Visualising Africa in Chinese posters 1950-1980

Streaming Media


The Chinese in Africa / Africans in China Research Network Conference Organising Committee in collaboration with the Centre for Cultural Research and Development at Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Event Title

CAAC2021 4th Online Mini-symposium : Relocating Africa : Representations and Memory of Africa in 20th and 21st Century China

Document Type





9:00 p.m.


Online Session via Zoom


This paper examines the depictions and portrayal of Africa and Africans in China during the period when that country moved to establish diplomatic relations across the continent – the foundation of what would become Africa-China relations today. Chinese posters were early forms of mass visual interaction with (the image of) foreign nationals. They reflect how Chinese society viewed itself in relation to others as it developed an awareness of the international through domestic mobilization. This study investigates how Africa and Africans are depicted in Chinese posters and how they shaped and/or reflected discourses of the period. It also examines the motivations behind the inclusion of Africans in Chinese posters, arguing that this had a largely domestic rationale. By historicizing Chinese posters in the meaning-making process of the image of Africa in 20th century China, this paper concludes that posters negotiated public opinion by defining friend and foe, were more about China and her cold war entanglements than about Africa, and simultaneously challenges and reinforces some widely held stereotypes about the continent.



Additional Information


Ignatius Suglo is a PhD candidate in China Studies at the University of Hong Kong. He is interested in twentieth century Africa-China relations, people-to-people relations, digital diasporic communities, and linguistic landscapes. His PhD project examines the politics of African representations in Chinese popular media since the establishment of the PRC.

Recommended Citation

Suglo, I. (2021, May 4). Visualising Africa in Chinese posters 1950-1980 [Video podcast]. Retrieved from https://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/873/