On The Wings of the Dragon
What happens when people meet who do not share a colonial past? With that question in mind, Lieve Joris leaves Africa for China. In keeping with the modus operandi she has refined over past decades, she immerses herself in the world of Africans and Chinese who venture into each other’s territory in the slipstream of the big trade contracts.
She captures the perspective of the Congolese businesswoman who travels to Dubai to buy supplies for her shop, the Malian trader who can barely read and write but who flies to Guangzhou three times a year, and the Chinese teacher of art history who sells watches from an ironing board in the streets of South Africa.
With a mix of humour and heroism, Lieve Joris’ characters lead us into a whirling world that sparkles with novelty, where Europe is reduced to a museum. They cling tenaciously to the dragon wings of China’s progress, hitch a ride and look around, seeing everything.
Much is currently being written about the Chinese exploitation of Africa, but who is writing about the price China pays? The answer: Lieve Joris, and brilliantly, too.NRC Handelsblad