Frantz Fanon is one of the very few thinkers to have risked something that resembles a theory of decolonization. In this essay Achille Mbembe reflects on the dialectics of the end/closure and the boundless possibilities evoked by Fanon, and the ways these are played out under contemporary conditions. Mbembe also assesses the place contemporary struggles for emancipation assign to the key Fanonian concepts of time, creation, and reconstitution, and the extent to which they truly transcend the “law of repetition,” which Fanon foresaw as the biggest threat to newness.

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