Frantz Fanon and revolutionary group praxis

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Abstract

Frantz Fanon was a political revolutionary, and he remains a key intellectual figure in decolonisation debates and postcolonial studies. He was also a psychiatrist, continuing to practice, teach and explore new forms of community mental health and groupwork even in exile. In this talk, I explore convergences between Fanon’s institutional psychotherapy and group analysis, alongside his other commitments, to indicate how Fanon’s geopolitically-situated psychosocial analyses linking individual and social change can inform more politically engaged group analytic practice. More specifically, Fanon’s observations on language and power highlight how histories and legacies of colonialism infuse everyday interaction, structuring both relationships and bodily experiences. I argue that his insistence on the need to engage with power and privilege, and the ethical-political responsibilities of the therapeutic practitioner in mobilising their own practice to acknowledge and challenge these, remain acutely relevant to current group analytic practice in these times of intensified suffering, distress and social inequalities.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalGroup Analysis
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Feb 2021