Daniel Kötter

Yu Gong (2019, 84')

documentary film

awarded Best documentary film @ Achtung Berlin Filmfestival

„…to show that modernity is half of the story
constantly hiding and repressing
what doesn’t fit the imaginary and desires of storytellers…“
On Decoloniality, Walter de Mignolo

Daniel Kötter

Yu Gong

(2019, HD, 84')

China and Africa act as driving forces for the economic, political and cultural future of globalization leaving behind a „Provincialized Europe“. The documentary and essay film Yu Gong documents the complex sino-african relations by travelling through eight countries on the African continent and China, along the different readings of the old Chinese fable of the foolish man Yu Gong, who moved the mountains.

Four underlying narratives introduce the idea of Chinafrika: Yu Gong localizes the Chinese policy of free-trade-areas and large construction projects in Africa, the expansion of logistics and infrastructures; the places shaped by a new global bottom-up trade between Africa and the Pearl-River-Delta, and the cultural overlap of sino-african everyday life, traditions and religion.

The film was shot in collaboration with author and curator Jochen Becker on several research trips to PR China, Hong Kong, Tanzania, Zambia, DR Congo, South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Algeria and Ethiopia between 2014 and 2017.