Colloque ANR Espaces de la culture chinoise en Afrique, 9-11 septembre 2015. Programme détaillé


flyer ANR Espaces de la culture chinoise en Afrique  Chinese Cultural Spaces in Africa


En association avec le 5e congrès du Réseau Asie et Pacifique –  GIS Etudes asiatiques

In association  with the 5thCongress of the Asia and Pacific Network -Asian Studies

9-11 September 2015 – INALCO, Paris

In pdf : Programme détaillé ESCA


09 : 15 – 09 : 45 Enregistrement  / Registration

09 : 45 – 10 : 15  Ouverture du Congrès/ Openning (Amphithéâtre INALCO)

10 : 30 – 11 :30   Ouverture scientifique du colloque EsCA / Scientific openning of the EsCA’s conference,  (Salle/Room 4.14)

Jean-Pierre DOZON – dir. EsCA/ FMSH, Teddy ARRIF- Chargé de mission ANR, responsables axes de recherche EsCA : Françoise Bourdarias, Antoine Kernen, Romain Dittgen, Alexandra Galitzine-Loumpet

11 : 30 – 13 : 00  Plénières Congrès Asie / Congress Plenary Sessions


Intellectual history between China and the African countries has recently emerged as a field unto itself, characterized both by consideration of biographical trajectories and the study of individual reception of official policies. The questions to emerge from comparing experiences of circulation, expectations and imaginations in different socio-professional contexts, the questions of translation, in the different acceptations of this word, and of translators, and the questions of the production of new narratives appear in this respect fundamental for a better understanding of Chinese-African relations. They also imply a renewed multidisciplinary methodology that compares the African and Chinese terrains.

Identity discourses of Chinese expatriates in Africa – Antoine GUEX (U. Lausanne)

Ma présentation s’attachera aux conditions de formation d’un discours identitaire et à sa pragmatique dans le contexte d’une expatriation chinoise au Congo Brazzaville. Plus précisément, elle cherchera à mettre en lumière différents registres par lesquels se forme un discours sur l’Autre en condition d’expatriation.

Negotiating change: narratives of China as curse and blessing in the translation of Chinese urban modernity in Ghana, Alena THIEL (GIGA, Hamburg)

 In this paper, I look at Ghanaian transnational traders who source commodities from the Chinese cities of Yiwu and Guangzhou. After introducing the ideal types of transnational traders we identified in our comparative research project (Ghana and Senegal) – defined on the one hand by their social and economic context at home and on the other hand by their particular engagement with Chinese markets and producers (through Chinese, compatriot or no middlemen) – I present some of the ideas that travel in these traders’ conceptual luggage from China to Ghana. Seeking to introduce change at home following their exposure to Chinese ways of managing business and public realms, these traders are met with considerable resistance when trying to introduce changes in their companies and communities at home. I round up by analyzing the use of narratives and counter-narratives of China as a (il)legitimate source of re-ordering when zooming in on the negotiations accompanying these potential transformations.

Translating China-Africa Relations: Women Interpreters between East Africa and Beijing during the Cold War – Jamie MONSON  (U. of Michigan)

In 1965 Premier Zhou En Lai gave a speech on the island of Zanzibar as part of his famous tour of Africa. When he had finished speaking his opening in lines in Chinese, his interpreter Ms. Shen Zhiying translated his words into fluent Kiswahili. Once she had spoken, the crowd erupted in wild cheers and ululations in response to hearing the words of their Chinese guest pronounced in their own language. In this paper I will argue that Ms. Shen Zhiying played a critical role in China-Africa diplomacy through her voice as a Kiswahili interpreter. I go further to explore the diplomatic and linguistic trajectories of two women translators and interpreters, Aysha Zaher and Shen Zhiying, who were engaged in Kiswahili language diplomacy in the 1960s and 1970s in China. Aysha Zaher was a Swahili teacher and translator from Zanzibar who spent ten years translating the works of Chairman Mao. Shen Zhiying was a Swahili teacher and translator from China who worked at the Foreign Languages University and also spent extended periods of time working in East Africa as an interpreter for political leaders, medical doctors and agricultural teams. The life stories of these two women shed light on the gendered nature of internationalist diplomacy and solidarity; the significance of translation and interpretation in China-Africa relations; and the role played by Kiswahili in global engagements of the Cold War era.


16:15 – 18:00 F3  – CHINESE – AFRICAN FIGURES OF INBETWEENESS – Laurence Marfaing & Karsten Giese (coord.) (Salle/Room 4.14)

The Chinese-African encounter – a source of creativity, adaptation, but also of disorder – is transforming African societies. Whether talking about the Chinese present in Africa, or Africans travelling in China, we come up against difficulties of classification, or even status, given the multiplicity of trajectories and activities. One of the first difficulties stems from the propensity to talk about “Africans” and “Chinese”, as if dealing with homogeneous groups. Another concerns the tendency to talk about “migrants” when looking at mobilities whose duration, objectives, and criteria of investment significantly surpass habitual connotations surrounding migration/migrants in academic research, causing considerable confusion both in terms of these activities and mobilities. Finally, the ideology behind South-South discourses that denounce the influence of the North tends to introduce a militant perspective. Based on empirical studies, this panel will aim to clarify the different facets of this “inbetweenness”, which concerns both individuals and the societies in which they circulate.

Building a Chinese “Imagined Community” in Ghana: Institutionalizing Chinese-ness for Better Localness, Kati LAM (U. Lausanne)

     The notion of a Chinese community in Ghana is problematic, because whether such a community exists and what it is composed of are arguable. Certainly, “natural” factors like period of arrival, length of Ghanaian experience, and social and professional backgrounds have contributed to a heterogeneous and segmented Chinese group. However, what really alienate Chinese from other Chinese in Ghana are fierce competition, unhealthy business practices between Chinese companies, distrust, experiences of cheating, and rumors circulating among Chinese. Nevertheless, one cannot say that a Chinese community is absent in Ghana, as it does exist, at least in “imaginary” both externally by the media and the hosting society and internally by the Chinese themselves.

In recent years, established and localized Chinese private entrepreneurs and Chinese state-owned enterprises (CSOEs) directors in Ghana actively create institutions like Chinese associations and norms for building a socially superior and socially responsible “Chinese community” to be viewed both internally and externally. While other Chinese, like private traders, have attempted to do the same, they have not been able to obtain the blessings of the Chinese Embassy to Ghana. It is primarily the localized CSOEs directors and successful entrepreneurs who belong to the same social class, are engaged by the Chinese Embassy to take leading roles in institutionalizing a “good” Chinese community. This paper will focus how such “Chinese community” in Ghana is a class-based group rather than a shared (Chinese) ethnicity representation. Building a “Chinese community” in Ghana is instrumentalized by the Chinese Embassy for Chinese image improvement and control at local level, as well as by the established Chinese entrepreneurs and CSOEs expats for enhancing their own local business development and network.

Defying classification: The new Chinese in Africa Karsten GIESE (GIGA, Hamburg)

Scholars of migration have always striven to conceptualize their research subjects in terms of different forms of spatial mobility. Permanent and temporary migrants, commuters, sojourners and the celebrated transnationals of late are reflecting changing perspectives within this field. The large numbers of Chinese citizens who over the last decade and a half have made their presence across the African continent are probably not exceptional, but studying their varying states of inbetweenness exemplifies the difficulty to grasp this phenomenon in conceptual terms of spatial mobility. How can we satisfy our scholarly desire for classification and at the same time do justice to their social realities if their subjectivities defy established categories?

China, a Port of Call in Senegal’s in Africa  International Businessmen and Women’s Strategies: why talk of South-South migration ?, Laurence MARFAING (GIGA, Hamburg)

Our research group has contributed its viewpoints to existing studies of African business organizations in China, similarly focusing our attention on the economic sphere. We have focused on business men and women whose principal destination at the time of our interviews was China.

One of our objectives has resided in analyzing the differences of strategy between those new to such activity and the traders who descend from generations of African traders, along with the impact of this experience in China on their business. Our interview method, which consisted of approaching traders solely on a recommendation basis, and thus of being able to meet them several times in both China and Africa, has enabled us to get to know them better, and thus to better apprehend their trajectories and the role of the emerging networks in the course of their business from the Western world, to the hubs that Istanbul, Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and so forth have become, to China. We have thus been able to re-contextualize this African presence in China and the world over a longer period. This paper will focus on the role of trading, but above all of family networks in the “Chinese” business space, which is one port of call among others. This will enable us notably to consider the theme of many studies focusing on “South-South migrations”, or on “China as an alternative to European migration” (Kaiyu Shao 2012, Cissé 2013) in order  to deconstruct it.

