Jump to: navigation, search

Frantz Fanon

664 bytes removed, 07:25, 2 March 2021
Fixed unnecessary and broken hyperlink, and deleted the final section, which is a redundant repetition of details from the biographic section
'''Frantz Fanon''' (July 20, 1925 – December 6, 1961) was perhaps the preeminent thinker of the 20th century on the issue of [[decolonization]] and the [[psychopathology]] of colonization. His works have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements throughout the [[world]] for more than four decades.
===Martinique and WWII===
Fanon was [[born]] on the [[Caribbean]] island of [[Martinique]], then a [[French colonial empire|French colony]] and now a [[French]] [[département]]. He was born into a mixed [[family]] background of African [[slavery|slaves]], [[Tamil people|Tamil]] indentured servants and a white man. The family were relatively well off for Martinicans but far from a middle [[class]] background. They could however afford the fees for the all-black Lycee Schoelcher.
After France fell to the [[Nazism|Nazis]] in 1940, French naval troops were blockaded on Martinique. [[Forced]] to remain on the island, French soldiers became "authentic racists". Many accusations of harassment and [[sexual]] misconduct arose. The [[treatment]] of the Martinique [[people]] by the French [[Army]] was a major formative influence on Fanon, as it cemented the [[feelings]] of [[alienation]] and his [[understanding]] of the realities of [[racism]]. At the age of eighteen, Fanon fled the island and traveled to [[Dominica]] to join Free French Forces. He later enlisted in the French army and saw [[active]] [[duty]] in [[France]], notably in the bloody battles of [[Alsace]]. In [[1944]] he was wounded in battle and received the ''[[Croix de Guerre]]'' medal. His unit was not allowed to cross the [[Rhine]] as the regiment was whitened.
In [[1945]], after recovering from his wounds Fanon returned home to Martinique, a decorated war [[veteran]]. His [[return]] to Martinique lasted only a short [[time]]. While there, he worked for the parliamentary campaign of his friend and mentor [[Aimé Césaire]], who would be the greatest influence in his [[life]]. Although it is often argued that Fanon was never fully a [[Communism|communist]], Césaire ran on the [[communist]] ticket as a parliamentary delegate from Martinique to the first National Assembly of the [[French Fourth Republic|Fourth Republic]]. Fanon stayed long enough to [[complete]] his baccalaureate and then returned to France where he took up the study of [[medicine]] and [[psychiatry]]. He was educated in [[Lyon]] where he also studied [[literature]], drama,and [[philosophy]]. He attended [[Merleau-Ponty]]'s lectures and studied psychiatry under the radical Catalan, [[Francois de Tosquelles]], qualifying as a [[psychiatrist]] in [[1951]]; he practiced psychiatry in France and (from 1953) in [[Algeria]]. He was ''chef de service'' in [[Blida-Joinville]], Algeria, where he stayed until his resignation in 1956.
While in France he wrote his first book, ''[[Black Skin, White Masks]]'', an [[analysis]] of the impact of colonial subjugation on the black [[psyche]]. This book was a very personal account of Fanon’s [[experience]] [[being]] black: as a man, an [[intellectual]], and a party to a French education.
Fanon [[left]] France for Algeria, where he had been stationed for some time during the war. He secured an appointment as a psychiatrist at Blida-Joinville [[Psychiatric]] Hospital. It was there that he radicalized methods of treatment and care. In [[particular]], he initiated socio-[[therapy]] which connected with his [[patients]]' [[cultural]] backgrounds. He also trained nurses and interns. Following the outbreak of the Algerian [[revolution]] in November 1954 he joined the FLN ([[Front de Libération Nationale]]) in early 1955 as a result of contacts with Dr Chaulet.
In ''[[The Wretched of the Earth]]'', Fanon later discussed in depth the effects on Algerians of [[torture]] by the French forces. The fact that some French anti-terrorist units engaged in torture has had [[political]] repercussions in France, where, however, those alleged to have engaged in torture [[enjoy]] a general amnesty for the "events." That is why [[Général Paul Aussaresses]], who admitted publicly to torturing terrorist suspects, was not tried for what he did then, but for not showing sufficient [[remorse]].
