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  • Writer's pictureSegolene Py

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961

On the day of its publication, the #book gets banned, judged as jeopardising the internal security of the State. In the Preface, Alice Cherki qualifies it as a call to arms to every colonised country in Africa. In this publication, Frantz Fanon analyses the effect of #domination (#political, #economical and #social) on the colonised but also the psychological consequences of enslavement of people. Being in direct contact with Algerian who endured the war and colonisation during the French colonisation, Fanon observed its violent effect on the mind on both sides.

Born in 1925 in Fort-de-France in #Martinique in a middle class family, Frantz Fanon joined the Gaullist forces at a young age and experienced the culture of resistance as well as mundane racism. Later on a trip to Martinique, he met Aimée Césaire (renowned writer from Martinique, one of the founding fathers of the concept of #Négritude) who influenced a lot of his works. In 1953, after finishing his studies in France, he joined a psychiatric hospital in Blida, Algeria. He already wrote 'Black Skin, White Masks' in 1952, one of his most renowned works. In those premises, and as the Algeria war started, he looked after members of the resistance movement which push him to the decision of quitting his job, fully supporting the independence of the country. He wrote a letter to the French government settled in Algeria stating that he will not participate in the #alienation of a colonised population. He is then expelled from Algeria. After a few months spent in #France, where he found no affiliation to his battle, he went around #Africa where he exercised psychiatry and political action and promote genuine independence from the colonisers. However, in 1960 he discovers he has leukaemia and starts writing this book. It will be his last publication.


It has taken me a long time to read this one. It is a very interesting read, a little bit complicated but opens your eyes on certain behaviours and the effect of violence on the tortured and the torturer. It might even open your eyes on your own behaviour.

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