Poaching Plots, Plastic Forms and Ambiguous Goods: Ways of Telling the China-in-Africa Story in the Anthropocene Age

  • Meg SamuelsonEmail author
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


The dawn of the millennium saw two momentous shifts being defined on both geopolitical and geologic scales: the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) inaugurated a new era of African–Asian relations; and a geological epoch called the “Anthropocene” was proposed. This chapter analyses selected Southern African (non)fictional narratives that approach the point of intersection between the two, including crime fiction and noir film, NoViolet Bulawayo’s novel We Need New Names and Continental Drift by investigative journalists Kevin Bloom and Richard Poplak. The narratives are arranged into three constellations—Cape Noir, China Mall and On the Road—in which the hot topics of raw-material extraction, cheap and counterfeit goods and infrastructural development are configured. Focusing on how genre and form, metaphor and image, structure the China-in-Africa story in the Anthropocene, the chapter reflects on the ways in which poaching plots and plastic forms are used to convey its ambiguous goods.


Anthropocene China-in-Africa Global South Narrative form Crime fiction Counterfeits The road 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English and Creative WritingThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.English DepartmentStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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