story the Nigerian way. The selected informally trained film directors are Bayo Tijani, Yemi Amodu, Seun Olaiya and Lasun Ray Eyiwumi. The four selected formally trained directors are, Niji Akanni, Yinka Akanbi, Tunde Kilani and Tade Ogidan. All eight of them were interviewed and observed at work. The study concludes that film, as art, is a cultural agent. Every nation adopts and adapts the instrumentality of film to suit its cultural realities, represents, popularise, promotes and propagate them. As such, Nigerian films ought to be elevated beyond mere entertainment. It should be a means of cultural expression and propagation. It must be transmuted from its western home, indigenised and decolonised to fit into the Nigerian cosmology with a view to amplifying the Nigerian cultural peculiarities and identity. The responsibility of transmutation, indigenisation and decolonisation of the Nigerian film lies largely in the hands of film directors. As the auteur of their film, a lot depends on the Nigerian film directors regarding the decolonisation of the Nigerian film towards the appropriate cinematic representation of Nigerian culture. I have therefore intensified effort in my publications to the effect of using theatre and film arts to propagate the Nigerian culture and give her a distinguished identity in the world. My research orientation contributes to the existing body of knowledge in the area of theory and production of film in Nigeria. It enhances and contributes to existing knowledge in film studies generally and in particular, film directing in Nigeria. It provides encouragement for further academic discourse in film studies and improves the art of cinematography in Nigeria. My research stresses the significance of a homegrown directorial form and therefore contributes to knowledge in the area of decolonising Nigerian films and upgrading it to the rightful status of being cultural agent.

Qualifications

# Certificate SchoolYear
1. Ph.D (Dramatic Arts / Film Directing) Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria 2016

Current Research

Historicity and Gender Heroism in Ola Rotimi s Hopes of the Living Dead

Research Details

This paper interrogates the interplay of history and gender heroism in Ola Rotimi s classic play, Hopes of the Living Dead. This discourse is driven by the framework of Stiwanism , the African expression of feminism. The paper argues that Ola Rotimi, in a bit to celebrate African women does not create a fictitious personality with fabricated legendary deeds, but falls back on history to showcase the legendary and heroic nature of African women. History, therefore, enhances the tangibility of gender heroism as dramatised by Ola Rotimi in the play. We conclude that, in Hopes of the Living Dead, Ola Rotimi employs history to unearth the past, thereby reconstructing the present and taking a peep into the future about what is expected of the African woman. Ola Rotimi suggests that if women are given equal opportunity, they will go a long way to contribute significantly to nation building. This is not far fetched as some countries whose presidents are women have demonstrated in their management of the corona virus pandemic.

Biography

BABATOPE BABAFEMI is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Theatre Arts and Music

BABATOPE has a Ph.D in Dramatic Arts / Film Directing from Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

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