Chigozie Obioma at The Millions:
For the history of human existence, the eye has fed innovation, as much as other organs of the body, in the act of looking (say, at artwork or photography), or watching (say, live performance, theatre, or movies). In Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty, seasoned and renowned Nigerian photographer Iké Udé looks to fix our gaze, in the mutative act of looking, at the people who make up a burgeoning school of motion picture performance. Working in the tradition of documentary photography, Udé creates a compilation that strays from the tradition of this mode by its intervention in the crafting and organization of the photographed image. Udé performs the work of a movie director by making the actors and actresses sitters, thereby creating a mimesis of the process of production of the motion picture itself — the very subject of the compilation.
Nollywood, now the second-largest film market in the world after Bollywood, here provides a formidable subject. African screen came about in a series of prodigious leaps. The origins of Nollywood lie in the 1971 dramatization of Things Fall Apart directed by new stars Adiela Onyedibia and Emma Eleanya. But perhaps one of the earliest pioneers was also an audacious one — Ola Balogun.