South Africa has been widely heralded as an African success story in the wake of the 1994 democratic elections. But in recent years the world’s media have too often carried stark images of South African police attacking protestors or scenes of xenophobic violence. Has post-apartheid South Africa been unable to chart a course away from the all too familiar script of a postcolonial crisis, rooted in the narrow nationalism and neocolonialism that Fanon so vividly described? This is not another meditation on Fanon’s continued relevance. Instead, it is an inquiry into how Fanon, the revolutionary, might think and act in the face of contemporary social crises.
Taking Fanon’s passion for freedom and liberation seriously, and Biko’s analysis of the dangers of liberalism, Fanonian Practices looks into the politics of the shack-dweller movements currently gathering momentum in South Africa as important spaces in which to think and construct a truly humane post-apartheid future.
Written by a leading Fanon scholar, and with an acute philosophical intelligence, Fanonian Practices in South Africa is a sophisticated attempt to examine post-apartheid South Africa through the emancipatory lens of Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary humanism.
Nigel C. Gibson is director of the Honours Programme at Emerson College, where he teaches postcolonial, global and African studies, and a visiting research fellow at the School of Development Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal. His many published works include Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination, which won the 2009 Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Frantz Fanon Prize.