Sharmila Mukherjee, “Frantz Fanon and the Heresy of Violence” » ISHS: International Society for Heresy Studies



May 28

Sharmila Mukherjee, “Frantz Fanon and the Heresy of Violence”

To paraphrase Frantz Fanon, the Martinican philosopher-cum prominent 20th century anti-colonial polemicist, the heretic is “comparison”. Fanon implies that in the matrix of colonial epistemology, the heretic is the black man/colonized into a non-being in binary opposition to the white/European being of Western metaphysics. As the ultimate other, the concept of the heretic allows for the comparison, distortion and dissimulation of the “real” black man turning their caricature into an ideological tool whose main role is to evaluate and craft orthodox identities. If the colonized and racialized being is heretical in and of itself, then, as argued by Fanon, violence, both of a counter-epistemological and literal kind, is the sole tool available to the colonized and the racialized to self-actualize themselves into beings from the status of a thing. The violence that thus emanates from a heretical construct is also an act of heresy.

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