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CVSZ Issue 63 | African in Guangzhou: Immigration, Globalization & Factory


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CVSZ Issue 63 | African in Guangzhou: Immigration, Globalization & Factory
CVSZ Issue 63 | African in Guangzhou: Immigration, Globalization & Factory

Time & Location

2020年2月23日 13:00 – GMT-5 16:00

Michiko Studio, 3rd Floor, 149 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036, USA

About the Event


African in Guangzhou: Immigration, Globalization & Factory

Photography credit to Daniel Traub

Program Statement

‘‘Non-citizen’ in Guangzhou refers to the African immigrant in Guangzhou after 1990, living a life in limbo between legal and undocumented status, mostly as business traders and international students. European migrants are in the ‘status mobility’ (Les Back, 2009) when shifts occur between legal and illegal identifications because of expired documents or other reasons. It is similar for African immigrants in China as they have entered the country by legal or illegal means and operated legal or informal markets in a grey zone, where Xiaobei in Yuexiu District of Guangzhou has become an ‘Enclave’. 

Most academic papers focus on the underlying international political and economic relations, as well as issues such as world trade and factories. This topic aims to use the comparative method to engage more with cultural studies and anthropology, exploring the spiritual and cultural life of African people in Guangzhou, and making a comparison of the cultural life of black people in East Asia, Europe and America, and the local cultural life in Africa. 

(Article by XueFei Cao)

广州“非民”,此处指的是1990年后,在广州的非洲外来人员,大多为正式公民或居民(non-citizenship or non-resident),主要包括经商贸易者与留学生。他们通过合法或非法手段入境,开辟了处于灰色地带的合法或非正式市场(informal market)。广州越秀区的小北下塘成为广州非裔的“飞地”(Enclave),他们在此经商生活。大多学术论文聚焦于其背后隐藏的国际政治经济关系,以及世界贸易、工厂等问题。本专题则希望运用比较方法,把目光转向文化研究与人类学,探索非裔在广州的精神处境、文化生活,并将其延伸至东亚地区与欧美地区的黑人文化生活以及非洲本地文化生活的对比。 欧美地区的黑人研究已形成一个强大完善的体系,例如它们能够从流行文化(黑人音乐、黑人电影、黑人潮流服饰)等各方面入手进行论述。而黑人在广州,或进一步说,在东亚,获得更多的是来自政经与普世生活的关注,亦即,他们还未能形成一个具有代表性的文化群体。 





Film Screening 

An Annotation for a Black Gangster Movie in Guangzhou That Has Been, by TengTian Geng | 45 min

Hand in Hand, by Ming Wong | 15 min

Little North Road, by Daniel Traub | 10 min

Guest Speaker Panel 

Guest Speakers

Wang Xin, Curator and Art Historian 

Daniel Traub, Photographer and Filmmaker 

Q & A 

日程 2月23日(周日)1:00—4:00PM

电影放映 | 1:00—2:15

《为一部已经终止拍摄的广州黑人黑帮电影所做的注解》耿腾天 | 45 min

《手拉手,黄汉明》| 15 min

《小北路》 by Daniel Traub | 10 min

嘉宾对话 | 2:15—3:15

王辛, 艺术史学家、策展人

Daniel Traub, 摄影师、导演

Q & A | 3:15—3:45 

Film and Guest Speaker Introduction

An annotation for a black gangster movie in Guangzhou that has been discontinued

Geng Teng Tian film work

2019, digital, color, sound, 42 minutes


At the beginning of last century,Africans started to gathered around XiaoBei. At the end of last century, TianXiu building at XiaoBei district, a mix-used commercial and residential building, has become a co-living space for African immigrants and the locals. Color, ethnicity, politics and the black market all affect the building and its surrounding ecology. When the Director, Tengtian, was born, the Tianxiu Building was still under construction. In 2018, he started filming a Guangzhou Black Ganster movie, but fail to finish. In 2019, Geng collaborated with ON KINO to produce an annotation for the film. 

