Frantz Fanon's Speech On Culture And Imperialism

1478 Words6 Pages
“Every effort is made to bring the colonised person to admit the inferiority of his culture which has been transformed into instinctive patterns of behaviour, to recognise the unreality of his 'nation ', and, in the last extreme, the confused and imperfect character of his own biological structure.” As Frantz Fanons (1959) speech highlights, culture and Imperialism go hand in hand. Where there is culture and potential for expansion of the coloniser, imperialism will seek to conquer and eliminate. The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes imperialism as “state policy, practice, or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas”. Imperialism drives…show more content…
The natives had both their culture and land exploited. The western people seemed to relish in the romanticised idea of adventure and this new tropical land that could be explored and tropical people,who could be utilised. Exhibitions were set up in the western world showcasing all the colonised countries had to offer, there were wild animals and human zoos. These exhibited the ‘exotic’ discoveries of the colonisers. Edward Said makes the point in Culture and Imperialism (1993) that the portrayal of “how ‘natives’ are represented in the Western media” is important in the exploitation of the people. This point is significant, as for example in Eastern countries the sense of Orientalism was created by the West. It portrayed the people and the culture in a sexualised manner, opium dens and places in which pleasures could be found were advertised as key elements of culture. As well as this, natural resources were exploited, the colonising country would arrive and take resources such as oil or food. In order to extract these resources and raw materials at a low cost enslavement of the native people usually occurred. Every effort was made by the coloniser to dispose of of the countries individuality and promote homogeneity. Fanon (1959) tells of how a refusal to conform to this new homogenous culture was “seen in the relations of the occupying power which interprets attachment to…show more content…
“If our civilisation has any right there at all, it is because it represents higher ideals of humanity, a higher type of social order.”(Kidd,1989) Westerners saw themselves as more educated and therefore superior to the colonised people. Kidd points out how “is that, nevertheless, there never has been, and there never will be, within any time with which we are practically concerned, such a thing as good government, in the European sense, of the tropics by the natives of these regions.” Joseph Conrad in his book Heart of Darkness (1899) makes an observation that ties in well to this aspect of colonisation. “Domination and inequalities of power and wealth are perennial facts of human society.” Conrad says it is a simple fact of life. However the point is made that perhaps it is only a certain grouping of people who escape this fact of human
Open Document