Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood oh my gollywood

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 12.15.43 pm(Source: Arogundade)

Today we are seeing the shift and emergence of new markets for the film industry. East Asia and India are among the film markets transcending the traditionally western media extended from Hollywood. Hollywood dominated the film industry and with it came increased Americanization that influenced not only the western world but universally. For years Hollywood gave rise to major big budget box office hits that were viewed globally and it quite simply became too difficult to compete with an industry that’s yearly revenue exceeded 10 billion (Redfern, 2013). However, at the turn of the century film industries emerging from India, Nigeria and South Korea have since challenged Hollywood and some surpassing it.

In terms of the Asian market South Korea has dominated. Today, it is the seventh largest film industry in the world. This phenomenon known as the ‘Korean Wave’ has contributed not only to film but across the board from television to music with k-pop proving its presence. The Korean Wave initially begun with South Korean Tv dramas such as ‘Winter Sonata’ that spread to other parts of the Asia Pacific Region (Ryoo, 2009, p.139). With the acceptance from bordering countries, South Korea incorporated the transnational elements circulating within Asia. The outcome of the transnational cultural flows was a new and distinctive cultural and discursive space that eroded traditional forms of national culture and identity (Ryoo, 2009, p.138). Essentially cinema has facilitated the process of globalization through the notion of hybridization, which has worked by sustaining culture in the global arena.

Another country transcending the film industry is Nigeria. Coined Nollywood this industry introduced in Lagos has gained massive success making it the third largest film industry in the world. In 2007 alone Nollywood produced 1,687 feature films (Khorana, 2015). The success the industry has received from the local audience has enabled it to spring into the international market. While Okome argues that Nollywood is still a curiosity, outside of Nigeria it is becoming more and more alluded to. Nollywood’s success stems from its honest ability to look inward not outward while representing the hybridity of African culture in a global context (Okome, 2007, p.1).

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(Source: One.org)

However, It is India that tops the market as the largest producer of films thanks to its nine different producing regions. As recent as 2014 the film ‘PK’ emerged as the highest grossing Indian film and was ranked 70 as the highest grossing film worldwide. Bollywood’s popularity undoubtedly extends from its cultural infusion that makes for original artistic cinema. With the film industry today blurring the lines between the east and west there has become a fluid interpretation for films. The idea of hybridization specifically has helped film industries like Bollywood compete globally and facilitate a cultural shift. This shift has led to the emergence of hugely successful hybrid films such as ‘My big fat Greek wedding’ and ‘Bend it like Beckham’, which essentially represent the hybridity of the film industry today. As Appadurai states “the polycentric dispersion of the contemporary world has progressed so far that Americanization cannot be the only carrier of cultural power” (Ryoo, 2009, p.138). Today, we are seeing a more local representation of film in a more global way.

Khorana, S, 2015, ‘Annotated Readings: Global Film – Nollywood and Korean Cinema’, BCM111, University of Wollongong, 26 August

Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial Text, Vol.3, No.2, pp. 1-21.

Redfern, R, 2013, ‘3 Countries with Booming Movie industries, That are not the US’, Arts.Mic, viewed 2nd September 2015, http://mic.com/articles/54609/3-countries-with-booming-movie-industries-that-are-not-the-u-s

Ryoo, W. (2009). Globalization, or the logic of cultural hybridization: the case of the Korean wave. Asian Journal of Communication, vol.19, no. 2, pp.137-151.

The host lacking the most?

“International education is not the rich intercultural experience it could be” (Marginson, 2012:1)

 When presented with this argument at the beginning of the BCM111 Lecture I was intrigued. I always believed, like many others that international education was an enriching experience on all parts for both the exchange student and the institution that houses these students. However, only after being exposed to a completely different perspective, I would otherwise never have considered the realities of International education.

From the conversations I have had with fellow UOW students, everyone is interested in experiencing student life abroad. Much like myself, students are instilled with the idea that it will be a rewarding experience that can completely widen our perspective. And while this may be the case for some, the students that are arriving on Australian borders are not experiencing the full potential the exchange program has to offer and the rich cultural experience that it should be.

For the students who come to Australia to study, 80% of these students come from the Asia pacific Region and have to experience the common difficulties that come with exchange such as the language barrier, academic adjustment and social interaction (Marginson, 2012, p.1). However, for most students there is a major emphasis placed on language as they are led to believe that the English language has assumed an important status in providing access to economic, educational and immigration opportunities (Kell & Vogl, 2007, p.1), thus there is added pressure for International students to surpass this. According to a Study by Kell and Vogl, the language barrier, being the most obvious barrier becomes difficult when English in other countries is focusing on grammar and vocabulary rather than spoken English (Kell & Vogl, 2007, p.4).

