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

Keith Somerville on Africa’s Long Road Since Independence

As a journalist, Keith Somerville was stationed in Malawi in 1981 to monitor regional radio coverage. The BBC World Service maintained the Monitoring Service, with bases in Kenya and Malawi, to track events across southern, central and eastern Africa. The Monitoring Service worked both for the BBC and its funder, the British government, and routinely passed on information to the Ministry of Defence and, by extension, to the intelligence services. The radio networks played a vital role in Africa because of widespread illiteracy, as well as the lack of infrastructure and logistics necessary for a functioning press. Radio broadcasts offered … Continue reading