Ecologies of Knowledges: Frantz Fanon Film Series

Felwine Sarr

2023

Type: Lab

Ecologies of Knowledges presents a trio of films channeling the work and life of Frantz Fanon as part of the lab's larger inquiry into the idea of emancipation. These films serve as starting blocks for the re-reading of Fanon's philosophy in the contemporary moment, and the consideration of how African philosophy contributes to contemporary discussions on political, social, and cultural emancipation, identity, alienation, life, and race.

Concerning Violence

November 30, 2023
Event flyer

In collaboration with Screen/Society, Ecologies of Knowledges presented Concerning Violence, a documentary from Göran Hugo Olsson (director of The Black Power Mixtape) that is a bold visual narration on colonization in Africa based on newly discovered archival material covering the struggle for liberation from colonial rule in the late ’60s and ’70s. The screening was proceeded by an introduction to the film by Ecologies of Knowledges convenor Felwine Sarr.

Accompanied by text from Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, featuring narration by singer and activist Lauryn Hill and an interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, renowned Columbia University professor and post-colonial cultural theorist, Concerning Violence depicts some of the most daring moments ever captured during the anti-colonialist struggle from the Angolan War of Independence to the Mozambique Liberation Front. Concerning Violence is an emotionally resonant cinematic essay, which confronts the dehumanizing mechanisms of colonialism to illuminate the urgent need for change in the present.

(Göran Olsson, 2014, 89 min, Sweden/Finland, Digital)

  • Grand Jury World Cinema Documentary Prize Nominee at the Sundance Film Festival
  • Winner of the Cinema Fairbindet Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival

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Frantz Fanon, trajectoire d’un révolté

March 30, 2024
Event flyer

In collaboration with Screen/Society, Ecologies of Knowledges presents Frantz Fanon, trajectoire d’un révolté, a documentary from Mathieu Glissant and Audrey Marion on Frantz Fanon, whose life and work embodies all the issues of French colonial history. A Martinican resistance fighter, he enlisted, like millions of colonial soldiers, in the Free Army out of loyalty to France and the idea of freedom that it embodied for him. As a writer, he participated in the bubbling life of Saint-Germain with Césaire, Senghor, and Sartre, debating tirelessly on the destiny of colonized peoples. As a doctor, he revolutionized the practice of psychiatry, seeking in the relations of domination of colonial societies the foundations of the pathologies of his patients in Blida. And as an activist, he brought together through his action and his history, the anger of peoples crushed by centuries of colonial oppression. He has left an incomparable body of work which has made him one of the most studied French authors across the Atlantic.

The screening is followed by a discussion with director Mathieu Glissant, in conversation with Ecologies of Knowledges convener Felwine Sarr (Anne-Marie Bryan Distinguished Professor of French and Francophone Studies) and Chloé Kaczmarek (PhD candidate, Romance Studies).

(Mathieu Glissant and Audrey Marion, 2021, 53 min, France, French with English subtitles, Digital)

Discussion Participants

Mathieu Glissant is a filmmaker and artistic director for Cercle. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree in film aesthetics and a dual degree in philosophy and art history from Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne (FR). He devoted a documentary to his father, 'Edouard Glissant, La créolisation du monde', made for France 5 with Yves Billy. In 2021, he directed the documentary 'Frantz Fanon, trajectoire d'un révolté', with Audrey Maurion; the film traces the history of the psychiatrist and revolutionary thinker of decolonization, as well as the impact of his literary works. His first short fiction film, 'Brûlé Neige' (2021), with actors Alex Descas and Sohée Monthieux, is shot in Martinique. His second short film, "Nice Human", with actor Bilel Chegrani, is shot in Aubervilliers, a town he has called home for several years. Mathieu Glissant is currently completing his latest documentary, 'Vichy Colonies', for France Télévision. 

Chloé Kaczmarek is a PhD Candidate in French and Francophone Studies and in African and African-American Studies at Duke University. She is currently working on her dissertation, which is tentatively titled "Mourning Frantz Fanon: A Critical Approach to the Reception of Fanon's Work in Algeria and Martinique in the second half of the 20th century". She is interested in archival theory, transatlantic Black studies, Black feminism, as well as political cinema. She also holds an MA in Literary Theory from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France.