Frantz Fanon: The Brightness of Metal


After Frantz Fanon died in 1961, his body was carried across the border from Tunisia to be buried in Algeria.

“Frantz Fanon was born on the Caribbean island of Martinique on 25 July 1925. He died in the United States, from leukaemia, on 6 December 1961. He was thirty-six years old. At thirty-six he had been a protagonist in two wars, a political militant in the Caribbean, Europe and North Africa, a playwright, a practicing psychiatrist, the author of numerous articles in scientific journals, a teacher, a diplomat, a journalist, the editor of an anti-colonial newspaper, the author of three books, and a major Pan-Africanist and internationalist. Like Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara – another revolutionary who valued the poetic and was a committed internationalist, doctor, soldier, teacher, and theorist – Fanon’s life was marked by a permanent, courageous, and militant motion into the present, and into the specificity of the situations in which he found himself. Fanon’s thought carries, in Ato Sekyi-Otu’s memorable phrase, an ‘irrepressible … openness to the universal’. In the realm of the political, as in the poetic, the truest route into the universal has always been through an intense engagement with the particular in its concrete manifestations in space and time: this piece of land occupied in the interstices of this city, these women rebuilding in the ruins of the last attack, the plastic burning in this brazier as the night wears on, these men stepping out of the shadows with these guns. ‘Courage’, Alain Badiou writes, ‘is a local virtue. It takes up a morality of the place’. This is the terrain on which the radical thinkers who produce work that sustains a capacity for illumination and inspiration across space and time ground their intellect. It can be dangerous terrain. For the militant the price for the possibility that, in Fanon’s words written in France in 1952, ‘two or three truths may cast their eternal brilliance over the world’ may be that ‘the possibility of annihilation’ is risked. For the radical intellectual, the confrontation with the particular may sometimes require solitary labour, as in some forms of prison writing. … Since his death in late 1961, Fanon’s thought has had an extraordinary life, reaching from the maelstrom of the Algerian revolution to the American prison, the French banlieue, the Brazilian favela, and far beyond. Sometimes expressed via a potent poeticism and always rooted in a radical humanism – an immediate, universal and militant affirmation of the equality and value of human life – his political vision is resolutely opposed to the Manichean logic of colonialism. …”
The TriContinental
W – A Dying Colonialism
Grove Atlantic: A Dying Colonialism by Frantz Fanon, A Dying Colonialism PDF

About 1960s: Days of Rage

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