He was one of the most prominent spokesmen of anti-colonialism and his work influenced civil rights struggles around the world. How, and why, are Frantz Fanon's books still important and relevant today?
Many years after his death, Frantz Fanon (1936-1961) remains one of the most important critical intellectuals of our time. For Fanon is far from the one-sided "violent romantic" that right-wing intellectuals in Norway and other countries have long tried to reduce him to, but the quintessence of an "organic intellectual" who through his life and work and thinking stood in a lifelong and dedicated struggle against racism and colonialism.
When Fanon is so important in our time, it is because his analyzes of the organic connection between European racism and colonialism, and the lack of critical popular awareness of this connection's long survival in the postcolonial world, are a crucial precondition for the emergence of a new and revitalized fascism in our time. For Fanon, racism is about "us" not "them", and deeply detrimental to both its victims and practitioners.
French-Algerian Hassane Mezine's documentary "Fanon: Yesterday, Today" offers a unique introduction to exactly why Fanon's thinking remains so crucial.
It writes social anthropologist Sindre Bangstad.
The movie "Fanon: Yesterday, Today" is shown on Melahuset September 25 at 18.