Association pour l’anthropologie du changement social et du développement
Association for the anthropology of social change and development

The affective regimes of Chinese media in Africa: Exploring new research paradigms for the understanding of China-Africa media interactions

The affective regimes of Chinese media in Africa: Exploring new research paradigms for the understanding of China-Africa media interactions

Auteur(s) : Jedlowski Alessandro ;

Existing studies on the expansion of Chinese media companies in Africa published in recent years focus mainly on the expansion in Africa of Chinese state media companies, through an approach that tends to read the activities of these companies as being the direct expression of the Chinese government’s hegemonic project in Africa, and therefore as the result of the soft power policies formulated by the Chinese Communist Party. However, to speak of a coherent and homogeneous “Chinese hegemonic project” is likely to be misleading: China’s international activities, in Africa as elsewhere, are the result of the combination of a multitude of actors who do not necessarily share the same project, and have sometimes diverging interests that can produce a hegemonic dynamic, but can also conflict with each other. On the basis of the preliminary results of an ongoing research project on the activities of the Chinese media company StarTimes in Nigeria, this paper proposes some reflections oriented towards the elaboration of an alternative theoretical and methodological approach to the study of Chinese media in Africa, able to take into account, simultaneously, the macro-political and macro-economic factors which condition the nature of China-Africa media interactions, the political intentions behind them (as, for example, the Chinese soft power policies and their translation into specific media contents), and the micro dimension of the “practices” and “uses” of the media made by the actors (producers and consumers of media) in the field. In particular, this paper introduces the concept of “affective regimes”, a tool that makes it possible to take into account the fluid and fragmentary dimension of the engagements between Chinese media and African publics, while equally emphasizing the power dynamics that underlie them, thus offering a theoretical framework able to go beyond the limits of soft power theory, as it has been applied to the study of China-Africa media interactions.


Mot-clé : affects, African audiences, Chinese media, Nigeria, et StarTimes
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Voir le panel Les médias chinois en Afrique : circulation, production, réception / African uses of Chinese media

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Ingénierie locale des motos : le cas des villes Kano, Maiduguri, Djimeta, Muby au Nigéria et Garoua, Maroua, Ngaoundéré au Cameroun (1990-2020)

Ingénierie locale des motos : le cas des villes Kano, Maiduguri, Djimeta, Muby au Nigéria et Garoua, Maroua, Ngaoundéré au Cameroun (1990-2020)

Auteur(s) : Ngassou Loppa ;

La présente communication entend questionner les motos comme objet de mobilité. Elle s’intéresse plus particulièrement aux savoirs et savoir-faire locaux sur les motos ; aux transferts de techniques sur ces engins entre le Nigéria et le Cameroun dans une perspective de moyen de mobilité et outil de développement socio-économique. En effet, l’utilisation des engins à deux roues-communément appelés motos taxi- comme moyen de déplacement dans le Nord du Cameroun remonte aux années 1988 (Aboulkarim 2005). Ensuite, du fait de l’acquisition facile de l’engin, de son efficacité en termes de services rendus et de son coût de transport relativement à la portée de tous, les motos se sont imposées comme moyen de mobilité des plus privilégiés dans le Nord Cameroun. En plus de servir moyen de transport dans les centres ruraux et urbains, les motos sont un excellent moyen de mobilité des personnes et des biens dans l’espace CEMAC (Ngassou 2019). Aussi, convient-il de préciser que le phénomène des motos s’est accompagné de la mise en place d’une ingénierie locale des motos. On observe ainsi des ateliers plus ou moins (in)formels et qui consistent à former sur le tas des jeunes aux savoirs de montage et démontage des motos, rechange de pièces pour ne citer que ceux-là. Les premières motos utilisées dans le Nord Cameroun étaient importées par le Port de Douala. Toutefois, celles récemment et actuellement utilisées viennent pour la plupart du Nigéria. A cet effet, les villes Kano, Maiduguri, Djimeta et Muby au Nigéria et Garoua, Maroua et Ngaoundéré au Cameroun offrent des possibilités d’étude de cet objet de mobilité dans les pays du Sud. Par conséquent, d’où viennent concrètement ces motos ? Comment sont-elles adaptées et utilisées comme moyen de mobilité ? Comment en est-on arrivé à les utiliser comme moyen par excellence de mobilité des biens et personnes en CEMAC ? Et en quoi concourent-elles au développement socio-économique des populations, des villes nigérianes et camerounaises ? Telles sont les questions qui guident la présente recherche. Les sources essentielles sont à la fois écrites, orales et produites à partir des observations sur le terrain. La perspective globale s’inscrit dans une analyse socio-historique et permet d’une part, de revenir sur la dynamique de l’ingénierie locale des motos dans ces espaces africains. D’autre part, apprécier l’apport des motos sur le développement socio-économique des populations et villes concernées par l’étude.


