What is Violence? On Hannah Arendt’s Critique of Frantz Fanon
Md. Ishrat Ibne Ismail
Abstract: Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth offers a strong intellectual framework established on the author’s medical and social experiences to overthrow colonial rule. Specifically, the text is Frantz Fanon’s interpretation of the mechanisms of colonialism and of revolution from the perspective of the Algerian struggle to get rid of French colonial rule. Out of the five chapters of the book, the first one, “On Violence,” where Fanon supports violence as a requisite weapon to bring down colonial rule towards national liberation and the reinstallation of humanity in the colonized world, is the one often “misunderstood and misrepresented” (Brydon). This paper, by presenting a critique of works such as Hannah Arendt’s views on violence, argues that Fanon’s concept of violence has to be engaged with and understood within the context in which Fanon has framed it, particularly the Algerian struggle.
Keywords: Violence, Colonialism, Revolution, Context
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Published in August 2019