Chinese Entrepreneurs in Dakar : labour migration, modes of economic inscription, and processes of ethnicization among Chinese entrepreneurs in Dakar, Cina GUEYE  (U. Gaston Berger)

From the early 2000s to the end of 2005, with the re-establishing of Senegalese-Chinese diplomatic relations, the number of Chinese entrepreneurial migrants rose steadily to the point of being qualified a visible minority. This visibility is less a reflection of their difficultly quantifiable numbers than a reflection of their practice of creating competition between, and appropriation of urban territories. For these young Chinese, who are often victims of their status as foreigners in the cities of their own country and of discrimination on the urban labour market in the major Chinese towns, migrating to Dakar and exercising a business activity constitutes a new chapter in their professional careers that correlates closely with their desire for social recognition and upward mobility. But the forms of this new professional adventure, already predetermined in China with the significant backing of the family in most cases, are accompanied by plural experiences relating at the same time to the new professional environment, to work relations, and to the host society. That is why we propose in this paper to analyze their objectives and subjective careers in the context of the invisible labour market of which they are a part in Senegal.

16:15 – 18:00  F8 – GEOPOLITIQUE DU PATRIMOINE ; PERSPECTIVES CROISEES CHINE-AFRIQUE – Caroline Bodolec & Alexandra Galitzine-Loumpet (coord.), Saskia Cousin & Anne-Christine Trémon (discutantes) (Salle/Room 4.18)

Increasing State and local community interest in Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) highlights, as with other UNESCO programmes, the stakes that now crystallize different acceptations of the notion of heritage and the recomposition of related “tradition” and “modernity” paradigms. New players like the Popular Republic of China are emerging, and what might more generally be referred to as a “geopolitics of heritage” is taking form. Following the seminars held under the auspices of the ANR “Chinese Cultural Spaces in Africa” activities since 2012, this panel aims both to continue to share the (re)constructions, implications and recompositions of processes of patrimonialization in China, various African countries and their diasporic communities and to elaborate new models.

 A Model for Developing Countries? The Popular Republic of China’s Ambition, Caroline BODOLEC (CNRS)

While China is the country with the largest number of items listed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage lists, it is also the most active country in positioning itself as a model and guide for developing countries. Opened in 2012, the Category 2 Centre in Beijing is mandated to offer ICH training and help candidates compile their proposals. This paper will observe China’s efforts to position itself in this field of competence and the different actions it is developing to become an indispensable link in conceiving ICH globally, and notably on the African continent.

Modernity of Tradition / Tradition of Modernity: towards a Chinese “patrimonial model” in Francophone Africa? Alexandra GALITZINE-LOUMPET (EsCA)

In conjunction with the PRC’s policy of registration on the ICH Representative List is the growing multidimensional implication of the State and Chinese businesses in artistic and patrimonial projects throughout the African continent, from arts festival funding, to museum construction, to the setting up of cultural exchanges. This development goes hand-in-hand with the affirmation of a long-standing presence on the continent and the progressive patrimonialization of a shared anti-imperialist past. A “patrimonial” and cultural “model” that is both constant and variable according to context thus appears to be emerging in interaction with diverse African representations of a holistic Chinese ability to marry tradition and modernity and to offer an alternative to the West. Through the analysis of examples predominantly from Francophone Africa, this paper will consider the various implications of these new paradigms.

 with the particpation of Dominique SAATENANG, Ambassadeur du temple de Shaolin & vice-président de la chambre de commerce Chine-Afrique (Beijing)


 09:00 – 10:45 F2  –  CHINESE SPACES OF DIFFUSION & INTERACTION IN AFRICA  Jean-Pierre Dozon (coord.) (Salle/Room 4.14) 

While political at the time of African independence, the channels of diffusion and interaction between the African countries and China have predominantly been apprehended over the past few years in economic and geostrategic terms. The notion of “soft power”, sometimes translated as “cultural diplomacy” in French, sums up these different aspects and encapsulates highly diverse facets, to the point of confusion. Added to the fact that its wide usage singularly weakens this concept, it also tends to mask the diversity of situations and players, the superpositions between spaces and actions, the imaginations engaged, and configurations according to country. Based on field research carried out in various African countries, this panel will seek, in a diachronic and synchronic perspective, to render and detail this plurality.

 “Friendly competition”: Promoting Chinese socialism to Africans through sport, 1962-1972, Amanda SHUMAN (IIAS)

This paper examines sports exchanges between China and various African nations in the ten years between 1962 and 1972. Sports delegation visits and exchanges served as sites for visible displays of the Afro-Asian movement’s spirit and ideals. Officially showcased to the public as “friendly” competitions or exhibition matches, these sports exchanges often included more than these main events. In addition to technical skills exchanges, Chinese athletes in African countries made visits to important cultural and historic sites to express their shared historical struggles against colonialism and imperialism. Meanwhile, African athletes and sports leaders sent to China received a heavy dose of Chinese socialism in the form of cultural performances, meetings with Chinese leaders, and visits to various cultural and historic sites, top sports facilities, peoples’ communes, and factories. The promotion of Afro-Asian solidarity could, however, be contradictory: on the one hand Chinese leaders emphasized to their visitors a united, equal, and shared struggle. On the other hand, these exchanges explicitly promoted Chinese socialism and China as a leader on the world stage. I begin with the first major Chinese sports delegation visit to several African countries in 1962, a contingent of ping pong athletes, before then moving on to several visits by African sports teams to China at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. I end by connecting these earlier years to the Afro-Asian table tennis tournament held in Beijing in 1971, and the advent of the official Chinese policy of “friendship first, competition second.” Using Chinese declassified official reports, periodicals, and other primary sources, I show how Chinese leaders made efforts to spread their own political agenda through the world of sport, suggesting a close interplay between Chinese domestic and international goals.

Chinese Cultural Presence in Benin: A Model for Africa? Kathryn BATCHELOR & Catherine GILBERT (U. Nottingham)

The future of Sino-African dynamics will be determined more and more by the interactions of people on the ground. Cultural presence plays a vital role in sensitising African peoples to the diversity of Chinese culture and dispelling many of the myths that are currently in circulation, and also in healing some of the wounds that have already been inflicted by intense Chinese economic engagement with many African countries. This paper will explore the images of China and Chinese culture being promoted through official institutions, with a specific focus on Benin. Home to one of the oldest Chinese Cultural Centres in the world and a well-established Confucius Institute that has recently begun offering a full Licence in Chinese Studies, Benin represents a crucial model for understanding cultural interaction between the two regions.

Based on fieldwork conducted in Benin in January 2015 and a year-long survey of cultural production and exchange, this paper will examine the images that China seeks to convey and the potential limitations affecting how these images are actually received on the ground. We will provide an analysis of the activities of these institutional spaces, the coverage of such activities in the local media, and official and individual reactions to them in order to gauge the extent to which people are engaging in meaningful cultural interaction. By setting the activities in Benin in the context of the broader Chinese strategy of promoting its culture and language abroad, this analysis will help to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of Sino-African relations.

 Restaurants chinois dans des villes-ports de l’Afrique. Françoise VERGES (CEM)

In July 2002, Françoise Vergès visited Chinese restaurants in Durban, Maputo, Dar es Salaam and Port-Louis. On the one hand, this paper will highlight various 19th– and 20th-century migratory moments, and on the other, explore the biographic aspect of the “restaurant” object. Through testimonies concerning the Chinese restaurant owners’ family lives, the paper will explore the Chinese “restaurant” (What décors? Which dishes?) and present ties between China and Africa.

The effectiveness of Confucius Institutes as a tool of China’s soft power in South Africa. M. PROCOPIO (London School of Economics)

The link between teaching Chinese as a foreign language and the role of China on the international stage has grown in importance since 2004 when the Confucius Institutes programme was launched. Despite the confusion that surrounds the categorization of the relationship, Chinese circles increasingly consider the language Institutes as a tool of soft power in “support for the rise of China”. The paper analyses the meaning of “cultural” soft power and attempts to measure its effectiveness in support of China’s foreign policy aims through the study of Confucius Institutes in South Africa. Based on fieldwork data the paper unpacks the reality on the ground through a study of the process of attraction at the executive level as well as at the students’ level. It concludes that Confucius Institutes, despite fierce attempts by a number of Chinese actors to promote their presence and activities in South Africa, can be effective tools of soft power only partially and in contexts where power asymmetry is accentuated.

 09:00 – 10:45  F5  –  PRODUITS CHINOIS EN AFRIQUE : RESEAUX DE DIFFUSION ET MODES DE CONSOMMATION – Antoine Kernen & Guive Khan Mohammad (coord.) (Salle/Room 4.18)

This panel intends to offer a new perspective on the massive arrival of Chinese products effecting Africa for the past fifteen years. Available in markets in even the most remote villages of the continent, this wide range of manufactured goods embodies for many Africans a new relationship with China. Despite the primacy of China-made goods, this dimension of Sino-African trade still remains sidelined behind the strategic export of African raw materials. The low prices and poor quality of China-made goods often mean that they are categorized as an anecdotal dimension of Chinese presence in Africa. In this panel, we intend to put these objects (and their flows or circulation networks) back at the centre of the analysis, by focusing on the ways in which African societies are appropriating and integrating Chinese goods. The focus on Chinese goods and their circulation allows us to offer new insights on the transformations induced by increased SinoAfrican trade, including, most importantly, the entry of Africa in mass consumption through the networks of globalization from below (Tarrius, 2002). The various papers of this panel focus on the consumers of Chinese goods, drawing attention to consumption practices and logics, process of appropriation, and even to entrepreneurial potential related to the acquisition of these goods ; Chinese goods traders – importers or retailers – adressing topics such as the trajectories of accumulation, business strategies, network reconfigurations, or restructuring of the competition ; and the sometimes ambiguous African perceptions of the China-made goods.   

