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Hausa film: Compatible or incompatible with Islam?

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Globalization, now at its peak, is tied with media like a computer to its screen. Film is a vital media technology endowed with ample efficacy through which much propaganda – for good or bad – is sold out to the people. This is so because almost everybody can understand the language of film and its appeal; it is conferred with the communicative power that often mobilizes people to react peacefully or otherwise. Such as it is, film-makers in Kano as well as other didactic, Shari’ah-abiding and substantially Muslim northern states of Nigeria are in constant ideological clash with the larger society, the government and the religious institutions. The film-makers are accused of misrepresenting and attacking the sociocultural and the religious value systems. The major ethnic group in the state and the region is Hausa, the people who are strict followers of Islam, the religion, which, in a greater proportion, conforms with their Arab-influenced culture; thus, both the culture and Islam frown at the films, especially such as those being produced, for many contain Indian masala popular cinema and quasi-Euro-American and non-Islamic ideas, practices and experiences, and do not correspond to the culture and the religion of the people. Therefore, this article, among other things, seeks to look inwards in search of what led to the current state of affairs. The writer offers advice on how to better things.
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Keywords: Hausa culture; Islam; Kannywood; Kano state; Northern Nigeria

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bayero University

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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  • merging from an international network project funded by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economics and Social Research Council, and research collaboration between academics and practitioners, Performing Islam is the first peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal about Islam and performance and their related aesthetics. It focuses on socio-cultural as well as the historical and political contexts of artistic practices in the Muslim world. The journal covers dance, ritual, theatre, performing arts, visual arts and cultures, and popular entertainment in Islam-influenced societies and their diasporas. It promotes insightful research of performative expressions of Islam by performers and publics, and encompasses theoretical debates, empirical studies, postgraduate research, interviews with performers, research notes and queries, and reviews of books, conferences, festivals, events and performances.
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