Fanon defends revolutionary violence

The naked truth of decolonisation evokes for us the searing bullets and bloodstained knives which emanate from it. For if the last shall be first, this will only come to pass after a murderous and decisive struggle between the two protagonists. That affirmed intention to place the last at the head of things, and to make them climb at a pace (too quickly, some say) the well-known steps which characterize an organized society, can only triumph if we use all means to turn the scale, including, of course, that of violence (Fanon, 1963: 37). Frantz Fanon used his lived experience … Continue reading

Did Fanon defend violence?

Decolonization is the veritable creation of new men. But this creation owes nothing of its legitimacy to any supernatural power; the “thing” which has been colonized becomes man during the same process by which it frees itself (Fanon 1963: 36-37). Frantz Fanon’s approach to violence and its effects on the individual is uniquely guided by his lived experience. Fanon was born and raised as a colonial subject in the Antilles. He then undertook medical school and psychiatric training in France. Fanon was later an employed psychiatrist in Algeria, where he later eventually joined the revolution against the French. Fanon’s outlines … Continue reading

Putting Frantz Fanon in context

Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) was a Martinican psychiatrist and political theorist. He is famous for his work which theorises colonialism and violent revolution. Crucial to an understanding of Frantz Fanon’s theoretical work, is an understanding of his very unique personal circumstances. In this short piece, I will give a brief account of Fanon’s life and writing. Fanon was born 1925 in Fort-de-France, the capital city of the French colony of Martinique. He was born into a middle class family, with a public servant father and working mother. Fanon was privileged to be educated in a good school under the tutelage of … Continue reading