Frantz Fanon and a ‘politics at a distance from the state’

POSTED ON June 22, 2020 BY admin


Padkos 2020 gets off to a cracking start as internationally-renowned Fanon-scholar, Nigel Gibson, returns to CLP on Monday2nd March!

Nigel’s visit comes as a result of our ongoing collaboration with the Paulo Freire Project* with whom we’re co-hosting this discussion on Frantz Fanon and a ‘politics at a distance from the state’.

Get yourselves to the CLP offices on 2 March and we’ll start at 10:30am. Stay after for a light lunch too.

CLP has worked & experimented for a long time thinking about a ‘politics at a distance from the state’, prompted by struggles that are being thought on the ground, as well as various writers from elsewhere who we’ve found helpful (including Fanon, but others too like Alain Badiou, Wamba dia Wamba, Jacques Ranciere, Michael Neocosmos, John Holloway, Richard Pithouse and the like). Indeed, throughout 2019, padkos focused on John Holloway’s approach where it is clear that “the idea that the world could be changed through the state was an illusion” (Holloway 2005. ‘Twelve Theses’).

In notes for an exciting forthcoming book project (see below), Nigel Gibson points out that

“Fanon was one of the first theorists of the anticolonial revolution to warn that the counter-revolution was not simply caused by external forces. … The tragedy of the anticolonial struggles, Fanon continues, is framed by the macro-political outlooks of the anticolonial movement leaders, and by the intellectuals who fetishize political power, seeing access to the colonial apparatus (and the state) as their prize”.

So we’ve asked Nigel to share some thoughts about (a) what Fanon’s thinking brings to this task and (b) his own reflections around contemporary ‘politics at a distance from the state’.

You may remember that Nigel was a central player in CLP’s big ‘Fanomenal event’ in 2011 that we organised to mark the 50th anniversary of Fanon’s death. We had the pleasure of welcoming Nigel back in 2017 when he facilitated a padkos conversation on ‘Fanon, our current context, and the praxis of emancipatory politics’, and he addressed a public seminar, co-hosted with the Paulo Freire Project, on ‘Fanon, politics and psychiatry’.

At the moment Gibson is working on a really exciting new Fanon-focused collection that he will edit, to be called Fanon Today: The Revolt and Reason of the Wretched of the Earth (forthcoming from Daraja Press, 2021). Check out your padkos attachment where Nigel describes the new book’s key motivations, themes and contributions.

RSVP – Please let us know if you’re coming on the 2nd March by calling Cindy at the office (033 2644 380) or emailing

* Paulo Freire Institute – South Africa / Paulo Freire Project, of the Centre for Adult Education, School Education, University of kwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).

Nigel C Gibson Fanon Today 2021 Nigel Gibson – background from Wikipedia

Nigel Gibson – background from Wikipedia