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Decolonization in the Heart of Empire: Some Fanonian Echoes in France Today

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Abstract:  This paper offers a translation of key texts by the contemporary Mouvement des Indigènes de la République (MIR) and its key intellectuals: Sadri Khiari and Houria Bouteldja. Following Khiari, post‐colonial situations are best understood as recompositions: territorially mediated re‐articulations of colonial pasts with other social relations. To respond to the complexities of this post‐colonial recomposition, MIR propose an ambitious politics of “autonomy” and “mixity”. “Autonomy” (externally in relationship to the state and organized politics and internally for feminist groups) is seen as an indispensable precondition for a socio‐politically mixed, and potentially universalizing, political formation politics. More counter‐colonial than post‐colonial in orientation (Hallward), MIR attempt to give direction to three decades of revolt emanating from France's racialized popular neighbourhoods, including the uprising of 2005. I argue that MIR's interventions take up themes from the analyses by Frantz Fanon, Albert Memmi and Suzanne and Aimé Césaire to make countercolonial critique “live” in France today.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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