Ghana’s Movie Posters Become Art

In the late 1980s, mobile cinema businesses were burgeoning in Ghana, bringing film screenings to villages and rural areas without theaters or electricity. These makeshift “video clubs” — usually made up of a diesel generator, a VCR and a TV or projector loaded onto a truck — would travel around the country showcasing Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters, as well as West African films. To attract viewers, the video clubs needed to advertise their offerings. But they did not have the original movie posters, or the means to print alternatives — the country’s military rulers had even restricted the import of printing presses. So they made their own, commissioning local artists to hand-paint them on used flour sacks. They were large, usually 40 to 50 inches in width, and 55 to 70 inches in height. The posters have since made ripples in the art world, with early originals commanding high prices from collectors.


Posted inNEWS