The Revolution of Chinese goods in Africa : Mass Consumption and New Material Culture. Antoine KERNEN (U. Lausanne)

While many studies focus on Chinese imports of raw materials from Africa, little work has been done on Chinese exports to Africa. However, the increase in Chinese imports corresponds to the arrival of a wide variety of manufactured products low prices. Omnipresent, even in the most remote villages, they coincide with Africa entering an era of mass consumption. We will examine the consequences of the arrival of Chinese goods in the daily life of African societies. By focusing on Chinese goods and their reception in African societies, we will “follow the things themselves, because their meanings are inscribed in their forms, their uses, their trajectoires” These goods are frequently analyzed only through the lens of their prices. However, the arrival of Chinese goods in Africa contribute to the emergence of a new material culture.

What it means to be a consumer in the West African Savannah. Consumptionscapes and access to Chinese goods from the margins,  Hans-Peter HAHN (U. Franckfort)  

West Africa is no less exposed to the economic impact of China (and other globalizing trends) than any other part of the world. The term “Consumptionsscapes”, coined by Ger and Belk in 1996, helps to conceptualize the context of globalization for people who do not normally have the means for acquisition. Because of the condition of “absolute poverty” that is a reality for many households in rural areas of West Africa, affordable Chinese goods have a special appeal. One might even argue that the advent of affordable consumer goods has made it possible for many households to participate in global consumption in ways previously unimaginable. Based on the author’s ethnographic field data, collected during the last ten years in southern Burkina Faso, and a small scale level survey on household budgets and expenditure for consumer goods per month, I take a consumers’ perspective. This paper addresses issues of fragmented knowledge about origins of products, specific routines of testing product quality, and the decision-making when household budgets are limited. I argue that marginalization does not mean exclusion from consumption; however, limited means obliges consumers to limit their engagement and to find ways to engage in the marketplace in creative ways.

“Got a motorbike, got a job!” Low cost Chinese motorbikes and new businesses in Burkina Faso, Guive KHAN MOHAMMAD (U. Lausanne)

This paper proposes a new approach to Chinese products in Africa, revealing the multiple paths by which their consumption is incorporated into entrepreneurial logics. Until now, analysis of the massification of Chinese manufactured imports in Africa has been couched in what can be described as a paradigm of competition; these goods are thus often judged critically for their negative impact on the African continent’s process of industrialization, or for their role in creating unfair competition between Chinese and African traders. As a result, works focusing on the consequences of Chinese-African commerce often end up overlooking the flexibility with which a majority of African businesses on the ground integrate these goods into the daily conduct of their activities. In this paper, we will advance the idea that the massification of low cost Chinese imports in Africa creates numerous opportunities for African entrepreneurs, helping create new activities and supporting the development of itineraries of accumulation. This is particularly manifest in the case of the motorbike in Burkina Faso, where a progressive reorientation of supply chains to China over the past fifteen years has coincided with a significant fall in the price of these goods, thereby contributing to making their acquisition possible for a whole new range of customers. Consequently, in addition to contributing to the emergence of a new generation of transnational entrepreneurs – to whom this massive arrival of Chinese motorbikes in the country is largely owed –, the new opportunities offered by this opening up to China extend well beyond the importers themselves; dealers, mechanics, motorbike laminators, tricycle drivers, and rural traders have all taken off in the wake of this commercial reorientation.

“Fong Kong”: consumer culture, class status, and shifting perceptions of China-made goods in Southern Africa,  Yoon JUNG PARK (CA-AC Network)

For many years one of the most widely-circulated criticisms in the “China-in-Africa” discourse was that China was using Africa as a “dumping ground” for cheap and fake Chinese products, particularly clothing and textiles, and that these actions had been a primary cause of de-industrialization in many African countries. More recent reports clearly indicate that such criticisms are unfounded. Increasingly, African traders and African retailers are responsible for the importation of Chinese goods to Africa, the goods imported range in quality from name-brand goods to the cheaper copy goods, and finally, any discussions of de-industrialization must also address government policies. In southern Africa, Chinese goods – especially those sold in small “China shops” that dot the cities and small towns of the continent – continue to be viewed as “fong kong”. “Fong kong” in South Africa (or “zhing zhong” in Zimbabwe), terms entirely invented but now widely used, have become synonymous with cheap and fake. While inexpensive Chinese products help the poor by increasing their purchasing power and allowing them to indulge in consumer culture, the same goods are shunned by those with greater economic means as signs of poverty. For example, in some small towns, only those in the lowest classes will shop in the “China shops”’ those with the means would prefer to spend money on transportation to go to the nearest city to shop in a known retail store, even when all know that those goods, too, are made in China. This paper will explore the complexities of “fong kong”, perceptions of the “made in China” brand, and class aspirations of black South Africans.

11 : 30 – 13 : 00  Plénières / Congress Plenary Sessions

 14:00 – 15:45 F9  – DEFINITIONS ET ENJEUX DE LA “VRAIE MEDECINE CHINOISE” EN CONTEXTES CHINOIS ET AFRICAINS – Françoise Bourdarias & Frédéric Obringer (coord.), Laurent Pordié (discutant) (Salle/Room 4.14)

The dissemination of Chinese medicine in the global context is contributing increasingly to the reconfiguration of local therapeutic fields. It tends to modify relations between the different forms of medicine and categories of practitioners, with the emergence of new modalities of collaboration and opposition, new syncretisms, and some times technical innovations.

In this panel, we will focus on the Chinese medical practices developing in African countries. Today, they occupy an ever-increasing place in therapeutic fields characterized by crumbling public health systems, policies for the patrimonialization of traditional practices, and finally by an uncontrolled development of the drug market. Alongside doctors trained in Chinese universities, healers and Chinese and African pharmacopoeia sellers claim to practice “traditional Chinese medicine.” These practitioners argue their legitimacy by referring to competing definitions of “real” Chinese medicine. In this specific context, the debate on the ties between theoretical and practical medical knowledge, between knowledge and techniques, and finally on the art of practitioners is developing. These phenomena cannot be understood without taking the transformations of Chinese medicine in China itself into account, where some challenge the institutional “Traditional Chinese Medicine” system, or, in other words, the standardized and bio-medicalized form of Chinese medicine promoted by the Chinese government since 1950.

The papers proposed by this panel’s China and Africa specialists should enable us to put into perspective the evolutions in therapeutic practices that can be observed in China and certain African countries, and to apprehend their economic, political and symbolic stakes in the specific context of each social configuration.

We thus hope to generate a debate on the forms of interdependency that connect local therapeutic fields today.

The Construction and Position of Chinese Medicine (zhongyi 中醫) in China and Other Regions of the World at the Start of the 21st Century, Frédéric OBRINGER (CNRS)

In November 2010, UNESCO added “Acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine” to the Representative List of world Intangible Cultural Heritage. In China, from 2006-2014, four national lists of elements of intangible cultural heritage were drawn up, featuring several entries concerning “traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia”. I will analyze the stakes of this “patrimonialization”, looking at the construction in China since 1949 of a “Chinese medicine” destined to compete with “Western medicine”. I will examine this medicine’s paradoxical position today, which is at the same time under threat and in expansion, notably beyond the Chinese world.

Chinese Medicine in Mali. Knowledge, Art and Technique, Françoise BOURDARIAS (CESSMA)

Research carried out in Mali from 2011 to 2013 has allowed me to apprehend transformations in the local therapeutic field relating to the diffusion of Chinese medicine. The emergence of practitioners trained in Chinese universities, the implantation of legal and illegal networks trading traditional Chinese medicines, the reconversion of local healers who have become specialists in “traditional Chinese medicine”, or in “Afro-Chinese medicine”, have modified the relations of interdependency between the different forms of medicine. This paper proposes to examine these dynamics, privileging the diversity of forms of investment and appropriation of Chinese medicine developing in Mali today. Qualified doctors, Chinese and local traditional practitioners, and pharmacopoeia sellers thus claim to practice Chinese medicine and formulate competing definitions of “real” Chinese medicine, of the elements that differentiate it, or combine it with other forms of medicine, in a process of legitimization. The competing arguments revolve around the “power to heal”, and the avenues of its acquisition. I will try to show that the discourses recorded must be put into perspective with observable therapeutic practices. The techniques applied and the technical objects used allow us to broach antagonistic constructions of the notion of diagnosis, and the ties between the techniques and art of the practitioner.

