Kofi, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2009
Tmony with Chinese RMB, Guangzhou, 2009
On July 16, 2009, an estimated one to two hundred African traders staged a protest outside a police station in the city of Guangzhou, China. Prompted by a police raid to round up illegals that resulted in the injury of two men, the crowd managed to block the road in front of the station for nearly six hours. According to Chinese media, the incident marked the first time in recent history that foreigners had staged a protest on Chinese soil. But according to some of the traders I met in Guangzhou, this was not the first time the African trading community in southeastern China had been raided by Chinese authorities.
I booked a ticket to Hong Kong in November of 2009 with plans to cross the border into China and document the everyday lives of African men and women living in Hong Kong and China. These photographs are a record of my journey and a glimpse into the worlds of African men and women trading between continents, countries, and cultural divides.