Dream of the Water Children: The Black Pacific

Vimeo & Article: China in Africa – (Post)Colonial Relations as Transcontinental Racism and Sexism

Photo by Christopher Herwig

The Chinese government and its corporations and trade industries, along with elites of many African nations (not all), have had relations for decades and centuries.

What has changed in the 20th century is the intense hierarchical thinking of Chinese, who think of Africans and Blacks in general, as being there to teach (condescendingly) and take advantage of.  Does this sound familiar?

In these relations of finance and longevity and fragility, interpersonal relationships develop.  Orientalism and Anti-Black racism are there amidst this all, as well as internalized racism and orientalism in the self, the communal and national citizens.  Because these are legacies of our thinking of differences, television, novels, textbooks, teachers, billboards, prejudices, limited thinking, exoticizing, can be said to be major techniques that create and shape notions of “other.”

This video from Vimeo, by Edward Bishop, is excellent in that it does not promote the dominant white perception– the American or European or Australian or Canadian gaze at the issue, as in most cases from these nations.  This video presents some Ugandan, and other African citizens’ views as well as what can be read as dominant/mainstream Chinese views.  This also shows relationships of colonial hierarchy and dominance/resistance that form in Asian/Black co-presence.  Much of these “opinions” are formed by media and proximity to capitalist and technological prowess.

So I say we must all be careful if we are to think social justice and deep change while being conscious of its colonial contexts . To most regions of the world, this kind of hierarchy of races and privilege (to come to another country to live and set-up business without asking the locals and only working with the business/corporate/legal) is developed in the context of “compelled and/or forced displacement”–as one person in this video mentions. Displacement can seem as bland as “moving” but must be faced, finally, as a form of producing compelling reasons through legislated laws, the spreading of forms of want and desire, and the mainstreaming of race and gender inequalities and forms of privilege.

Also, Please read this excellent article at the International Rivers website.

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