Fanon made extensive trips across Algeria, but mainly in the [[Kabyle]] region, to study the cultural/psychological life of Algerians. His lost study of "The marabout of Si Slimane" is an example of this [[work]]. These trips were also a means for clandestine activities, noticeably in his visits to the ski resort of Chrea which hid an FLN base. By summer 1956 he wrote his famous "[[Letter]] of resignation to the Resident Minister", and made a clean break with his French assimilationist upbringing and education. He was finally expelled from Algeria in January, 1957, and the "nest of fellaghas [rebels]" at Blida hospital was dismantled. Fanon left for France and subsequently traveled secretly to [[Tunis]]. He was part of the editorial collective of ''El Moudjahid'' for which he wrote up to the end of his life. He also served as Ambassador to [[Ghana]] for the Provisional Algerian [[Government]], and attended conferences in [[Accra]], [[Conakry]], [[Addis Ababa]], [[Leopoldville]], [[Cairo]] and [[Tripoli]]. Many of his shorter writings from this period were collected posthumously in the book ''[[Toward the African Revolution]]''. In this book Fanon even outs himself as a war strategist; in one chapter he discusses how to open a southern front to the war and how to adequately run the supply lines.
On his return to Tunis, after his exhausting trip across the Sahara to open a [[Third]] Front, Fanon was diagnosed with [[leukemia]]. He went to the [[Soviet Union]] for treatment and experienced some remission from his [[illness]]. On his return to Tunis he dictated his testament ''[[The Wretched of the Earth]]''. When he was not confined to his bed, he delivered lectures to ALN (Armée de Libération Nationale) officers at Ghardimao on the Algero-Tunisian border. He made a final visit to [[Jean -Paul Sartre|Sartre]] in Rome and went for further leukemia treatment in the [[USA]]. He died in [[Washington, D.C.]], on [[December 6]] [[1961]] under the [[name]] of Ibrahim Fanon. He was buried in [[Algeria]], after lying in [[state]] in [[Tunisia]]. Later his [[body]] was moved to a martyrs (chouhada) graveyard at Ain Kerma in western Algeria. Fanon was survived by his wife, Josie, their son, Olivier and daughter, Mireille.
Although Fanon wrote ''[[Black Skin, White Masks]]'' while still in France, most of his work was written while in North Africa. It was during this time that he produced his greatest works, ''Year 5 of the Algerian Revolution'' (later republished as ''A Dying Colonialism'') and perhaps the most important work on decolonization yet written, ''[[The Wretched of the Earth]]''. ''The Wretched of the Earth'' was first published in 1961 by François Maspero, and is fronted with a preface by [[Jean-[[Paul]] [[Sartre]]. In it, Fanon analyzes the [[role]] of class, [[race]], national [[culture]] and [[violence]] in the [[struggle]] for national liberation. Both books firmly established Fanon in the eyes of much of the [[Third World]] as the leading anti-colonial thinker of the 20th century.Fanon's [[three]] books were supplemented by numerous psychiatric articles, as well as radical critiques of French colonialism in journals like, [ ''Esprit''] and ''El Moudjahid''.
His work has been partly misunderstood due to flawed [[English]] translations which contain numerous omissions and errors. Moreover, his unpublished work, including his important doctoral [[thesis]], has been ignored. The result has been simplistic dismissals, with Fanon portrayed solely as an advocate of violence. In fact, his work is interdisciplinary, broadening out from his psychiatric basis to encompass [[politics]], [[sociology]], [[anthropology]], [[linguistics]] and literature. His [[participation]] in the Algerian FLN ([[Front de Libération Nationale]]) from 1955 determined his audience as the Algerian colonized. It was to [[them]] that his final work, ''Les damnés de la terre'' (translated into English by Constance Farrington as [[The Wretched of the Earth]]) was directed. It constitutes a warning to the oppressed of their [[present]] dangers as they face the whirlwind of decolonization and the transition to a neo-colonialist/globalized world.
Fanon has had an enduring and inspiring impact on anti-colonial and liberation movements throughout the world. In particular, ''Les damnés de la terre'' was a major influence on the work of revolutionary leaders such as [[Ali Shariati]] in [[Iran]], [[Steve Biko]] in South Africa, and [[Ernesto Che Guevara]] in Cuba. Of these only Guevara was primarily concerned with Fanon's theories on violence; for Shariati and Biko the main interest in Fanon was "[[the new man]]" and "black [[black consciousness]]" respectively. Fanon's influence extended to the Palestinians, the [[Tamil people|Tamil]]sTamils, the Irish, the [[Black Panthers]], and many [[other]] movements for [[self]]-determination.  ==Death==Frantz Fanon was born on July 20, 1925, in Fort-de-France on the Caribbean island of Martinique and died on December 6, 1961, in Washington, D.C. He is best known for his work in fighting against colonization.  

Navigation menu