China's involvement in Africa today is one of the loudest wake-up calls many Western governments have received in the last half-century about their involvement in Africa, and about the shifting dynamics of global power.
The European and American way has been to treat Africa like some sort of basket case or incompetent kid in need of aid and a firm hand, and for its media to get a kick out of reporting on famine, starvation and war almost to the exclusion of all else. The Chinese, on the other hand, seem to have arrived with one thing in mind: Business. You need investment in infrastructure and we need your natural resources, oil, metals, minerals, arable land, etc. Let's tango. Or so we're told.
But no matter how many stories you read about the latest billion-Dollar deal between China and an African country, or how many photographs you see of Chinese guys in hard hats standing by some highway under construction in Ethiopia or wherever, you're still left wondering what the day-to-day dealings between the 750,000+ Chinese in Africa and the Africans they work with and live among are like.
Enter When China Met Africa, the most revealing, and, to date, only, full-length documentary about those very relations, and of the expanding footprint of China in Africa. It's from Nick and Marc Francis, the makers of Black Gold, and after being officially selected to screen at various international film festivals — IDFA Amsterdam, Göteborg, Sheffield Doc, Rotterdam — it's getting its theatrical premiere, with a directors Q&A, in London on October the 9th.
This give-away is now over.
Congratulations to our winners:
Tickets to the premiere: Ross Hagan (London, UK)
DVD: John Olambeloye Alabi (Lagos, Nigeria)
And thanks to everyone who took part.
Win tickets to the London premiere (with Directors' Q&A), or a DVD
We saw When China Met Africa when it screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (after which we wrote this piece), and thought this was something that would very much interest This Is Africa visitors/readers, too. So we were thrilled when Nick and Marc said we could offer a pair of tickets to the premiere and a DVD (region-free).
Please note: One This is Africa reader will win the pair of tickets, and another will will the DVD. As we're talking about the London premiere it means you are only eligible to win tickets if you are based in the UK. To be fair to our non-UK-based readers, we'll restrict the DVD offer to the rest of the world.
All you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the answer to the following question:
When China Met Africa was shot mostly in which African country?
Subject field: When China Met Africa
Please include your full name and telephone number in the body of the email, as well as your city of residence.
On Monday the 3rd, before noon, we'll go through our inbox, pick two winners at random and e-mail with the good news.
Good luck, everyone!
Premiere + Directors' Q&A
Date: Sunday 9th October
Venue: Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Place
If you're not the lucky winner, you can buy tickets directly from, or at, the cinema
Forthcoming screenings in October: Lisbon, Rio and London.
Buy the DVD
Special pre-release DVDs are available from When China Met Africa