He wrote his most influential work, The Wretched of the Earth, during the Algerian liberation movement when Algeria was a French colony. Fanon talked about violence towards the colonizers and described the Algerian French relationship during the colonial period which ended in the 1960s. Fanon said, “decolonization is a violent phenomenon” (Fanon b 37). He believed that violence was the only way to abolish colonialism. Fanon was one of the strong-willed who believes that violence would be the only way to rid Algeria of colonialism.
This essay will focus on Fanon’s argument that violence is the only way to eliminate colonialism and his reasons for the belief. The film, “The Battle of Algeries”, which was directed by the Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, shows the environment Fanon lived in when he formed most of his opinions on decolonization. The film also offers a clear example of how Fanon’s ideas of anti-colonialism violence were applied during the years leading up to the liberation of Algeria in 1962.
Decolonization is getting rid of colonial rule and obtaining independence (Fanon a 5). One of Fanon’s resolute beliefs was that the only way to get rid of colonialism was through violence. In The Wretched of the Earth, he states:
Decolonization is the meeting of two forces, opposed to each other by their very nature, which in fact owe their originality to that sort of substantiation which results from and is nourished by the situation in the colonies. (Fanon b 27)
Fanon’s personal experiences in Algeria impressed on him that there was only one way to respond to colonialism, revolution through violence. Colonies always breed conflict, because of the oppressive atmosphere the natives endure.