[PAST EVENT] The Visual Politics of Africa-China Relations by Tara Mock, University of Alabama
LocationZoom - please register
Access & Features
- Open to the public
This talk contextualizes the social history of Africa-China relations from the seventh century through the modern period. Exploring the relationship through a visual lens, the presentation will approach the bond between continent and country as a problematique of perception, ideas of racial difference, and geopolitical nation building. The talk will also examine the trajectory of racial consciousness formed during the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) Dynasties, due to an influx of non-native visitors to the middle kingdom, which hastened the development of Han identity; subversion of the same during the “solidarity” period of the 1950s-1970s, as a result of Mao Zedong’s desire to unite revolutionary forces in the “global south” against a common threat of imperialism; and the contemporary period (2000-), which signals a moment of confusion whereby Chinese depictions of Africa reflect both unity and disharmony, as synergistic images of Afro-Chinese “friendship,” “brotherhood,” and “solidarity” cultivated during the 1950s-1970s are diffused by competing images of racial difference akin to earlier periods. Though not intended to function as an exhaustively comprehensive treatise on Africa-China relations, the talk highlights important historical milestones and shifts in the visual history of Africa-China relations.
Tara Mock is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies in the Honors College at the University of Alabama. Her current research and teaching interests include Afro-Chinese relations, modern Africa, diaspora, visuality, cultural political economy and cultural identity, and community formation. She is currently working on a book combining survey research, discourse analysis and ethnography with theories of diaspora, imagined community, and cultural political economy to situate her investigation into conceptualizations of selfhood and other between African and Chinese people within an Africana Studies framework.
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