Nigeria 1988, 16mm, 43′, engl. OF

“… it took me ten years to make this documentary, not because I’m a fool, but because when I set out to do it, the means were not there …  I learnt a lot of amazing things because I did the research for several years because I didn’t have the funds from the outset, so I had to do a lot of travelling by road all through Guinea, Mali, Burkina Fasso, it’s an education. A lot were not told in the history books. … the River Niger was the centre of civilization then most of these empires grew around the River Niger because there is a major highway of communication … you had the major cities like Timbuktu and Gao which were ports on the River Niger … Timbuktu became a centre of learning, a university there before Oxford or Cambridge. … there is a continuity which I have tried to explain in this film – colonialism was a mere interruption in our history. We had a history for thousands of years before the white people came. … that is why Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah said Africa people must unite. … all of black Africa, we are the same people.” (Ola Balogun)

Nigeria 1994, 16mm, 30′, engl. OF

Dokumentation über Kunst und Tradition in Nigeria.

Aus dem poetisch-hypnotisierenden Off-Kommentar, von Ola Balogun geschrieben:

“And is art an imitation of life or an extension of life?
For the Nigerian artist, musician or performer across the ages, creativity is often experienced as a never ending encounter with the vitality of life in its various ramifications. (…)

We are the spirits that inhabit the two worlds. We live in the air among birds, in the forest among wild animals and in the water among fish, but we are neither birds nor animals, nor fish. We are the undying, we are the spirits of this land. We are invisible but sometimes we manifest ourselves through the bodies and minds of our devotees. (…)

Part of the mosaic of cultures that lie at the heart of present day Nigeria, a vivid example of Africa’s intriguing blend of tradition and modernity.”