Fashion is recognised as a significant economic force globally and one of the most poignant indicators of cross-cultural exchange. By critically examining China-Africa networks of fashion production, trade and consumption using a multi-disciplinary, multi-method, multi-sited, and multi-scalar approach, this project will theorise how fashion is created, circulated, valuated, and consumed in and through Global Souths Value Chains (Guangdong-Nairobi-Maputo), dissecting complex dynamics and expressions of power.
Johanna von Pezold
Postdoc in Authenticity, Cultural Mediation, and Consumption: Ethnography of African Fashion Marketplace
With a background in Chinese Studies, Johanna von Pezold has been conducting ethnographic research on Chinese fashion in Africa for more than six years. After studying in Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro, Oxford, and Beijing, she recently graduated with a PhD in Sociology from the University of Hong Kong, examining the creation of fashion in the trade and retail of Chinese-made garments and textiles in Mozambique. She has worked for various think tanks and management consulting firms in Germany, Brazil, and China, and is the first recipient of the CHAT Research Grant, awarded by the Hong Kong Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile. Johanna is enthusiastic about China-Africa relations, pop culture, chickens, and everything colourful.
Wei Wang (Jupiter)
Postdoc in Creativity, Authenticity, and Cultural Mediation: Ethnography of China-Africa Fashion Production
Wei Wang (Jupiter) received his PhD in the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. His research explores China’s multi-dimensional global influences on Africa through ethnographic inquiries with grounded Chinese-African interactions. He previously studied the African community in Guangzhou, China. His Ph.D. thesis focuses on the cross-border marriage between Chinese men and Ethiopian women who formed their marriages in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, and its neighboring areas. It spotlights global China’s incompatible hard and soft power as a rising global South instead of a global North country.
Fairuzah Munaaya Atchulo
PhD in Affect, Agency, and Memory: African Consumers’ Wardrobes and Everyday Fashion Practices
Fairuzah Atchulo is a PhD researcher in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. She holds a joint master's degree in ERASMUS Mundus Master’s Excellence Programme “Euroculture” from the University of Groningen and the University of Uppsala. She spent over five years in South Korea to pursue a master's degree in Development Policy from KDI School of Public Policy and Development, and also attained a bachelor's degree in International Studies with a concentration in International Law and Diplomacy and East Asian Studies from Ewha Womans University. In Uppsala, Fairuzah worked with the EU RESPOND Horizon 2020 Project on issues related to migration, refugee law and integration within the EU. Her research areas range from history, culture, diplomacy, East Asian Studies, public policy to international law.
As a Ghanaian, the topic of colonialism and its variations have always been of Fairuzah's interest. They informed her study on the varying relations between Europe and Africa post-independence, leading to her research on the neo-colonial relationship between France and its former African colonies via Cooperation Agreements and its continuous impact on social, political, and economic growth and development. To this ERC project, Fairuzah will be expanding on her studies into more contemporary relations between Africa and China, with a focus on the aspects, conduits, and impacts of neo-colonialism in these relations and the use of fashion as a medium of mediation, networking, and resistance.
PhD in Creativity, Authenticity, and Cultural Mediation: Ethnography of China-Africa Fashion Trade
Qidi Feng received his bachelor's degree in English and Anthropology from Sun Yat-sen University, with a focus on the recreational life of Nigerian expats in Guangzhou. His five-year ethnographic research (2017 - 2022) documented the changes in the African diasporic community in China through the COVID-19 pandemic. Qidi received his master's degree in Urban Studies from London School of Economics and Political Science in 2021.
After that, Qidi worked as a research curator at Guangdong Times Museum for two years. His work consisted of art projects and exhibitions focusing on migration life, ethnicities and identity politics, especially in Southwest China and Indochina. He worked with artists, designers, researchers and curators across disciplines.
In this ERC Project, Qidi will adopt methodologies from different disciplines, focussing on the materiality of fashion items and identity-making through production.