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Where Life Is Seized

Adam Shatz: Frantz Fanon’s Revolution, 19 January 2017

Écrits sur l’aliénation et la liberté 
by Frantz Fanon, edited by Robert Young and Jean Khalfa.
La Découverte, 688 pp., £22, October 2015, 978 2 7071 8638 6
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... of France, who feel as if the Battle of Algiers never ended, but simply moved to the cités: Frantz Fanon has been remembered in a lot of ways, but almost all of them have foregrounded his advocacy of resistance, especially violent resistance. Fanon speaking in Accra in 1958 ...

Madmen and Specialists

Anthony Appiah, 7 September 1995

Colonial Psychiatry and the ‘African Mind’ 
by Jock McCulloch.
Cambridge, 185 pp., £35, January 1995, 0 521 45330 5
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... this absorbing book, Jock McCulloch, the author of a study of the psychiatric and social theory of Frantz Fanon, turns his attention to the development of the small field of colonial ethnopsychiatry, concentrating largely on the British colonics of Kenya, Nyasaland and the Rhodesias, North and South, and on the related work of mental hospitals in South ...

Short Cuts

Sadiah Qureshi: Black History, 22 November 2018

... and, more rarely, Judith Butler. But how many are also required to read Audre Lorde, Stuart Hall, Frantz Fanon, Jasbir Puar, Sara Ahmed, Kim TallBear or Kimberlé Crenshaw? What if these writers were required reading for everyone? Present curricula assume that white men write about universal truths, while people of colour are only expert in a narrow ...

‘I am my own foundation’

Megan Vaughan: Fanon and Third Worldism, 18 October 2001

Frantz FanonA Life 
by David Macey.
Granta, 640 pp., £12.99, September 2001, 1 86207 458 5
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... an official anything might be thought permissible.’ We can be reasonably certain that Frantz Fanon had never heard of Benoît Giraud, whose traces are buried in the archives of 18th-century Mauritius. But there are striking similarities between the histories of the two men, two hundred years apart. In his biography, David Macey traces ...

Breath of Unreason

Megan Vaughan: Fanon’s Psychiatric Hospital, 31 July 2008

Colonial Madness: Psychiatry in French North Africa 
by Richard Keller.
Chicago, 294 pp., £16, June 2007, 978 0 226 42973 1
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... In 1953, Frantz Fanon took over as director of the Hôpital Psychiatrique de Blida-Joinville in Algeria. It is said that Fanon’s first act on taking charge of this overcrowded colonial hospital, in which electroconvulsive therapy was liberally dispensed and lobotomies regularly performed, was to unchain the patients ...

On Albert Memmi

Adam Shatz, 13 August 2020

... heroism), and its sense of tragedy. Born in 1920, between the poet Aimé Césaire (1913) and Frantz Fanon (1925), Memmi shared their opposition to colonial domination and took part in the anti-colonial struggle. But unlike Césaire and Fanon, whose writing celebrated revolt, Memmi saw little poetry or utopian ...

The Project

O.A. Westad: The Downtrodden Majority, 24 January 2008

The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World 
by Vijay Prashad.
New Press, 364 pp., £16.99, January 2007, 978 1 56584 785 9
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... of upsetting visitors from less fortunate nations. Those who pioneered the expression, such as Frantz Fanon, would no doubt have become even more attached to the principle of violence if they had known how their cherished project had been enfeebled by soi-disant radicals in the name of political correctness. ...

Against Independence

Musab Younis: Decolonisation, 29 June 2017

Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonisation and the Future of the World 
by Gary Wilder.
Duke, 400 pp., £23.99, January 2015, 978 0 8223 5850 3
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... in the Caribbean that never decolonised. Martinique – the birthplace of Aimé Césaire and Frantz Fanon – was indifferent to the project of national sovereignty, preferring to remain a French ‘overseas department’. Fanon committed himself to the grander project of decolonisation in Africa: The Wretched of ...


Zoë Heller: Ronald Reagan, 2 March 2000

Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan 
by Edmund Morris.
HarperCollins, 874 pp., £24.99, October 1999, 0 00 217709 9
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... National Convention. He hangs out with Tom Hayden, introduces the Black Panthers to the work of Frantz Fanon, and becomes Michelangelo Antonioni’s personal guide to the counter-culture. Eventually he joins the Weathermen and ‘drops out’. The last ‘Morris’ hears from his son is an unsigned telegram, that says, simply: ‘GONE ...

Short Cuts

Raphael Cormack: Could it be the Muhammad Ali?, 19 May 2016

... X, Richard Wright, Martin Luther King, Adam Clayton Powell, George Padmore, C.L.R. James and more. Frantz Fanon wrote much of The Wretched of the Earth in Ghana, and the year before Ali’s visit, W.E.B. DuBois died and was buried in Accra. In February 1964 Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston to become world heavyweight champion and soon after that announced ...

Trump’s America, Netanyahu’s Israel

Adam Shatz: Actually Existing Zionism, 9 May 2019

... in spite of the integration of Jews in the West, has yet to be resolved. As Aimé Césaire told Frantz Fanon, ‘when you hear someone insulting the Jews, pay attention, he is talking about you.’ Antisemitism in the US is of no structural significance: it does not prejudice Jewish opportunity, as racism does for black people; Judaism is not invoked ...

Where Does He Come From?

Sanjay Subrahmanyam: Placing V.S. Naipaul, 1 November 2007

A Writer’s People: Ways of Looking and Feeling 
by V.S. Naipaul.
Picador, 193 pp., £16.99, September 2007, 978 0 330 48524 1
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... bigoted. He is portrayed as a self-hater and Uncle Tom, a product of the sorts of complex that Frantz Fanon diagnosed. On the other side are the conservative writers – those who might see Ayaan Hirsi Ali as a major intellectual figure – who celebrate Naipaul as an original voice, a writer who provides a searing, politically incorrect indictment of ...

Dynamo Current, Feet, Fists, Salt

Adam Shatz: What did you do in the war?, 18 February 2021

Papa, qu’as-tu fait en Algérie? Enquête sur un silence familial 
by Raphaëlle Branche.
La Découverte, 512 pp., £21.50, September 2020, 978 2 7071 9878 5
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... by the Charlie Hebdo illustrator Cabu. That le beauf’s personality might have its roots in what Frantz Fanon called the ‘mental disorders’ of the war was almost entirely lost on the French medical establishment at the time. Until 1969, students working in the field of military medicine used a manual published in 1935. Doctors dismissed accounts of ...

Nothing he hasn’t done, nowhere he hasn’t been

Adam Shatz: Claude Lanzmann, 5 April 2012

The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir 
by Claude Lanzmann, translated by Frank Wynne.
Atlantic, 528 pp., £25, March 2012, 978 1 84887 360 5
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... in Beijing as an unofficial conduit between Mao and de Gaulle; and fell under the spell of Frantz Fanon in Tunis. Writing for the glossies at the height of the Nouvelle Vague, he interviewed Bardot, Moreau, Deneuve, Belmondo and Gainsbourg: ‘I met them all … and, I can say without vanity, I helped some of them make a qualitative leap in their ...

The Partisan

Jeremy Harding, 23 June 1994

The Search for Africa: A History in the Making 
by Basil Davidson.
Currey, 373 pp., £25, March 1994, 0 85255 719 1
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... convenience, faith or frustration – a poem by Agostinho Neto begins: ‘We of immense Africa’; Frantz Fanon inveighs against ‘the enemies of Africa’. Yet the real charge, that the nation-state is lowered on stage as a diabolus ex machina to explain the prevalence of war, hunger, debt and disease, has tended to stick. It is taken up again by Colin ...

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