Tag Archives: Frantz Fanon

Heritage Day: What’s wrong with this picture?

I have a love-hate relationship with Heritage Day. Beyond the warm and fuzzy feelings of seeing people in different and beautiful outfits representing their heritage — our diversity as the rainbow nation — it’s also a point of tension and possibly pain. In the wake of a cultural appropriation incident a few months ago, Heritage…

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In the ‘pitfalls’ of the national democratic revolution

Way back in 1998, American constitutional theorist Prof Karl Klare published a now famous article in which he set out to define South Africa’s post-apartheid constitutional project. He called this ‘transformative constitutionalism’ and defined it as follows: ‘a long-term project of constitutional enactment, interpretation, and enforcement committed (not in isolation, of course, but in a…

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People of colour carry the burden of environmental racism in a post-racial era

Videos depicting the senseless murders of unarmed people of colour have given birth to a new social movement, #BlackLivesMatter, while bringing to light a reality incomprehensible to white communities: the lives of people of colour have systemically been deemed disposable. To collectively realise the inherent value of black life we must think locally and globally,…

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Fanon and the South African father

While there is an exciting movement, especially within neuropsychological disciplines, to highlight the contemporary value of Sigmund Freud’s notion of the unconscious mind, it is important not to dismiss the archaic Eurocentric societal tenants on which much of his work relies. However Freud’s psychosexual work need not be entirely derided on grounds of irrelevance. Particular…

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Are violent protests cleansing, like Fanon said?

By Liezille Jacobs and Julian Jacobs Frantz Fanon, often referred to as the psychiatrist who prescribed violence, would turn in his grave at the condemnation of the student protests because he believed overcoming oppression could be realised through a violent uprising of the masses. Fanon said the slave thinks of overthrowing his master while being…

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Statues will fall: A critique of four newspaper columns

The Sunday Tribune carried four articles on April 12, 2015 analysing the Rhodes Must Fall debate in the context of transformation in general. Thank goodness for Shose Kessi’s brilliant analysis that saved those pages from being completely out of touch with activist sentiment on the ground. I want to unpack the complexities that each writer…

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Fanon and the question of ‘white theory’

It is undeniable that Frantz Fanon identifies European, or “white” culture as racist to the core. It is equally undeniable that he affirmed the likelihood of the discourses of knowledge emanating from this culture being equally racist. It stands to reason that a culture, which regards itself as being superior to all others, given its…

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Times are changing…

It was at a girl’s varsity residence room the morning after we had sex that I read, for the first time, Steve Biko’s I write what I like. I was lying next to her, naked, and she had a handful of books on a bedside table. I read the first few essays, which left me…

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Mr X versus the Marikana miners

The mysterious Mr X has been testifying against the striking miners at the Farlam Commission for the past two months in which he claimed the miners engaged in murder conspiracies and flesh-eating rituals. But Geoff Budlender has questioned parts of Mr X’s claims and provided evidence that disputes his claim that Association of Mineworkers and…

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My black president does me wrong

A friend recently posted rare footage of Steve Biko in an interview on German TV on his blog. The week of the 35th anniversary of Biko’s murder was a difficult one for South Africa. In a hard-hitting op-ed for the Mail&Guardian, Andile Mngxitama argues that we are not talking about a dream deferred, but a…

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