However, I don’t think we should be placing weight solely on the language barrier as the main determinant for a rich intercultural experience. I think that no matter the language proficiency students are still able to enjoy the experience. From personal experience, my family is very much involved in International education as we house exchange students all year round and despite some of them not being fluent in English or at the very least only being able to articulate ‘yes or no’ it still becomes an enriching experience for the student as well as the host. With studies and peoples perceptions depicting the language barrier as a major reason for the success of the exchange experience it becomes somewhat of an issue of contention, where it is up to Universities to provide further support for these students.

Similarly, the same study found that international students believed that local students weren’t necessarily unfriendly but rather didn’t know how to initiate a conversation with International students (Kell & Vogl, 2007, p.5). In order to make International education a more enriching experience, Australia needs to abandon its preconceived parochial view that we have seen in past instances such as the 2009 attack on Indian students. An incident that was racially motivated and saw the international student number plunge, particularly the Indian intake and fracture the pristine image the Australian education system once had. And rather instill a more cosmopolitan view that can improve the interactions between International students, domestic students and host countries.

ABC News, 2009, ‘Thousands protest against Indian student attacks’, ABC News, viewed 28 August 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-05-31/thousands-protest-against-indian-student-attacks/1699888

Kell, P & G, Vogl, 2007, ‘International Students: Negotiating life and study in Australia through Australian Englishes’, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, pp 1-10.

Marginson, S, 2012, ‘International education as self-formation’, University of Wollongong, pp1-11.

THE WORLD IS getting smaller and smaller


(source: Edge Hill University)

When you think of Globalisation do you simply think of McDonalds? 

I know I did… but there is much more to it…

It is no doubt that the world is getting smaller through the process of Globalization, which is happening at a rather rapid rate. After having spent the last 6 weeks in Europe and America I can definitely attest to this. Although most Australian travelers complain about the distance in which we have to travel to get anywhere, putting this aside, anyone can be on the other side of the world in a matter of 15 something hours (depending where you are).

Today technology is facilitating this process of borders tightening and countries moving closer. Globalization has created a type of ‘virtual global community’ where we have instant access to most parts of the world. (O’Shaughnessy, & Stadler, 2008 p.458)

As a result of Globalization we now have access to the exchange of free information thanks to the growing use of technology and social media. Countries and communities are able to connect in a seemingly simple manner, which has developed a sense of involvement on all parts. In relation to Government and Enterprise, Globalization has made a significant impact in strengthening political ties between governments and creating new opportunities for trade. And socially, Globilization has led to the many cultural influences we find in everyday life, from the varied cuisines we are offered to the films we can watch.

When discussing Globalization there are many questions to contemplate, however the one that frequently becomes apparent is whether this process of Globilization has had a positive or negative impact on the world. And while this is often left up to interpretation, I believe it is important to take into consideration that there are both positives and negatives.

While Globalization has led to the acquisition of new markets, which has significantly benefited western countries in terms of access and economics, this isn’t necessarily the case for all countries. For example, Australia now has direct ‘easy’ access to Asian pacific countries where products are being mass produced and sold for cheap prices. However, for the people working in those countries such as China, globalization is having a very different impact.

China is one country where sweatshops are still fully in use, meaning globalization is especially not benefiting the people who are working under extremely poor conditions for a couple of dollars a day. For the 482 million people in China, 36% of the population live on less than $2 a day. (War on Want, 2015) This is just one case, however, global trade has continued to affect numerous other countries in terms livelihood. The continued phenomenon of mass produced products has led to the decline of original goods that have been hand made in small towns across the globe but more specifically in Africa. Countries as such rely on this kind of business for their livelihood and Globilization isn’t exactly helping this.


(source: BNP)

Marshall McLuhan who developed the theory of ‘the global village’ suggests that people of the world can be brought closer together by globalization. He further describes the global village as one where media transcends the nation-state in a democratizing process that gives everyone a chance to be heard. (O’Shaughnessy, & Stadler, 2008 p.459)

As Globalization continues so does multiculturalism and as we strive to achieve something of a utopian society, I don’t think globalization has yet to achieve an overall positive outcome for every one.

O’Shaughnessy, M & Stadler, J, 2008, ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471.

War on Want, 2015, ‘Sweatshops in China’, War on Want fighting Global Poverty, viewed 13th August 2015, http://www.waronwant.org/sweatshops-china