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Jumpstarting the Decolonial Engine: Symbolic Violence from Fanon to Chávez

From: Theory & Event
Volume 13, Issue 1, 2010



This paper finds the unifying thread of Frantz Fanon's revolutionary decolonial philosophy in what I call "symbolic decolonial violence," the violent self-assertion and public appearance of colonized and racialized non-beings which creates the necessary groundwork for their entry into being. By applying this concept to contemporary political discourse and identity dynamics in Venezuela, while maintaining an insistently "parallax view," we are able to enrich our understanding of both Fanon's work and the specificities of the Venezuelan situation. Such an approach allows us to see that it is the social-scientific literature that is most critical of the "violence" and "conflict" of the contemporary Venezuelan revolutionary process that testifies most powerfully to the very Fanonian truth of that process: the forced entry of formerly non-beings into being.

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