本世纪初,非洲黑人在广州形成的第一个聚集街区是小北。上个世纪末,在小北中心位置落成的天秀大厦,是非洲黑人与本地人共处的商住中心,肤色与族群、政治与黑市等等,均影响这栋大楼及其周边的生态。 耿腾天出生的时候,天秀大厦仍在施工中,他成长于小北这一带。2018年,他动手拍摄一部广州黑人黑帮电影,电影没有能够按原计划杀青。2019年,耿腾天与论电影院合作,为那部已经终止拍摄的电影制作注解。于是诞生《为一部已经终止拍摄的广州黑人黑帮电影所做的注解》。

Sunu Jappo / 手拉手 / Hand in Hand

Ming Wong Film

2019, Digital, Color, Sound, 15 minutes 

Senegal was the first West African country to join the Chinese government’s global development strategy – the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – and was the first stop for President Xi Jinping’s tour of Africa in 2018. Ahead of his state visit, a signed article by the Chinese president, entitled SUNU JAPPO, China and Senegal! was published in the mainstream Senegalese newspaper Le Soleil. As a gesture of ‘friendship and cooperation’, the Chinese government has in recent years sponsored the building of iconic cultural infrastructures in Dakar such as the country’s first National Wrestling Arena, the Grand National Theatre and the Museum of Black Civilisations – a powerful symbol of decoloniality – which was first proposed 53 years ago as a vision for a post-colonial Africa by Senegal’s first president, the poet Leopold Sedar Senghor.

In this work we follow the artist as he visits the sites of Sino-Senegalese ‘friendship’, in the guise of a “cultural ambassador”. As an ethnic chinese artist/filmmaker collecting moving images and sounds in the Senegalese capital, the work recalls the role and the legacy of the ethnographic filmmaker, and questions the ramification of Chinese soft power on the African continent.


Little North Road

Daniel Traub Short Film

Little North Road is short film about a pedestrian bridge in the middle of Guangzhou that serves as a symbolic gateway into China from Africa. The film follows two Chinese itinerant portrait photographers, Wu Yongfu and Zeng Xianfang who, equipped with digital cameras, make a living making portraits for Africans and other groups who want a memento of their time in China.

As China’s power and reach have grown, it has become a new center of gravity pulling people from remote lands. Guangzhou has become a magnet for Africans and other groups who have come in search of opportunity and to trade in the goods produced in the Pearl River Delta. Recent developments, however, call into question whether this cosmopolitanism is an inevitable part of China’s future or a moment that has already passed.



Guest Speakers 

Xin Wang | 王辛

Xin Wang an art historian and curator based in New York.

Past curatorial projects include Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013, New York), Field Meeting of Asian Contemporary Art Week (2014, New York), artist Lu Yang’s solo debut in New York: Arcade (2014, New York), THE BANK SHOW: Vivele Capital and THE BANK SHOW: Hito Steyerl (2015, Shanghai), chin(A)frica:an interface(2017, New York), and Life and Dreams: Photography and Media Art in China since the 1990s(2018, Ulm, Germany). Her writing has appeared in E-flux journal, Artforum, Kaleidoscope, Hyperallergic, and leap. Currently pursuing a PhD in modern and contemporary art at Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Wang also works as the Joan Tish Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art and manages the discursive archive on Asian Futurisms at 

曾任纽约大都会博物馆特展研究员,2014年任亚洲当代艺术周联合策展人,策划了陆扬在纽约的首次个展,2015年任“The BANK Show, Hito Steyerl”项目策展人,2017年策划“chin(A)frica: an interface”,2018年在德国乌尔姆策划“Life and Dreams: Photography and Media Art in China since the 1990s”。长期为展览图录和艺术杂志撰稿,并在多所高校和艺术机构演讲与授课。现攻读纽约大学当现代美术史系博士学位,任惠特尼美国艺术博物馆的Joan Tisch研究员。创立、管理探讨亚洲未来主义的线上档案

Daniel Traub

Daniel Traub a New York City-based photographer and filmmaker. 

Much of his work focuses on border regions and marginalized communities.

Traub's photographs have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Slought Foundation in Philadelphia and the Lianzhou Photo Festival in China. His work can be found in public and private collections, such as the Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Traub's work has also appeared in publications including Aperture, European Photography and The New York Times Magazine.

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