"The South African photographer Pieter Hugo encountered this film culture (Nollywood) on his travels through West Africa. At first he was annoyed by these loud, shrill films that are omnipresent. But gradually, this unique art form consumed by all strata of the population began to fascinate him. These films are made by Africans for Africans. They reflect many of the situations that make up their daily lives – love, betrayal, crime. Unlike Hollywood movies, there’s almost never a happy end. The genre that particularly awakened Hugo’s interest was “juju”, what we know as horror or splatter films, with a touch of voodoo.
Originally, he wanted to take his photos directly on the film sets, but this was not possible for organizational reasons. Together with a local make-up artist, he then decided to recreate typical scenes and settings with local actors. His pictures show werewolves, zombies, devils and murderers in the most ludicrous masks and costumes, gazing at the observer with a fixed and serious stare. In his “Nollywood” series, Pieter Hugo shows his interpretation of a staged reality in which the borders between documentation and fiction are blurred. His reserved, aesthetic view does not question Africa’s peculiar film culture, but rather how it is seen by the western world."