Spraying Renminbi: Nigerian money throwing, music and aspirations in China

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Abstract

Recently, African presence in China has attracted considerable scholarly attention. However, extant research has mainly focused on the political economy of trade, and largely neglected other cultural practices. Over the 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. This paper uses this ‘money throwing’ as an entry point to ‘unearth’ some undercurrents connecting Nigerian traditions and musical practices with the globalisation of Chinese and Nigerian 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 Nigerian 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) does African presence in China (and Nigerian renminbi throwing in particular) signal important transformations in the contemporary (and future) articulation of discursive and imagined Sino-African cultural and economic spaces.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventIACS Conference 2015 : Undercurrents: Unearthing hidden social and discursive practices : 潛流:發掘潛藏的社會與論述實踐 - Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia
Duration: 7 Aug 20159 Aug 2015
http://culturalstudies.asia/iacs-conference-2015/

Conference

ConferenceIACS Conference 2015 : Undercurrents: Unearthing hidden social and discursive practices : 潛流:發掘潛藏的社會與論述實踐
CountryIndonesia
CitySurabaya
Period7/08/159/08/15
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CASTILLO BAUTISTA, R. C. (2015). Spraying Renminbi: Nigerian money throwing, music and aspirations in China. IACS Conference 2015 : Undercurrents: Unearthing hidden social and discursive practices : 潛流:發掘潛藏的社會與論述實踐, Surabaya, Indonesia.