‘Made-in-China Nollywood’: Filmmaking and African diasporic imagination in China
The project, which is an ethnographic and film analysis project that takes the production of films and music videos as its empirical focus, aims to understand the connections between diasporic cultural production and regimes of transnational mobility through a focus on the migration and creative journeys of China-based West African filmmakers and musicians, within the context of China's One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR). It will link both ethnographic findings and textual analysis to historical and contemporary geopolitical conjunctures, and to theoretical understandings of transnational mobility, diaspora, migrant filmmaking, entrepreneurialism, cultural production and globalisation. While Sino-African exchanges are not new, their recent intensification illustrates that the impacts in both regions can no longer be ignored. Arguably, the study of Sino-African exchanges is also the study of contemporary Chinese society, in that African presence in China (and vice versa) are indicative of China’s remarkable shift into becoming not only a more cosmopolitan but also a transnational, and potentially immigrant, society.