Anti-colonialist thinker, writer and revolutionary Frantz Fanon died fifty years ago today, on December 6, 1961
To mark the anniversary, here's an extract from Jean-Paul Sartre's preface to The Wretched of the Earth, published in Fanon's final year:
Not so very long ago, the earth numbered two thousand million inhabitants: five hundred million men, and one thousand five hundred million natives. The former had the Word; the others had the use of it. Between the two there were hired kinglets, overlords and a bourgeoisie, sham from beginning to end, which served as go-betweens. In the colonies the truth stood naked, but the citizens of the mother country preferred it with clothes on: the native had to love them, something in the way mothers are loved. The European élite undertook to manufacture a native élite. They picked out promising adolescents; they branded them, as with a red-hot iron, with the principles of western culture, they stuffed their mouths full with high-sounding phrases, grand glutinous words that stuck to the teeth. After a short stay in the mother country they were sent home, whitewashed. These walking lies had nothing left to say to their brothers; they only echoed. From Paris, from London, from Amsterdam we would utter the words ‘Parthenon! Brotherhood!' and somewhere in Africa or Asia lips would open ... thenon! ... therhood!' It was the golden age.
It came to an end; the mouths opened by themselves; the yellow and black voices still spoke of our humanism but only to reproach us with our inhumanity. We listened without displeasure to these polite statements of resentment, at first with proud amazement. What? They are able to talk by themselves? Just look at what we have made of them! We did not doubt but that they would accept our ideals, since they accused us of not being faithful to them. Then, indeed, Europe could believe in her mission; she had hellenized the Asians; she had created a new breed, the Graeco-Latin Negroes. We might add, quite between ourselves, as men of the world: ‘After all, let them bawl their heads off, it relieves their feelings; dogs that bark don't bite.'
Arundhati Roy spoke at the People's University in Washington Square Park, New York on 16th November.
What you have achieved since 17 September, when the Occupy movement began in the United States, is to introduce a new imagination, a new political language into the heart of empire. You have reintroduced the right to dream into a system that tried to turn everybody into zombies mesmerised into equating mindless consumerism with happiness and fulfilment.
She went on to outline some possible demands for the Occupy movement:
We're delighted to announce that the winner of the Shooting Žižek short film competition is...
Jamie Jones & Liam Saint Pierre, for The Last Capitalist.
Finally, the last shortlisted entry for the Shooting Žižek short film competition. The winner will be announced on Monday.
The End Times are Upon Us by Emalee Arroyo and Rod Mahdavi:
Special mention also goes to Daniel Bird's excellent animation, Seed, which was too long for this brief but is well worth a watch.