Reading Fanon in Palestine Today: A Day of Workshops
Campus in Camps, Dheisheh Refugee Camp
Thursday, November 19, 2015 – 9 AM – 14:30 PM
My ultimate prayer: O my body, always make me a man who questions!
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks
In the midst of the current violence, we would like to come together to discuss the urgency of reading the work of Caribbean-born psychiatrist and revolutionary Frantz Fanon (1925-1961) in Palestine today. At the heart of Fanon’s highly diverse work is the question: what are the possibilities for realizing a truly human existence when confronted by the dehumanizing systems of racism and colonialism? Although much of Fanon’s work was written in the heat of the Algerian Revolution to support the anticolonial liberation struggle, it is characterized primarily by critical interrogation and self-reflection, not dogmatic assertion. It is in this spirit that we seek to discuss a series of comparative questions, about ways to decolonize the land, economy, architecture, and social space, but also ways to decolonize the mind and the body, including ways of moving, desiring, seeing, and clothing; questions of transformative practices of language, communication, and media, including questions about the “voice” of the “nation” or of the people; questions about intellectual work, the relation between theory and practice, and transformative pedagogy; questions about the relations between colonial, anti-colonial, and postcolonial violence; questions about colonial pathologies and anti-colonial uses of medicine; questions about connections between decolonization struggles across time and across space; questions about the relations between “tradition,” “culture,” and “religion” on the one hand and “modernization,” “development,” and “progress” on the other; and questions about democracy and practices of commoning.
Most workshops will be facilitated by students from Michiel Bot’s fall 2015 seminar on Fanon at Al-Quds Bard College in Abu Dis, in collaboration with partecipants from Campus in Camps. We suggest that you read the following texts in preparation for your participation in the workshops: Introduction, chapter 5 (“The Lived Experience of the Black Man”), and conclusion from Black Skin, White Masks; “This is the Voice of Algeria” from A Dying Colonialism; and “On Violence” from The Wretched of the Earth. These texts are available below.
Isshaq Albarbary, from Campus in Camps, will begin the day with some remarks on Dheisheh and Campus in Camps. Lewis Gordon will also deliver some remarks on reading Fanon via Skype. Lewis Gordon is a Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies at the University of Connecticut at Storrs who also holds visiting appointments in France and in South Africa; his most recent book is titled, What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought (Fordham, 2015).
For further information, firstname.lastname@example.org
or please contact Michiel Bot at email@example.com
Concerning violence [ENG]