(Chinese) Medicine Practising in Contemporary China: knowledge, practices and issues regarding its dissemination, Evelyne MICOLLIER (IRD)

The shift in policies, ideas and practices relating to health and medicine in China on the one hand, and the economic, cultural and scientific position of the country on the world stage on the other, have polarized and multiplied the issues around the definition and dissemination of Chinese medicine. This paper will examine three aspects of this challenging research line. The first will focus on the question of the definition of medicine and healing practices: which “Chinese medicine” is practised in, or originates from China? The second will focus on points of discussion in China on the status and nature of inherited Chinese medicine. Finally, in the context of the construction of globalized medical spaces, the main issues of its dissemination will be identified with the help of a typology and an analysis of interfaces between different bodies of therapeutic knowlege and practice.

Spaces of Chinese Medicine in Cameroon : inventory, history and functionalities, François WASSOUNI (U. Maroua)

Dating back to the 1970s, Chinese presence in Cameroon has undergone a remarkable evolution in terms of the number of individuals, sectors of intervention, agreements signed, and above all of works carried out or currently underway. Education, public works and infrastructures, trade, sport and leisure, and health are just some of the sectors of activity in which the Chinese are involved. In the domain of health, in particular, the development of Chinese medicine is one of the most remarkable features of these past few years, with several levels of development. Between 1975 – the year that the first health agreement was signed by Cameroon and China, marking the arrival of the first Chinese medical teams – and 2015, this East Asian medicine has resolutely taken off in health care offers, with the existence of a multitude of spaces where it is practised. Based on field research, the reading of various written documents, and interviews with actors involved in its practice and reception, this paper will list these spaces across the country, reconstitute their history, and analyze their functionalities over the past forty years. Ultimately, this reflection will help contribute to writing the history of China in Cameroon in general, and that of Chinese medicine in particular.


16:15 – 18:00 F6 –   APPROPRIATION DES PRODUITS MEDICAUX VENANT DE CHINE AU CAMEROUN  Lucia Candelise & Antoine Kernen (coord.) (Salle/Room 4.14)

After a period of dissemination of so-called “traditional” Chinese medicine in Africa thanks to Chinese practitioners working in the public sector (hospitals), or setting up private practices in towns and proposing treatments such as acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese pharmacopoeia, China’s contribution to the health sector is now characterized by diverse forms of appropriation on the part of local actors.

Surprisingly, practices qualifiable as “traditional” Chinese medicine only remain present in the form of the Chinese medical teams working in the country’s three hospitals, whereas private practices are tending to disappear. Several practices opened by the Chinese have now shut, and Chinese entrepreneurs’ visibility in the health sector has sharply declined.

If the Chinese origin of products or medical practices tends to be “camouflaged”, China’s influence nonetheless remains considerable. Many Cameroonian practitioners, for instance, use a Chinese-made diagnostic machine, locally known as “the scanner”, and several Chinese groups are highly active in the network marketing of dietary supplements.

This panel aims to present empirical studies that testify to the appropriation and “camouflaging” of Chinese practices and products in the Cameroonian health sector.

Tradipractitioners’ Appropriation of Chinese Medecine (Cameroon) Francis-Désiré KEUBOU (U. Yaoundé I)

This research has been carried out in Mbalmayo, a zone whose district hospital welcomed the first Chinese medical teams to come to Cameroon under the auspices of Sino-Cameroonian medical cooperation. In this hospital, like in Guider hospital in the north of the country and Ngousso in the centre, Chinese medicine is practised by Chinese medical teams. However, around the Mbalmayo district hospital, Chinese medicine-inspired private initiatives have also developed.

In the elaboration of their expertise, tradipractitioners are indeed appropriating and integrating aspects of Chinese medicine into their own therapeutic practices. This evolution of traditional practices is necessary for practitioners to maintain their activity and to preserve or expand their clientele. The process of appropriation of Chinese medicine on the part of tradipractitioners shows the syncretism of African traditional practices and so-called Chinese therapeutics. The above elements suggest that we may consider that the tradipractitioners’ appropriation of Chinese medicine safeguards them from decline and constitutes a form of renewal. While Chinese medicine is at present the object of various research projects, very few studies have focused on the question of its appropriation by tradipractitioners.

Network Marketing of Health Products and Dietary Supplements in Cameroon. The Example of Forever and Edmark Products, Julienne NGO LIKENG (UCAC)

From 1985 to 1991, Cameroon was beset by an acute economic crisis. Jobs were increasingly rare and any paid activity was welcome. Informal paid activities developed, notably thanks to the introduction of certain hygiene/dietary treatments. It was in this economic context that the network marketing of health products and dietary supplements developed in Cameroon.

This type of marketing is also known as “multi-level marketing”, “relationship marketing”, “pyramid selling”, or “network marketing”. Multi-level marketing is a distribution network in which the person recruited is sponsored by another seller to become a salesperson of the marketed product. It is this salesperson’s duty and obligation to in turn sponsor new recruits. Moreover, the financial incentive is calculated on the basis of commissions made on the salesperson’s own sales, those of his/her recruits, and new recruitments, allowing him/her to build up a “relationship network”. We have chosen here to focus on the specific example of the FOREVER and EDMARK groups’ products.

This paper thus aims to shed light on this “sought-after lucrative” activity in Cameroon, which already involves all social categories of the population, to try to understand what encourages so many people to invest money and energy into building systems to distribute foreign health products, despite the precariousness of the enterprise. Moreover, this paper will highlight the need to propose further reflection on the pharmacological effects of these products.

The Diagnostic Machine. From Faith to Science,  Antoine KERNEN (U. Lausanne) & Lucia CANDELISE (U. Genève)

In a social context in which health issues are omnipresent, we have observed the arrival of medical practices relating to traditional Chinese medicine, but, above all, the recourse to technology and medication from China. We have particularly focused on the use of a diagnostic machine, technically known as a “quantum analyser”, but habitually referred to as “the scanner”, whose use is often – but not always – associated with the sale of food supplements. These technical remedies give a “Western” image, adopt supposedly scientific and modern terminology and references, and are not associated with notions of tradition or Chinese provenance. One of the Chinese companies that import this kind of product to Cameroon has indeed registered its headquarters in the United States to better mask its Chinese origin. The consumption of food supplements is a growing phenomenon in Cameroonian towns.

The “Chinese” diagnostic machine is used by certain Chinese therapists and doctors established in Cameroon, but we have also observed its reappropriation by African tradipractitioners. On simple contact with the patient via an electrode connected to a metal case connected to a computer, this machine offers a series of readings that diagnose the overall working of the human body.

Based on field observations recorded in Yaounde and Douala, we wish to propose several hypotheses concerning the social, symbolic and also therapeutic contributions of the diffusion and reappropriation of this equipment in health consultations and treatment in these two Cameroonian cities, outside the official circuits. 



09:00 – 10:45 – F7 (o) –  OUVRAGE : LA CHINE EN AFRIQUE DU SUD / CHINA IN SOUTH AFRICA – Romain Dittgen (coord.) (Salle/Room 4.14)

Ulfrieda HO (Journalist) Author of “Papers sons and Daughters; Growing up Chinese in South Africa”  (Paperback Ed. 2012) / Yoon JUNG PARK (Convenor, China in Africa-Africa in China Network)

11 : 30 – 13 : 00  Plénières / Congress Plenary Session

14:00 – 15:45 F4 – ARTS CONTEMPORAINS: IMAGINAIRES DE LA CHINE EN AFRIQUE ET DE L’AFRIQUE EN CHINE Alexandra Galitzine-Loumpet & Roberto Castillo, en remplacement de Dominique Malaquais, empéchée (Salle/Room 4.14)

Links between China and Africa today tend to be thought of, primarily, in economic and/or political terms. The arts, or culture more broadly, are given relatively little attention, for they are considered to be of secondary importance. The result is, at best, a partial understanding of both artistic production and political and economic concerns. Clichés and forms of xenophobia, as well as imaginaries and dreams of elsewhere: such are the foci of this panel. The panel centers on the work of contemporary artists living in China, South Africa, Congo and France and brings together both artists and art scholars to jointly explore questions relating to the postcolonial condition.

Is Yellow Black or White? Myriam DAO (Artist)

Yellow is emphatically neither white nor black; but insofar as Asians and Africans share a suborionate position to the master class, yellow is a shade of black, and black, a shade of yellow. We are a kindred people, African and Asian Americans. (…) We share a history of European colonization, decolonization, and independence under neocolonization and dependency.” (Gari Y. Okihiro in ‘Margins and Mainstream’)

“Is Yellow Black or White? ” is an ephemeral and contextual installation in the  Belleville area, created in Paris for the International contemporary Festival of Art Chinafrique (Chinafrica) in 2013. Belleville is a multicultural neighborhood where Myriam Dao created an encounter/installation. As an architect and artist, her practice is based on contextual adaptation to both space(s) and audience(s). For Chinafrique she focused on popular cultures and stories deemed to be of the “margins”, on territories associated with the colonial imaginary, on representations, stereotypes and memory. 

