Death-Stalking, Sleep-Walking, Barbarian Ninja Terminators: Hand-Painted Movie Posters From Ghana


From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, hand-painted posters on canvas were the principal means of advertising for Ghana’s independent mobile cinema industry. They stand out from other West African artistic traditions by their highly individualistic style, complex narrative and Western-influenced attitudes towards sex and violence. The visual effect of these bold and uncensored posters can be compared to that of neon signs. Now replaced by mass-produced posters and other types of inexpensive signage, these precious hand-painted canvases are a vibrant legacy of a melding of disparate cultures that occurred in Ghana when movies, in the form of videocassettes, began to pour in from all over the world.