Africans in China: a transnational analysis of the emergence of an African community in Guangzhou

Well, today is day one of the research project that I will be working in during the next couple of years: African presence in China.

I will investigate one of the least researched areas within the wider framework of contemporary Sino-African cultural and political exchanges: the presence of West African ‘migrants’ in southern China. The focus of the research will be to analyse how ‘new’ African diasporic identities are being formed in China, and to examine the plausibility of the ’emergence’ of African communities in the Pearl River Delta region -particularly in the city of Guangzhou- from a Cultural Studies/Cultural History perspective. In particular, this research will gather and evaluate data from historical records, popular culture, political discourse, personal journeys, racial representations, and global economic and cultural trends that inform how people from several different African nationalities might experience China.

Originally, I thought about this topic as a possible research project when I saw these images back in 2009:

Another version of the same incident here:

This is an interesting quick media report on the African presence in China:

If the presence of Africans in China still doesn’t make any sense to you, see here an audio slide show by Evan Osnos on African merchants living in China.

I will use this space to share my findings (of all kinds), it’ll work as a research weblog and journal 🙂

Finally, it is worth noting that I will be undertaking this research project from a position in the Cultural Studies Department at Lingnan University in Hong Kong under the sponsorship of the Hong Kong Phd Fellowship Scheme (If you are looking forward to do research in Hong Kong universities on HK or CHINA related topics, I strongly suggest you to visit the HKPFS website).


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