Red Money: Nigerian money spraying, music, and aspirations in China, Roberto CASTILLO (U. Hong-Kong)

Recently, African presence in China has attracted considerable scholarly and media attention. While researchers have provided significant insights about the political economy of trade, they have largely neglected other cultural practices. Over the last five years, a thriving trans-African music scene has emerged in the southern city of Guangzhou. During some performances, members of the audience ‘spray’ popular singers with 100 RMB notes (€15). In this paper, I examine the re-articulation of this and other cultural practices in contemporary China as an entry point to discuss wider historical and cultural undercurrents connecting African (mainly Nigerian) traditions and artistic practices with the globalisation of Chinese and African economies. I argue that highlighting the interconnectedness of these undercurrents is critical not only to make better sense of the entrepreneurial drives and aspirations behind African presence in China, but also to interrogate what are the real possibilities and futures opened up by narratives such as the ‘Chinese Dream’ and the ‘New Silk Road’. In short, this paper aims to shed some light on how (and to what extent) African presence in China (and Nigerian renminbi spraying in particular) signals important transformations in the contemporary (and future) articulation of material, discursive and imagined Sino-African cultural and economic spaces. I believe that by looking deeper at these spaces (and practices) we could open up new ways to engage existing epistemologies and offer hope (and tools) to go beyond the spaces of imperialism and political economy that so pervade the Africa-China conversations.

Walking into Africa in a Chinese Way: Mindful Entry as Counterbalance, Ruth SIMBAO (Rhodes U.)

In 2010, Beijing artist Hua Jimming produced two public performances as part of the Infecting the City performing arts festival in Cape Town, South Africa titled Walking into Africa in a Chinese Way. Wrapped from head to toe in newspapers from Beijing and Cape Town, he walked through the CBD, and on another day walked up the well-known landmark Table Mountain.

Walking into Africa in a Chinese Way references kinhin (jīngxíng), the Zen Buddhist practice of walking meditation that cultivates mindfulness.  The performance in South Africa stems from a history of walking and crawling performances by the artist, including Walking Feet (1995),Crawling on the Great Wall (2001), Crawling along the riverbank at Tongzhou (2001) Hong Kong Anti-War Festival (2002), and Crawling before the front of the Tokyo Gallery in the 798 Art District (2003). 

Through an in-depth analysis of this work, this paper utilizes Hua’s performance practice to develop a mindful approach to current China-Africa relations, resisting simplistic, aggressive stereotypes of imperialist entry perpetuated largely by the Western media. By analysing ideas of the wrapped body, woundedness, prostration and meditation, it presents a counterbalance to the imposing symbols of the Great Wall of China and Table Mountain. Further, Kinhin is linked to broader theories on corporeality and the act of walking that emphasize the relationship between bodies and place

With the participation of Baudoin Euloge OYOU-YERIMA (ADOGONY) (artist, Artistic and Cultural consultant for the African Pavillion at the Shanghai world Expo).


16:15 – 18:00  F10 –  CHINESE SPACES AND CULTURAL MARKERS IN AFRICAN CITIES  Romain Dittgen (coord.) (Salle/Room 4.14)

The strengthening of Sino-African ties is often assessed from an economic and political angle by focusing on either trade exchanges, investments flows or high level state visits and related declarations. Nonetheless, in most African cities, the Chinese presence first transpires from its spatial footprint. Apart from projects implemented by Chinese contractors, it is mostly the arrival of waves of migrant-entrepreneurs that have added new tangible features to urban landscapes, both from a commercial and residential perspective. While some stand isolated, others, by group effect, have initiated or contributed to shaping the morphology of specific streets, neighbourhoods or even broader areas. Spatial alterations as well as the visibility of cultural and ethnic markers depend however on the context and structure of the host city in which these dynamics unfold. Looking beyond the economic impact, this panel focuses on different modes of spatial organisation of Chinese actors in urban settings and explores connected social and cultural influences. Against the backdrop of the expansion and deepening of Chinese features in African cities, it raises several questions: In which way are these spatial and cultural markers perceived? How do they fit into a broader urban context? Do they create new dynamics of spatial reorganisation? And to what extent are these Chinese urban markers reflections of Chinese identities, as well as mirrors of the history, temporalities and the place Chinese people and activities occupy in specific African host cities?

Change and continuity: Evolving dynamics in Johannesburg’s Chinatowns, Romain DITTGEN (SAIIA)

The significant and continuous arrival of Chinese migrants in Johannesburg has led to a strengthening of the commercial and residential footprints, adding new features to the city’s urban landscape. Apart from numerous Chinese malls, mainly concentrated along the southern edges of the agglomeration, as well as the shining banners of a few big multinationals in the financial district in the North, it is the presence of Chinatowns that contribute most to the Chinese visibility in town.

In comparison to most other cities, the originality of Johannesburg comes primarily from the duplication of these ethnic landmarks, reflecting the plurality and complexity of Chinese migration waves. Between the arrival of the first Chinese in the late nineteenth century and the new migrations since the mid-1990s, the differences are pronounced and also translate into space (from urban decay in first Chinatown in downtown Johannesburg to urban renewal and development in the second one located in the eastern suburbs). While both areas follow singular trajectories, each of them displays Chinese characteristics within the broader Johannesburg landscape. Apart from analysing the shifting nature of these spaces, it is also worth studying how domestic authorities (both at municipal and national level) engage with these areas, and – by extension – with the Chinese minority groups.

Everyday market encounters in Zambian markets, Solange GUO CHATELARD (Sciences Po)

Historically, the assimilation process of the first generations of Chinese migrants who moved to and settled in North America, Europe and South Africa in the 19th and early 20th centuries was largely characterised by exclusion, socio-cultural backlash, and discriminatory policies imposed by host countries. Social and economic segregation went hand in hand. Nowadays, in contrast, new waves of Chinese migrants living in Zambia are often charged of spreading their influence and economic footprint in an unfettered manner while socially retreating from local society by employing strategies of self-exclusion. This tension appears to have transformed historical patterns of assimilation of Chinese diaspora groups. While Chinese economic markers in Zambia are increasingly visible throughout the country –Chinese billboards, products, restaurants, street vendors, public markets and new residential areas – relatively little is understood beyond the commercial realm of market interaction. The nature of social relations and everyday practice, both public and private, are largely overlooked. Based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork among the growing Chinese community in Zambia, this paper explores the tensions and contradictions of social dynamics underlying China’s growing commercial presence in the country by focusing on local public markets. The remarkable intensification of Chinese presence in Zambian markets through street vendors, produce and consumers, represents not only an illustration of an appropriation of space, but also reflects the broader changes taking place in Zambian society. This paper asks what are the social implications of China’s increased integration into the country’s urban economy.

Definitely maybe: Assessing the resilience of Chinese wholesaler – retailers in Johannesburg, Tanya ZACK (Independent)

Up until 2012, opportunities in retail and wholesale of affordable goods in Johannesburg were vast, attracting Chinese migrants in significant numbers and leading to the rapid proliferation of Chinese malls. In recent years, this favourable situation seems to have changed, due to intensifying levels of competition and concerns about an increasingly saturated market, challenges related to a weak currency as well as shifts in the domestic market with a growing share of (more selective) end-consumers. In the face of these various pressures, adaptation strategies employed by Chinese wholesalers embrace different geographical scales, ranging from local to transnational, and include adjustments in the supply chains, as well as an increasing focus on marketing, design and branding, and strengthening of personal relationships along the supply chain. If the vast majority of clothing and daily consumer goods sold in South Africa are made in China, perceptions change depending on the point of sale. Whilst South African franchises are seen as sources for fashionable goods, Chinese malls are often associated with poor quality. Owing to these double standards, there is a tendency to modernise (both at the level of the malls as well as of the shops), in some cases through diluting, in others by highlighting visible Chinese characteristics. By focusing on the appearance of the malls as well as on the commercial strategies adopted by a select number of Chinese wholesalers, this paper seeks to provide insight into the nature of shifts in the market for affordable products.

Mapping Chinese Entrepreneurial Spaces in Lusaka: Will Lusaka get its own Chinatown? Gerald CHUNGU (U. of Witswatersrand)

 The Chinese government’s drive to access African Natural resources has also opened doors for Chinese private entrepreneurs to join in the ‘ African economic boom’ and set up shop in Lusaka and other Zambian cities. One of the emerging questions is whether the Chinese are in Africa to stay or only around for as long as natural resources last. Zambia’s passing of the Land act of 1996 eased ownership of land by foreigners resulting in many foreign investors including Chinese entrepreneurs acquiring land for development around the country. Are these acquisitions part of “cashing in” within the property market or are they markers or indicators for Chinese permanency and integration in the Zambia social-cultural environment?  Reading the built environment as text, the paper will, through mapping of Chinese   entrepreneurial spaces attempt to address the question of Chinese permanency or temporariness in their engagement with Africa and how this is bound to affect the urban landscape. 



Kathryn BATCHELOR is an Associate Professor of Translation and Francophone Studies, specialising in literary translation in Francophone Africa. She is currently leading the project ‘Building Images: Exploring 21st century Sino-African dynamics through cultural exchange and translation’. This project explores the dominant images of China that are being constructed for Africa, and vice versa. It asks how these images are channelled and shaped, and examines translation selection and exchange patterns in an effort to better understand Sino-African power dynamics.

