Taking the position of a speculative non-coloniality as a point of departure, They Who Dream of Waves: A Concise Guide to Afro-Asia is a hybrid essay-fiction that situates historical Afro-Asian affinities as a network of intense, intimate cultural and logistics exchanges that predates and transcends Western colonial impulses, and reimagines new possibilities of solidarities. By centring and problematising the notion of the African continent itself as a variegated site of diverse cosmologies and tensions, this piece traces both the cultural and historical genealogies of the African diaspora within Asia as a way of drawing into view how imaginaries of Africa have been created and maintained, and thus how new alliances can form without reliance on the contingencies of Western modes of being. In resonance with the idea of a radical disembodiment that bypasses colonial constructs of spatiality and temporality, They Who Dream of Waves posits that the creation of African spaces (or rather, spaces of Africanity) is as much an exercise in discursive creations as it is a vibrant, sensual act of worlding that embraces diversity but acknowledges the need for granularity so that a true, equitable polyphony of narratives may emerge.

Alfonse Chiu is a writer, artist, curator, and researcher working at the intersection of text, space, and the moving image. Their practice focuses on networked readings of the economies of geopolitical and socio-economic imaginaries as mediated by cartography and other modalities of spatial representation. They currently head SINdie, an editorial platform exploring Southeast Asian film culture(s), where they work on editorial direction, research, and special projects, and they are also the founder of the Centre for Urban Mythologies, a project-based research initiative interested in the (im)material tensions present within the urban contexts of the region.