Babes and Baddies – VISUAL INTERVIEW with Nolly Babes on Nigerian Feminism & Film
BLACK DISCOURSE is a multidisciplinary studio and oral tradition incubator, curating from the global black experience.
We connect black conversation to the world, through experiential design and media production.
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Nolly Babes is a social media archive of iconic scenes and images from the late 90's and early noughties of Nollywood.
Zion: What is the mission and vision of Nolly Babes?
Nolly Babes: The mission and vision of Nolly Babes is to showcase the beauty and creativity of black people - specifically Nigerian people. Our film industry is often under-estimated and measured against its western counterparts but we sought to celebrate our indegineous film scene using a metric system reflective of our society.
Zion: Share the spark behind the creation of the page, what is the future of Nolly Babes?
Nolly Babes: The Spark was really just two sisters who saw representations of themselves in the Nollywood heroines. These women are beautiful and bold and it was irritating to see that even our own culture didn't give them the props they deserved. The future of Nolly Babes is limitless, we want to carry this energy of embracing our culture to curated experiences (we already hosted an epic Nolly Babes themed party in Lagos at the Nok by concept space Alara), films, styling, apparel and so much more.
Zion: How do you choose your video selects and stills?
Nolly Babes: It may sound exaggerated because the world hasn't quite come to accept social media curation as an art from but this is really like asking a jazz musician how they chose which note to play. You see an image and it just speaks to you without even knowing the full story. We also like to use our images to reflect political issues in Nigeria and the diaspora - particularly those facing Black people and Black women.
Zion: How do Nolly Babes critique the Black feminine reality using the fictional film landscape?
Nolly Babes: Nolly Babes really don't have to do too much work in this sense because every image and scene is holding a mirror up to society forcing it to reckon with it's ideas of what it means to be a Nigerian woman. Through these images a lot is glaringly obvious - one such fact being that not much has changed in terms of feminism for the average nigerian woman since the era we focus on archiving. As much as people see Nollywood as fantastical and 'unrealistic' these stories actually contain a lot more fact than fiction when it comes to societal norms and expectations of women in our culture.
Zion: Are we bound to reality?
Zion: Are fantasy and reality synonymous?
Zion: Can we allow ourselves to indulge in fantasy?