By Frantz Fanon
An incisive and illuminating account of the way, in the course of the Algerian Revolution, the folk of Algeria replaced centuries-old cultural styles and embraced convinced historic cultural practices lengthy derided by way of their colonialist oppressors as primitive, as a way to spoil those self same oppressors. Fanon makes use of the 5th yr of the Algerian Revolution as some degree of departure for an explication of the inevitable dynamics of colonial oppression.
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Extra info for A Dying Colonialism
The Algerian woman's ardent love of the home is not a limi tation imposed by the universe. It is not hatred of the sun or the streets or spectacles. It is not a flight from the world. What is true is that under normal conditions, an interaction must exist between the family and society at large. The home is the basis of the truth of society, but society authenticates and legitimizes the family. The colonial structure is the very nega tion of this reciprocal justification. The Algerian woman, in imposing such a restriction on herself, in choosing a form of existence limited in scope, was deepening her consciousness of struggle and preparing for combat.
She quickly has to invent new dimensions for her body, new means of muscular control. She has to create for herself an attitude of unveiled-woman-outside. She must overcome all timidity, all awkwardness (for she must pass for a European), and at the same time be careful not to overdo it, not to attract notice to herself. The Algerian woman who walks stark naked into the European city relearns her body, re-establishes it in a totally revolutionary fashion. t! 14 The woman, who before the Revolution never left the house without being accompanied by her mother or her husband, is now entrusted with special missions such as going [rom Oran to Constantine or Algiers.
There no one was faced with the problem, or rather, the problem was so remote from the everyday concerns of the native that it was quite clear to an inquirer that it would be outrageous to ask an Algerian why he did not own a radio. A man conducting a survey during this period who might be looking for satisfactory answers would find himself unable to obtain the information he needed. All the pretexts put forth had of course to be carefully weighed. At the level of actual expe rience, one cannot expect to obtain a rationalization of attitudes and choices.
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