21 February 2018

New blog entry: Trust, Global Traders, and Commodities in a Chinese International City

"Trust, Global Traders, and Commodities in a Chinese International City" is an interdisciplinary and multi-sited fieldwork project that aims to explore the trans-regional dynamics of the city of Yiwu; a place of global trade, connections and disconnections. A city of 2 million in China’s commercially vibrant Zhejiang province, Yiwu is known by traders from countries including Afghanistan and Syria, Ukraine and Mexico, the UK and Russia as the world’s hub for the wholesale of ‘small commodities’. 

The blog serves as an enlightening insight into the many ways in which exchanges and connections are made and remade across and in between regions. It consists of entries from the different researchers connected to the project. With heterogenous stories ranging from field-stories from Afghanistan, to the streets of Yiwu, to Vietnamese disasporas and cultural transactions in Eastern Europe, the blog's aim is to disseminate knowledge, news, and to be a information resource for outsiders on the collective research project.

The project is funded by an ERC Advanced Grant and based at the University of Sussex with Professor Magnus Marsden, Anthropology, University of Sussex as its Principal Investigator. The University of Copenhagen houses a sub-project by Vera Skvirskaja which focuses on the activities of Russian and Ukrainian traders in Yiwu, as well as the changing nature of trading structures in their home countries. Vera Skvirskaja started the blog in 2016, and now new entries are available: "Reflections on Fieldwork" from Afghanistan and Yiwu, by Magnus Marsden. These entries demonstrate the unexpected, complex and surprising ways in which goods, people, ideas, and commodities are all entangled in dynamic inter- and intraregional relations. Relations that in turn affect patterns and practices of exchange, circulation and mobility.