From Silence to Action: The Chinese in France

by Ya-Han Chuang, Emilie Tran and Hélène Le Bail

From Silence to Action: The Chinese in France, Global Dialogue, Volume 11, Issue 1

The 2016 street protest that followed the murder of a Chinese worker in a suburb of Paris marked a turning point, with the second generation stepping up in a more active role. French-born ethnic Chinese reframed the claims to emphasize the structural racism that underlies the violence targeting ethnic Chinese or other Asians. While Chinese activism and pan-Asian social movements have been studied for a long time in North America or Australia, it is a new research focus in Europe. In the French case, one can underline three main kinds of actions launched by French Chinese, all of them related to stereotyped representations and the quest for recognition: (1) the collection and transmission of a collective memory; (2) mobilization against targeted violence; and (3) cultural activism to unpack stereotyped representations of Asians and modify these representations.

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