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The Pan-African NationOil and the Spectacle of Culture in Nigeria$
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Andrew Apter

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226023540

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226023564.001.0001

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The Mirror of Cultural Production

The Mirror of Cultural Production

(p.200) Chapter Six The Mirror of Cultural Production
The Pan-African Nation
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the phenomenology of the oil boom through the mirror of cultural production itself, examining its inflated costs, hidden fiscal pathways, and mercurial money forms. FESTAC represented not only the waste and excess of the oil economy but a peculiar form of deficit production disguised by the appearance of material progress. The chapter focuses on the role of copyright in transforming FESTAC's culture into legal property, a technical instrument of commodification that authorized a commercialized sphere of reproductions and souvenirs. Within this secondary sphere of economic circulation, the FESTAC emblem doubled as a trademark generating value and franchise fees through symbolic association with Nigeria's cultural patrimony. That actual returns never even remotely approached expectations but rather only underscores the illusion of what was a symbolic mode of production all along—an illusion that lasted as long as oil remained king.

Keywords:   oil boom, cultural production, FESTAC, legal property, material progress, economic circulation

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