In the days when mobile cinemas first came to Ghana, local artists were commissioned to paint posters promoting the films, posters that often exaggerated the content of the films and took on an artistic life of their own.
In the early 1980s, video cassettes enabled entrepreneurs in Ghana to set up traveling open-air cinemas to bring movies — often Western science fiction, horror, and action films — to remote Ghana audiences. To promote the films, cinema owners would ask artists to paint promotional posters (generally on sliced-up canvas flour sacks) to accompany each cassette and stir up interest in the movies. The artists were encouraged to take considerable liberties with the artwork, and many artists never even viewed the films at all before creating the posters, only hearing them described by the people running the cinemas. Thus, while some paintings are simply copies of the images from the cassette boxes, others are wild interpretations of the movies, paintings that are more inspired by the films than attempts to accurately represent their content.