Understanding “Blackness” in Hong Kong : representations of Africa in Hong Kong popular media

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 studies the representations of Africans and African cultures in Hong Kong popular media since the 1990’s and its political, social, and cultural significance. Representations of the African continent in Hong Kong popular culture define the local’s understanding of African peoples and cultures. On one hand, some representations continue to reproduce long held stereotypes by constructing African cultures as the city’s inferior binary opposition; on the other hand, some attempt to do away with the sense of “othering” and achieve empathetic cultural exchanges. By analysing the construction of “African-ness” in these representations, this paper shows that African cultures are constantly portrayed in relation to Hong Kong’s under the presupposition of assimilation. It is by studying the absences and presences of “African-ness” in locally produced movies, songs, and variety shows that it could be shown that Africa is often narrated as the subordinate of the local. Significantly, this hierarchy not only predetermines but also crystalizes the local people’s understanding of Africa. This paper thus studies how these representations incur ideologies and define Africa and African cultures in the city.



Additional Information


Emily Chow-Quesada is assistant professor at the Department of English Language and Literature at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her research focuses on the representations of Africa in Hong Kong, and world and postcolonial Anglophone literature. She has published journal articles and book chapters on Anglophone African literature and taught courses on world literature, postcolonial literature, African literature, and representations of “blackness.” She is also the editor of the “Hong Kong and Chinese Literature and Culture” section of Hong Kong Review of Books.

Recommended Citation

Chow-Quesada, E. (2021, May 4). Understanding “Blackness” in Hong Kong: Representations of Africa in Hong Kong popular media [Video podcast]. Retrieved from https://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/874/