Caroline BODOLEC  is senior researcher with the French National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) at the Centre d’études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine (UMR 8173 Chine, Corée, Japon). Her field of research focus on the intangible cultural heritage and on the appropriation of the Intangible cultural heritage convention of UNESCO (2003) in China. She conducts fieldwork studies over northern part of the country, especially in Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces. She also works on the history of construction and the anthropology of techniques during Late imperial and contemporary China. She published several articles in those topics and a book entitled La voûte dans l’architecture chinoise : un patrimoine méconnu (Maisonneuve et Larose, 2005). She is co-author of a documentary made with Elodie Brosseau entitled Yaodong, little treaty of construction, 89 ‘, EHESS & AnimaViva production that won the Intangible Cultural Heritage Award at the 31st Festival of Ethnographic Film Jean Rouch in 2012 and the second prize at the Festival du Film de chercheurs, Nancy, 2014.

Françoise BOURDARIAS Anthropologue (UMR CNRS 6173 CITERES, Université de Tours et chercheur associé au CESSMA) Ses recherches menées au Mali ont pour objet les formes d’inscription locales de dynamiques économiques et sociales internes et externes à la société malienne :  luttes foncières, transformations des pratiques politiques et économiques, développement de nouveaux mouvements religieux. Les  travaux en cours concernent  la diffusion de la médecine chinoise en Afrique de l’ouest ; les élites maliennes diplômées dans des universités étrangères.

Lucia CANDELISE est Maître Assistante à l’Université de Genève, dans le cadre du projet FNS suisse : « Circulation, transmission et adaptation des pratiques médicales chinoises en Europe. Leur réception en Suisse pour une histoire comparée avec le contexte médical français et italien » et collabore au projet ANR EsCA depuis janvier 2013. Elle a soutenu sa thèse de doctorat en histoire et anthropologie culturelle à l’EHESS, Paris en cotutelle avec l’Università Milano Bicocca. Elle est rattachée au laboratoire SPHERE, UMR 7219, CNRS/Paris 7, membre (chercheuse libre) à l’Institut universitaire d’histoire de la médecine et de la santé publique (IUHMSP-CHUV), Lausanne, associée au laboratoire CECMC, UMR 8173, Chine, Corée, Japon (EHESS/CNRS) et au laboratoire CETCOPRA Paris 1 la Sorbonne.  Elle mène depuis plusieurs années des recherches sur la diffusion, la réception et les tentatives d’intégration de la médecine chinoise en différents pays d’Europe en combinant une approche historique à l’enquête de terrai ( Elle a dirigé le dossier thématique de la revue Anthropologie & Santé n°6 (2013, sur la patrimonialisation des savoirs médicaux et travaille pour une nouvelle publication sur ce sujet.

Roberto CASTILLO (PhD Cultural Studies) is a lecturer at the African Studies Programme at The University of Hong Kong. He is from Mexico but has been living, working and researching in the Asian region since 2006. Besides Cultural Studies, his training is in journalism, international relations, political science and history. In 2009, when he was working as an editor for a branch of Xinhua News Agency in Beijing, he became interested in the increasing presence of foreigners in China and their transnational connections. Since 2010, he has been carrying out cultural research on Africans in Guangzhou. He also administers a website dedicated to the wider field of Africans in China at

Gerald CHUNGU is an Architect and Urban Designer and currently working in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He received a Master’s degree in Urban Design and Planning from Tongji University, Shanghai China and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Copperbelt University in Zambia. Gerald combines his academic work with Architecture and urban design practice and has experience working in Zambia and China. After 12 years in China, he moved to South Africa to join Wits University as a lecturer in Architecture. In the last five years, Gerald has been working on various construction projects involving Chinese in Zambia in addition to his academic pursuits and interests in Sino-Africa relationship and urban (In)formalities. Gerald is currently doing his PhD in Urbanism at Università di Venezia in Italy.

Saskia COUSIN is assistant professor of anthropology at the Center of cultural Anthropology (, Paris Descartes University. She tries to develop a multi-sited ethnography on tourism practices, politics and imaginaries. In Porto-Novo, Benin’s capital, her work examines the connection between heritagization, tourism and vodoo Worship. The renovation of the city is the focus of a long-standing conflict between supporters of the heritagization of the colonial and Afro-Brazilian city centre, and the proponents of its demolition in order to build a modern city that could accommodate the economic elites of the sub-region, especially from Nigeria, with the help of China. In this context, Vodoo, its gods and its influence network play a crucial urban, social and political role, although it is not taken into account by the European development cooperation which is focused on the built heritage. In contrast, for most inhabitants, this built heritage is synonymous with discomfort, poverty, or even post-colonial power.

Myriam DAO  Architect by training, Myriam Dao is a visuel artist.  Since 1987, she has been investigating the living environment of the ethnic groups of Southern China, as an independant researcher and also with a french-chinese team of anthropologists. She is member of Afrikadaa, online art magazine and production group constituted by visual artists, curators and theorists, exploring decolonial imaginaries. Since 2009, she is teaching visual art in Paris to children of the Education Priority Zone (ZEP)

DITTGEN Romain holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) with a focus on the spatial dimension of the Chinese presence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Before joining SAIIA as a Senior Researcher in September 2014, he has held a post-doctoral fellowship at the African Studies Centre and the International Institute for Asian Studies, both located in Leiden in the Netherlands. Additionally, he has worked as an assistant lecturer at the Sorbonne and is affiliated to the Geography Research Institute UMR 8586 Prodig in Paris. His focus is on settlement patterns/dynamics of Chinese and other emerging countries’ economic agents in Sub-Saharan Africa, looking in particular at how interactions are influenced and remodelled by local contexts.

Jean-Pierre DOZON anthropologue, est directeur de recherche émérite à l’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). Auteur d’une dizaine d’ouvrages (notamment La cause des prophètes. Politique et religion en Afrique contemporaine, Seuil, 1995, Frères et Sujets. La France et l’Afrique en perspective, Flammarion, 2003, L’Afrique à Dieu et à Diable. Etats, ethnies et religions, Ellipses, 2008, Saint-Louis du Sénégal, Palimpseste d’une ville, Karthala, 2012, Afrique en présences. Du monde atlantique à la globalisation néo-libérale, Editions de la FMSH, 2015), il a travaillé principalement en Afrique de l’Ouest sur des questions de développement, de santé (en particulier sur le sida), sur les problèmes ethniques, sur les prophétismes et les entremêlements du politique et du religieux, ainsi que sur les relations franco-africaines. Il est également directeur d’études à l’École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences sociales (EHESS) et directeur scientifique de la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH).

Alexandra GALITZINE-LOUMPET  hold a doctorate in anthropology and archeology from the University of Paris I. For fifteen years lecturer at the University of Yaounde I (Dept of Arts & Archeology),  she directed extensive fieldworks and co-direct the National Museum of Cameroon project among others museum programmes. Installed in Paris since 2008, she had conceive and coordinate the ANR programme (ESCA) and co-directs the research initiative “Non-places of exile” (College d’Etudes mondiales). Her research interests focus on the patrimonial process in Africa, the representations of Otherness and Modernity, material culture, biography and circulation of objects, including objects of exile / migration.

Karsten GIESE, Senior Research Fellow at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies, Hamburg, Germany, and editor of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, has been studying Chinese migration and issues of socio-economic change in China since the late 1980s. Focusing on the social and economic interaction between Chinese entrepreneurial migrants and African actors in Africa as well as on Chinese-African encounters in China since 2010, he has been Principal Investigator for the research projects “Entrepreneurial Chinese migrants and petty African entrepreneurs: Local impacts of interaction in urban West Africa” (2011-13) and “West African traders as translators between Chinese and African urban modernities” (2013-17) funded by the German Research Foundation DFG.

Catherine GILBERT is a Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, workin on the ‘Building Images’ project. She completed her PhD in in French and Francophone Studies in 2014, and her thesis explored notions of trauma, voice and witness in the testimonial literature of Rwandan women genocide survivors.  More information :  

Antoine GUEX is a PhD student in Lausanne, Switzerland. After a masters degree in Chinese literature in Geneva (Switzerland), he taught for four years in Chinese Universities in Xi’an (Shaanxi) along with obtaining a masters degree in Pedagogy of French as a second language in the university of Dijon (France).  Since september 2013, he is taking part in research about China in Africa at the University of Lausanne. His research fields are the life and trajectories of Chinese expatriates in Republic of Congo and the training and employment of African graduates related to the localization of Chinese firms.  Since 2014, he has pursued several field studies in China and in Congo Brazzaville. ​

Cina GUEYE est  titulaire d’un DEA en sociologie. Elle est actuellement doctorante en socio-anthropologie en cotutelle de thèse à l’université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis et l’université Lumière/Lyon 2.   Sa thèse de doctorat porte sur « activités invisibles et compétitions dans la ville africaine d’aujourd’hui : analyse socio-anthropologique des logiques d’appropriation de l’espace urbain dakarois entre jeunes promoteurs de l’économie populaire et jeunes entrepreneurs chinois ». Ses centres d’intérêts scientifiques portent sur la sociologie urbaine et la  sociologie des migrations.

