Gallery Archives The Bizarre Tradition Of African Popular Bootleg Movie Posters, And They’re So Bad They’re Good

Art traditionally is valued by its technical brilliance, the difficulty of execution, the composition and fundamentals of aesthetics.

But some art circumvents all of these principles and criteria, and they’re no worse for it than the former. Sometimes, a “bad” piece art can be more valued than the “good” one, and not just for reasons of bad taste. Enter the African (mostly from Ghana) bootleg movie posters, which have, as a matter of fact, a very rich tradition. Why? Well, because of the perennially poor economy, Africans were forced to create the means for their entertainment.

Of course, there were no fancy printers or presses, and even if there were, they wouldn’t bother with something as silly as posters for bootleg movies. And so came a tradition of artists who created posters to create interest in these movies, even if they had to hand-paint them on flour bags. Though the means of printing became much more accessible, the tradition survives because of its extremely unique entertainment value.

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