Rereading Frantz Fanon in the light of his unpublished texts

Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 13 (2):87-96 (2020)
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Abstract

Frantz Fanon is principally known as a great theoretician of race relations and decolonization, in particular through the two main books he published during his lifetime Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth. What is less known is that he was in parallel a pioneering psychiatrist and an early and recognized theoretician of ethnopsychiatry. A volume of about a thousand pages of texts either difficult to access or presumed lost was recently published, following more than a decade of research in archives located in different parts of the world. It reveals first the importance and originality of his thought as a scientist, and secondly the importance of this dimension of his work for the understanding of his political texts. This is shown on two points: 1) the role of violence in the decolonization process, when compared with Fanon’s texts on psychiatric internment, the phenomenon of agitation and the alternative model of social therapy and 2) the use of «identity» as cultural foundation for newly decolonized states, which he strongly criticised, when compared with Fanon’s systematic questioning of any personal «constitution» in his psychiatric and ethnopsychiatric work.

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