Ulfrieda HO  is a freelance journalist based in Johannesburg. She’s a first generation South African, born to Chinese parents who arrived from China in the 1950s and 1960s. She contributes to South African newspapers and magazines on a range of topics and has followed the story of the Chinese in South Africa as one of her keen areas of interest. In 2011 she published her book “Paper Sons and Daughters”. It’s a childhood memoir about growing Chinese under the apartheid regime in South Africa and straddling two identities informed by growing up in Africa and her parents’ imagined homeland in China.

Solange GUO CHATELARD  is a PhD candidate at Sciences Po in Paris and a research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany. Based on long-term fieldwork in rural China and among Chinese sojourners in Zambia, her work focuses on everyday state formation and the question of Chinese ‘modernity’. Her PhD thesis is an ethnography of Chinese engagement in Zambia from the 1990s until today.

Hans Peter HAHN  is Professor for Anthropology with special focus on African studies at the University of Frankfurt. His research interests are oriented towards material culture, consumption and the impact of globalization on non-western societies. He edited a book on “Consumption in Africa” (Lit, 2008), focussing on understandings of household economies in Africa. He participated in a research programme on globalization in Africa (2000-2007), investigating the many roles of “global goods “ in West Africa. He is speaker of the research training group “Value and Equivalency” at Goethe-University. His recent publications include an edited volume on “Mobility of Things” (Oxbow 2013) and also on the “Obstinacy of Things” (Neofelis 2015). He currently edited a volume containing Marcel Mauss’ writings on money (Suhrkamp 2015)

Antoine KERNEN est docteur en Science politique de l’Institut d’Etude Politique de Paris. Il a travaillé à l’institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement de Genève et actuellement à la faculté des sciences sociales et Politique de l’Université de Lausanne.  Adoptant une perspective de sociologie politique, il analyse dans ses travaux sur la transition chinoise, différents aspects liés au processus de privatisation (émergence du secteur privé, transformation du système social, manifestations ouvrières, émergence d’un secteur associatif).  En parallèle depuis quelques années, il conduit et dirige des recherches et sur la présence chinoise en Afrique. Après des premiers travaux sur les petits commerçants chinois en Afrique, il porte actuellement son intérêt sur l’impact des produits chinois en Afrique et plus largement le rôle de la Chine dans un possible retour d’un Etat développementaliste en Afrique. Il a publié récemment un numéro spécial de la revuePolitique Africaine intitulé : « China Ltd : Un business Africain » (no 134/2014).

Francis Désiré KEUBOU est professeur de Lycée d’enseignement secondaire et doctorant à l’Université de Yaoundé I au Cameroun. Il est spécialisé en anthropologie de la santé. Il est récipiendaire (2015-2017) de la très compétitive Bourse africaine pour la rédaction de Thèses octroyée par African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) en partenariat avec le Centre de Recherches pour le Développement Internationale (CRDI). Il prépare une thèse de Doctorat/PHD sur «la médecine chinoise au Cameroun ». Ses domaines de recherche sont : la santé de la reproduction, les médicaments de rues, la santé et ses politiques, le nouveau comportement curatif et les déterminants des itinéraires thérapeutiques, les médecines parallèles. Il a pris part à plusieurs travaux de recherches organisés par Centre for Applied Social Sciences Research and Training (CASSRT) et participe au suivi de proximité des étudiants inscrits en master. Il est membre de l’Association Camerounaise et Panafricaine d’Anthropologie.

Guive KHAN MOHAMMAD  holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. His master’s thesis focused on the Chinese presence in West Africa. He is currently working as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. His PhD research interests are related to the arrival of Chinese goods in Africa, with special attention to West African transnational traders and state–business relationships in Africa. He has published a number of papers, such as “ The Chinese Presence in Burkina Faso : A Sino-African Cooperation from Below ” in The Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, or “ The Revolution of Chinese Goods in Africa: Mass Consumption and New Material Culture ” (with Prof. A. Kernen) in Politique Africaine.

Katy LAM  is going to defend her doctoral thesis in the University of Lausanne, Switzerland (May 2015). Her thesis examines the globalization process of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Ghana. In the research area of China and Africa relations, she has published articles related to the Chinese SOEs globalization, social mobility and social adaptations of Chinese migration.

Laurence MARFAING est historienne-chercheure à Giga, German Institute for global and area Studies à Hambourg. Spécialisée sur le commerce et les commerçants ouest-africains, le secteur informel au Sénégal et la mobilité des Subsahariens dans l’espace Sahara-Sahel, plus particulièrement sur les phénomènes de translocalité et de sociabilité, elle travaille depuis 2011 sur les interactions entre les petits entrepreneurs chinois et africains et les changements induits par la présence chinoise au Sénégal au sein d’un groupe de recherche à GIGA : « Entrepreneurial Chinese Migrants and Petty African Entrepreneurs: Local Impacts of Interaction in Urban West Africa (Ghana and Senegal) » puis « West African Traders as Translators Between Chinese and African Urban Modernities »

Evelyne MICOLLIER. Titulaire d’un doctorat en anthropologie, d’une maîtrise de Chinois et d’un magistère en SHS appliquées aux aires culturelles (Asie orientale), Evelyne Micollier est chargée de recherche à l’IRD (Equipe Cultures locales & Santé globale, UMI 233, U INSERM 1175). Elle s’intéresse à la médecine chinoise pratiquée en Chine contemporaine et à sa diffusion depuis de nombreuses années.  Ses travaux récents portent sur la recherche médicale en médecine chinoise, l’industrialisation, la R&D et la circulation des produits pharmaceutiques chinois, sur la mondialisation de la santé et ses implications, sur des questions d’éthique et de gouvernance en santé.  Elle travaille aussi sur des aspects liés au corps, à la sexualité et au genre et a coordonné un programme sur ce thème lors de son affectation à Pékin en 2006-2011. Depuis 2012, elle  développe des projets en Asie du sud-est (Laos) et en/sur la Chine transnationale. Parmi ses dernières publications sur la médecine chinoise :  « Nouveaux produits de la pharmacopée chinoise contemporaine : R&D, définition et socialité en réseaux », Autrepart 2013 n°63, p. 69-88 ;  « Un maître ordinaire de qigong en Chine. Entre innovation et transmission », in Simon E., Pordié L. éds Les nouveaux guérisseurs. Biographies de guérisseurs au temps de la globalisation, 2013 Paris, EHESS,  pp. 131-155. ; (avec Pierre-Henry de Bruyn) « Diffusion institutionnelle de la médecine chinoise : typologie des principaux enjeux » Perspectives chinoises 2011 n°116, pp. 24-33.

Jamie MONSON is specializes in the history of Chinese development projects and civic diplomacy in Africa during the Cold War era. Her most recent book, Africa’s Freedom Railway: How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania, was published by Indiana University Press in 2009.  Her new research concerns the history of women’s diplomacy, translation and interpretation between China and East Africa in the 1970s.   Professor Monson has also published widely on East African colonial history and environmental history.  Her co-edited volume with James Giblin, Maji Maji: Lifting the Fog of War, was published by Brill Press in 2010.  She has been a research fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg and at the Humboldt Universty in Berlin, and an SSRC Humanities in China Research Fellow linked with Beijing University (2009).  In fall 2015 she will take up a new position as Director of African Studies at Michigan State University.

Julienne-Louise NGO LIKENG  is an anthropologist, head of the research department and coordinator of the MPH and Hospital Management at the School of Health Sciences of the Catholic University of Central Africa. Her main research areas are: anthropology of illness and health, alternative medicine, environmental studies linked to health, migration and culture. She currently manages a project called CODI (COnsidering Difference). She also one of the coordinators a journal called “Tropiques Santé” and a research associate at SAHARA Research Group of the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar ( Senegal ).

Fréderic OBRINGER  est chercheur au CNRS. Il est directeur de l’UMR 8173 Chine, Corée, Japon (CNRS/EHESS) et coresponsable de la mention de master « Asie méridionale et orientale » (EHESS). Historien de la médecine, des pratiques liées à la santé en Chine et des relations médicales entre la Chine et l’Europe, il travaille actuellement sur l’histoire des substances aromatiques et des parfums en Chine. Il a notamment publié, outre de nombreux articles : L’Aconit et l’orpiment. Drogues et poisons en Chine ancienne et médiévale, Paris, Fayard, 1997 (Prix Giles 1998 de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Prix 1998 de la Société Française d’Histoire de la Médecine) ; La maladie dans la Chine médiévale (avec C. Despeux), Paris, L’Harmattan, 1997 ; Fengshui. L’art d’habiter la terre. Une poétique de l’espace et du temps, Arles, Éditions Philippe Picquier, 2001, rééd. 2009.

