The mediation of cultural identities: texts and contexts in Ghanaian video-films

Vitus Nanbigne


This paper examines the texts and contexts that inform the mediatory processes that Ghanaian video films have engaged in toward the creation of new cultural identities, often ambivalent, but sometimes extreme and contestable. The narratives and subtexts of video films, particularly those of the Pentecostal and occult genres, have often posited new cultural identities and worldviews. The historical and cultural contexts within which these videos are produced and consumed often demonstrate their potential to create new perceptions about Ghanaians in general and to effectively engage in the mediations and negotiations for new forms of socialization. This paper discusses those processes that inform contemporary public perceptions of Ghanaian identity (or identities) and what role video films play in such processes, particularly within a Ghanaian context. Using theories of identity, representation and mediation, the paper attempts a textual reading of a sample of video films in order to frame their narrative contexts and ideological subtexts in relation to their role in identity formation.



Video-films, Mediation, Representation, Identity, Ghana, Text, Context.

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