In 2014-15, I collaborated with a group of Korean film-makers from the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Association that produce documentaries about people on the move (transnational subjects, if you will), and how they/we have been changing Asian cities ethnoscapes. This (little) opening story above, is the real story behind my own personal interest in the broader theme of being a ‘foreigner in China’ and my specific engagement with the topic of ‘Africans in Guangzhou’. The whole documentary is not yet available but it will at some point (I’ve been told).
If you’re interested in issues of transnational migration and representation (or Inter-Asian knowledge production) and want to have a look at the full version, do not hesitate in contacting me. See trailer and information below.
Drifting City (2015) – Directed by Jeong Kim
The ‘researcher’ became the ‘researched’:
This film depicts the journey of a Mexican, Roberto, resident in China. On his way to renew his visa, Roberto meets an African at a railway station between China and Hong Kong. “Why is an African in China?” soon changes into a reflexive inquiry: “Why is a Mexican in China?” Roberto explores the African residents’ community in China and finds many new friends. The film is thus multi- and trans-national, with a Korean director filming the process as a Mexican resident in China explores its African community. (http://bit.ly/1T6p4h1)
Staring from Guangzhou, China and Ansan,South Korea, the camera follows Roberto and his partner Nadeemy to meet an African Hip Hop singer and other Africans in China. In a process, we come to realize a whole different path of globalization in this part of the world-China and Korea. Unexpected encounters thrive on love, friendship and aspiration. Like an open cut, there are breathless moments of pain but we all continue walking and drifting in the open cities. (http://bit.ly/1T6p2po)