Fanon and Feminism
The Discourse of Colonization in Italian Feminism
This essay explores the affinities between the work of Frantz Fanon and autonomist Italian feminism. In particular, I argue that theorists like Silvia Federici, Mariarosa Dalla Costa, Giovanna Franca Dalla Costa and Leopoldina Fortunati mobilize Fanon's singular account of colonization in service of the project of feminist liberation. This essay explores the influence, both explicit and implicit, that Fanon's account of the psychosocial effects of colonization bears on the content, scope and frame of autonomist Italian feminism's analysis of social reproduction. I also chart the developments and changes in the work of these thinkers over the past four decades, arguing that their turn towards considering a Marxist–feminist project inside the global movement of capital can be traced to a profound reconsideration of Fanon's work. In doing so, I hope to reposition the debate around Fanon's deeply complicated and problematic analysis of women in his writings, highlighting the ways in which his texts offer critical resources to contemporary feminist theory.