Biografie Alice Cherki


The author of this recent portrait of Frantz Fanon, Alice Cherki, was born into an Algerian Jewish family and worked alongside Frantz Fanon as a young psychoanalyst from 1955 to 1961, i.e. from the time he arrived in Algeria until his death. This period spans the critical years of Fanon`s involvement with the struggle for Algeria`s independence. The author`s motivations to write this book lie in her discovery that younger, well-educated generations are not familiar with Fanon`s work, despite his groundbreaking writings on racism, colonialism, the relationship between oppressor and oppressed, and the prospects of developing nations. Apart from saving Fanon from complete oblivion, Cherki`s objectives are to "counteract both the unrestrained idealization that holds Fanon to his heroic image and cuts him off from history as well as the powerless and silent reaction greeting bewildering allegations that dismiss Fanon as an apologist for violence and an obsolete figure linked to Third Worldism" (pp. 1-2). Cherki succeeds on both counts. First, she situates Fanon`s life as a psychiatrist, political activist, and prolific writer in its wider historical context and paints a vivid picture of his relationships with intellectuals and political leaders. Importantly, she does not hold back on his shortcomings and failures. Second, the last three chapters entitled "The Wretched of the Earth" (discussing Fanon`s most well-known book), "After," and "Fanon Today" engage with the critics of Fanon`s work and provide an illuminating re-interpretation of Fanon`s thinking on violence. They also outline the areas where his contributions remain relevant to this day. Finally, Cherki fulfills a third, more implicit objective, namely to highlight Fanon`s achievements as a practicing psychiatrist. As a psychoanalyst herself, she is in a unique position to do this. She was too young at the time to fully assess Fanon`s breadth of knowledge, but has since made use of his psychiatric writings and case notes from 1959 and 1960, much of which remain unpublished even today.  (

Filmografie (Auswahl) zu Alice Cherki