Baudoin Euloge OYOU-YERIMA (ADOGONY) was born in Benin Republic, West Africa. He discovered China for the first time in 1979 when his step father was appointed as a diplomat there. After returning to Africa with his parents in 1981,  he decided to return in China and complete his academic studies at the Beijing Central Drama Academy where he obtained a masters degree.After several appearances on China Central Television, and having  been cast in a leading role in the movie “l’Etranger venu d’Afrique” he moved to Japan and continued a very busy 10 year tenure in television and show business, having appears as a regular on many top rating TV shows. He was also cast in the movie “Shinjuku incident” appearing alongside Jacky Chan. In 2010 he was chose as the Artistic and Cultural consultant for the African Pavillion at the Shanghai world Expo.Continuing with his consulting, he is now very active in helping Africans and Chinese to build deeper and more fruitful relationships, via his thorough understanding of both cultures

Yoon Jung PARK  is currently a freelance researcher with affiliations at the Sociology Department at Rhodes University (Grahamstown, South Africa) and African Studies at Georgetown University (Washington, DC). She also serves as the convener/coordinator of the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China (CA/AC) Research Network, an international network of scholars, researchers, graduate students, journalists, filmmakers and practitioners, which she helped to establish in 2007 ( She is the author of A Matter of Honour. Being Chinese in South Africa (Jacana/Lexington Books) as well as dozens of articles and book chapters in scholarly publications. Her research interests include ethnic Chinese in southern Africa and perceptions of Chinese people by local communities; migration; race, ethnicity and identity; race, class and power dynamics; affirmative action and Chinese South Africans; and xenophobia. She is currently working on her next book on Chinese migrants in Africa (Zed Books, forthcoming).

Laurent PORDIE   is an anthropologist specialized in the social study of science and medicine in South and South East Asia. He is a Senior Researcher with the CNRS at the CERMES3 in Paris, a unit focused in science, medicine and society. His current research examines what makes possible for pharmaceutical objects to come into being. In this ontological venture, Laurent is interested in the advent of science and technology in the industrial production of herbal medicines, in the changes in values, meanings, agency and therapeutic power induced by the global circulation of drugs, and in pharmaceutical heterodox practices of diagnosis and drug combination. His works include the books Tibetan Medicine in the Contemporary World (Routledge, 2008 – ICAS Book Prize 2009) and Les nouveaux guérisseurs (Editions de l’EHESS, 2013), as well as recent edited special issues, ‘Learning Institutions in South Asian Medicine’ (Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry, 2014), ‘Drugs’ Stories and Itineraries’ (Anthropology & Medicine, 2015), ‘The Herbal Pharmaceutical Industry in India’ (Asian Medicine, 2015) and ‘Diversion of Biomedical Technologies in a Globalized World’ (Medical Anthropology, in press).

Maddalena PROCOPIO is a PhD Candidate in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Her research focuses on Kenyan state-society negotiations in response to Chinese activities in the Trade, Healthcare and Education sectors, with emphasis on Kenyan agency. She is also Associate PhD with ANR EsCa where she is conducting research on Chinese soft power in Africa and Associate with the Insitute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi.

Dominique SAATENANG Shi Yah Mai born in Bafou (Cameroon). At 10,  he watched for the first time Bruce Lee’s and started practicing Wushu in High School.  He got a master in management  and was exceptionally admitted into the Shaolin Temple. Later he successfully got a degree in Wushu, at the Sport University of Beijing e. He got the certification of International Jud and referee, and Wushu expert. DMS is presently the first Black and fourth foreigner to be designated as member of the Shaolin Temple of the 34th generation called SHI YAH MAI.  From 1998 to 2005, he won many medals during Wushu international competitions in Asia, Europe and Africa. He also devotes himself to passing on his know-how in coaching and training. He participated in action films as an actor, a stuntman and choreographer for scenes which involve bouts.   He fluently speaks Chinese, English, French and Bamileke dialect. DMS is also a Businessman,  currently the Vice-President of the Federation of Investors China-Africa and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DMS International Group. On a regular basis, DMS holds conferences and seminars about his unusual background and experiences in universities and international forums . In 2012, Dominique Saatenang created a  troupe of artists under the name of “Shaolin Black and White”.

Ruth SIMBAO is an Associate Professor in the Fine Art Department at Rhodes University, South Africa, and holds a DST/NRF SARChI Research Chair, Geopolitics and the Arts of Africa. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 2008, and was an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) postdoctoral fellow as part of the Humanities in Africa programme in 2010. Simbao has published in a number of national and international journals and exhibition catalogues, and was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award at Rhodes University in 2009. She is the founder of the Visual and Performing Arts of Africa (ViPAA) research initiative (2011), Residencies for Artists and Writers (RAW) (2014), and Art & Culture: Writers in Africa (ACWA) (2015). Recent curatorial projects include SLIP: Mbali Khoza and Igshaan Adams (2014), the performance art programme BLIND SPOT at the National Arts Festival, and MAKING WAY: Contemporary Art from South Africa and China at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg (2013) and the National Arts Festival (2012). (,

 Amanda SHUMAN recently completed her PhD at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her dissertation, “The Politics of Socialist Athletics in the People’s Republic of China, 1949-1966,” traces the political significance of sport to the Chinese socialist state between 1949 and 1966 and its importance in shaping transnational networks. She has also published articles in the Journal of Sport History and Comparativ on Chinese elite international sports activities in the early 1960s, including the first Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO), a large-scale sports games held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1963 that resembled the Olympics.

Alena THIEL is a research fellow at the GIGA Institute of African Affairs where she has been researching the interactions, translations and adaptations between Chinese and Ghanaian entrepreneurs since 2011. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Aberdeen with a dissertation project on travelling significations of order and their adaptations in the claims-making strategies of urban Ghanaian market traders. Her key publications include ‘The Vulnerable Other – Distorted Equity in Chinese-Ghanaian Employment Relations’ (with Karsten Giese), Ethnic and Racial Studies, 37, 2012, 6, 1101-1120; and ‘The Impact of Chinese Business on Market Entry in Ghana and Senegal’ (with Laurence Marfaing), Africa. Journal of the International African Institute, 83, 4, 646-669.

 Anne-Christine TREMON is a senior lecturer in anthropology at the Université de Lausanne and the director of the Laboratoire d’anthropologie culturelle et sociale. She obtained her PhD at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in 2005 and since then she has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of ethnology, Academia Sinica in Taiwan, a lecturer at the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and the Ecole normale supérieure (ENS) in Paris, and a EURIAS fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in 2012-3. Her research examines Chinese globalization and the Chinese diaspora in a global anthropological and historical perspective. She is the author of a book about the Chinese community in French Polynesia, Chinois en Polynésie française. Migration, métissage, diaspora (Société d’ethnologie, 2010). She has published over twenty journal articles among others in l’Homme, Anthropological Theory, and Ethnic and Racial Studies, and co-edited a special issue on museums and heritage in China in the journal Gradhiva. Her current research examines the social and economic transformations in a former lineage-village of the Shenzhen special economic zone in China and the changes in the relations between the members of the local community and their relatives in the diaspora.émon

 Françoise VERGES, docteur de sciences politiques de l’Université de Berckeley, a enseigné  à Sussex University et au Goldmiths College. Présidente du commité pour la mémoire et l’esclavage de 2009 à 2012, elle est actuellement la titulaire de la Chaire Global South(s) au Collège d’études mondiales (Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris)

 François WASSOUNI est enseignant d’Histoire à l’Université de Maroua au Cameroun, chercheur Invité à l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Ehess) et à l’Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (Master Erasmus Mundus TPTI) en France. Il a publié des articles et présenté des communications portant sur la présence chinoise au cameroun, notamment  le processus de diffusion de ses pratiques culturelles. Il co-dirige un ouvrage qui parait très bientôt sur “La présence chinoise en Afrique francophone”, est membre associé de l’ANR . Il vient de recevoir une invitation de l’Africa Studies Centrum (ACS) de Leiden au Pays-Bas pour un séjour de recherche sur la Chine en Afrique de trois mois.

Tanya ZACK is an urban planner who holds a PhD from University of Witwatersrand for her work on Critical Pragmatism in Planning.  Her core skills and work experience include policy development, research, writing, project management and facilitation of community participation. Her clients have included the City of Johannesburg, the Department of Housing (now Human Settlements) and Urban LandMark. She has operated as an independent consultant since 1991 and straddles academic research and practice. Tanya’s recent consulting work, research, publication and creative writing centres on the inner city of Johannesburg. This includes work on migrant spaces and in particular on the spatial and economic shifts in an Ethiopian entrepreneurial location in the inner city.

INALCO  65 rue des grands moulins 75013 Paris Métro  Ligne 14, station bibliothèque François Mitterrand, Bus : 83 : arrêt Olympiades / 89 : arrêt bibliothèque François Mitterrand / 27, 62,64, 132, N31 : arrêt Patay-Tolbiac

Citer ce billet
Alexandra Galitzine-Loumpet (2015, 5 septembre). Colloque ANR Espaces de la culture chinoise en Afrique, 9-11 septembre 2015. Programme détaillé. ANR EsCA. Consulté le 18 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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