THIRD WORLD CROSSINGS Afro-Asian Travelogues in the Early 1960s

Sun JY, Yuan M, Zhang L (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2022


DOI: 10.1080/1369801X.2022.2158484


The Bandung Conference of 1955 is often described as the beginning of what Vijay Prashad called the "Third World" project. While it is undeniable that intergovernmental gatherings had largely facilitated the political connections between Chinese and African leaders, no less significant in cultivating a heightened Bandung Spirit in the decolonizing world were the "transnational networks" such as the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Conference (1957), the Afro-Asian Writers' Conference (1958), the Afro-Asian Women's Conference (1961) and the Afro-Asian Journalists' Association (1963). These platforms allowed a privileged group of writers to travel to Africa. Feng Zhidan, Du Xuan and Han Beiping were among them. Their travel notes, later published as (Glimpses into West Africa, 1962), (West Africa Diary, 1964) and (Nights in Africa, 1964), carefully described local landscapes, climate and architecture, as well as their personal encounters with Africans from diverse social backgrounds outside the state apparatus. Likewise, a Malian minister and writer, Mamadou Gologo, recounted his tours in China and his deep appreciation for the country. China: A Great People, A Great Destiny (La Chine, un peuple geant, un grand destin) was published in both English and French by New World Press in Beijing in 1965. Like an X on a map, crossing marks both a place and a process, an intersection and a journey. This essay aims to explore the multi-dimensional "crossings" of individuals, texts and circulation networks that went beyond national boundaries and the Cold War binary. It argues that travelogues, as both under-explored archives and literary writings, help to reveal the tangible nature of Afro-Asian solidarity, felt through individual encounters and sometimes fragile emotional bonds.

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Sun, J.Y., Yuan, M., & Zhang, L. (2022). THIRD WORLD CROSSINGS Afro-Asian Travelogues in the Early 1960s. Interventions.


Sun, Jodie Yuzhou, Mingqing Yuan, and Lifang Zhang. "THIRD WORLD CROSSINGS Afro-Asian Travelogues in the Early 1960s." Interventions (2022).

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