Archive for March, 2012
I finally got a chance to watch Julia Reagan’s documentary ArgenChino, about Chinese supermarkets in Buenos Aires. It was a well-made film and a good introduction to the subject. I particularly liked the section on the looting of Chinese supermarkets and government protection of chain markets during the 2001 financial crisis; this was something that I (inexplicably) did not come across in my own research. I do, however, have a number of critiques to share:
1. The voice of the immigrants
As in many media depictions of the Chinese in Argentina, the voices of immigrants who do not speak Spanish are not heard. While we hear from some 1.5 generation immigrants who do speak Spanish, much of the ire against Chinese immigrants in Argentina is directed towards those who don’t speak the language. How do supermarket owners who haven’t spent most of their lives in the country feel about their businesses and about the xenophobia and racism directed against them?
2. Two factual errors and one glaring omission
- The events of 1989 in China are not termed “the Cultural Revolution.” The Cultural Revolution (文化大革命) happened during the Mao era, from 1966-1976.
- Fujian province is most definitely not in the northern part of China. I get the sense that the respondent was being evasive. There is no way he would have thought that his birth place was in the north.
- There is no mention that La Gran Época (The Epoch Times; 大紀元) is a newspaper founded by Falun Gong, which would explain why the Editor-in-Chief would have such a negative view of the PRC government.