Move Over Hollywood.

by maddicook


It seems, like many before it, Hollywood may soon to tumble to its’ end as the mass media producer. As conditions have shifted, superior cities such as Hollywood now face growing competition from now growing film and television industries across the world, such as in India, Nigeria and Asia.

Not only are there national media industries on the rise, there are also media capitals commanding the attention of their audiences left, right and center. Media capitals are “locations where complex forces and flows interact, they are neither bounded nor self-government entities” (Curtin 2003). They direct our attentions to complex exchanges and migrations of cultural, economic and technology, that operate at different levels, such as local, global and regional.

Just like the creation of Hollywood’s film industry, new media capitals are ‘borrowing’ elements and artists from afar to market genres and technologies across cultural divides, such as in Hong Kong. Hong Kong benefits from a lack of censorship and open trade policies and has many economic and cultural flows with China mainland, ensuring a market for the material they create.

In 1993, Huntington coined the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ theory, which he suggests would be informed by ‘cultural essentialism’, reified an Orientalist opposition between East and west and focus our attention on boundaries and containers rather than complex patterns of flow. However, as these media capitals have arisen, it has become clear that not only are our similarities greater than our differences, but cultural spheres are now seen as influenced and not coherent, and constrained entities. They are sights where new patterns of flows are no longer only shared between sovereign states; instead information and influences are spread over cities. Media capitals are Media capitals are “places where things come together and consequently where the generation and circulation of new mass culture forms become possible” (Curtin 2003).

An example of these flows includes the different TV shows that have migrated around the world. One TV show that has been intergraded into various media cities culture is Big Brother, in which 15-20 are constantly watched by the viewers. This show started in the Netherlands and is now shown in seventy different countries. Since then the show has become a worldwide TV favourite, airing in various countries in a number of versions.

Due to media capitals constant influence from other cities it has been possible to even make regional versions of Big Brother. The contestants in these versions must come from each of the countries in the region where it airs. An example would be the African Big Brother shows, which air in Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Media capitals are cultural spheres of influences rather than contained boundaries. They have allowed material to flow from city to city, allowing for cultures to form inside their national traditions.