Mot-clé : Cameroun, développement, ingénierie locale, mobilité, motos, et Nigeria
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Voir le panel Acteurs, modalités matérielles et technologies des circulations dans les Suds / Actors, Materialities and Technologies of Circulations in the Global South

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“Who is the returnee?” or how the “returnee” narrative became alive in the daily experiences of Nigerians from Benin City

“Who is the returnee?” or how the “returnee” narrative became alive in the daily experiences of Nigerians from Benin City

Auteur(s) : Shaidrova Mariia ;

In the last years, with the support of the EU-funded NGOs hundreds of irregular migrants are “returning” to West Africa from the EU itself and so-called “transit” countries such as Niger (IOM). Naturally, the “returnees” become the subject of further “empowerment” and “reintegration” with an implicit agenda to prevent them from further attempts to cross the borders in the direction of the EU (Bonjour & Servent, 2018; Europe; EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration Report, 2019). In these policy dialogues, where externalization of borders meets “empowerment” and “development” I found myself watching how the “returnee” narrative is shaping the life of Edo State people in Nigeria. “Are you here to research returnees?” – the first question I got from the family who hosted me during my stay in Benin City; It made it so clear that the “returnee” narrative went far beyond the policy papers and project tenders, on the opposite, it entered the daily life of the Benin city inhabitants. I started inquiring who this “returnee” is: the one returned from the EU only or other countries from the Global South as well (e.g., South Africa after xenophobic attacks in 2019 ).There were no clear answers, but the word appeared to be a recent invention (starting from 2017). After significant returns of migrants from Libya facilitated by the Nigerian Government and the IOM, the term was reinvented in the city. By returning, returnees from the EU and Libya gave Nigerian (Benin based) NGOs work and made the NGO leaders mobile. Returnees became a defined group, an investment opportunity, they have a sense of identity and to some extent belonging.

Starting out my ethnographic journey in Nigeria with the question of what shapes the persistence of high risk migration, I discovered the emerging “returnee” narrative and continue exploring it throughout my stay in Nigeria. Once again, although the EU is developing the ways to promote the empowerment and reintegration of the failed Nigerian migrants, the “returnee” narrative became self-sustained and is developing its own trajectory. The policies create the working spaces for the future NGO workers making the social work in University of Benin one of the most prestigious faculties. Returnee shelters are being built (Nigerian Task Force Against Human Trafficking Shelter). Finally, the returnees are needed for the system to work. Special returnees to be precise, coming from Libya and the EU. Although as a NGO worker one might not adhere to the idea that the attempts will prevent migration, you have to play along. Looking at the phenomenon through the eyes or performativity, we can see how all mentioned actors are “doing” returnee assistance and how failed migrant “become” returnees (Butler, 1993; Hakli et al.,2017). This circle creates an interesting dynamics where policies to prevent migration are unintentionally creating a new category. They reshape the perception of this category, and possibilities/restrictions that come along with being labeled as a “returnee”. In my PhD project, I explore these connections and narratives throughout a yearlong fieldwork in Nigeria and consequently following the trajectories that are being created by the “returnee” narratives in Europe, South Africa, and Niger. I use both traditional among returnees/helping institutions and experimental ethnography (trajectories and video).


Mot-clé : Benin City, ethnography of returns, Nigeria, reintegration EU policies, et returnees
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Voir le panel Discours, pratiques et outils de la relation migrations/développement : circulations, innovations et résistances au Sud Global / Narratives, practices and tools of the migration-development nexus: circulations, innovations and resistances in the Global South

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