Chinese high school students reflect on anti-African discrimination in Guangzhou

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SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng.

It’s been almost five months since a spate of anti-African discrimination erupted in Guangzhou, home to the largest overseas African population in Asia. Back in April, amid mounting fears of a COVID-19 outbreak in the southern Chinese city, dozens of African residents were evicted from their homes and hotels and forced onto the streets with nowhere to go.

In July, a group of five Chinese high school students, mostly from the eastern city of Suzhou, near Shanghai, traveled to Guangzhou. Their goal was to find out what, if anything, has changed since April in the relations between African residents and the local population.

They recorded their experience for a short-form documentary, “Africans in Guangzhou: Misunderstanding, Discrimination, and Communication,” which they published in August on YouTube and the Chinese video-sharing platform Bilibili.

Two of the film’s producers, Chén Xīngbèi 陈星贝 and Xiāo Kǎiyuán 潇凯元, both rising seniors at the Overseas Chinese Academy of Chiway Suzhou, joined Eric and Cobus to discuss their new film and to share their impressions of the current state of Chinese-African community relations in Guangzhou.