Watching East Asia in South Africa: Imagining Cultural Belonging in the Age of Transnational Media

  • Cobus van Staden
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The flows of people and goods that are defining Asia-Africa relationships are closely entangled with flows of media. Media didn’t only serve to help Africa and Asia imagine each other, they also historically provided spaces for interaction, and using images from faraway to imaginatively remake the self. This chapter focuses on two flows of media from Asia to Africa: Hong Kong martial arts film during the 1970s and 1980s and Japanese animation during the twenty-first century. The chapter shows that in both cases these flows enabled Africans to use imagined versions of Asia to reconstruct their own relationship with the South African state. In both cases these forms of imported media facilitated the expression of alienation from South Africa, albeit for very different reasons. In the process, ‘Asia’ as an imagined entity took on political valence within Africa.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cobus van Staden
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Media StudiesUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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