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Colonial War and Mental Disorders

by Asher.Zax & Dave Phillips

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Introduction 02:34
Case #1 11:56
Case #1 Forget me. Start a new life. I have been disgraced. I’ve made up my mind to take her back, but I still don’t know how I’ll react when I see her. And when I look at the picture of my daughter I often think she was dishonoured as well. As if everything that had to do with my wife was rotten. If they had tortured her, if they had broken all her teeth or an arm, I wouldn’t have minded so much. But that thing, how can you ever get over it? And did she have to tell me about it? On independence, I’ll take my wife back.
Case #2 12:38
Case #2 The funeral sickened me, all those officials mourning over the death of my father whose “high moral qualities had won over the native population” made me feel nauseous. I watched helplessly as my father slowly changed. In fact every time I went home the screams coming from downstairs kept me awake at night. They were torturing Algerians in the cellar in the disused rooms so as to get information out of them. You can’t imagine how horrible it is to hear screams like that all through the night. Sometimes I wonder how a human being can put up with it, I don’t mean torturing but simply someone scream in pain. And it went on and on. The funeral sickened me... Everyone knew it wasn’t true and yet they came to recite their lies about his devotion... I have to confess that words don’t mean much to me now.
Case #3 12:08
Case#3 So why are there only Algerians in prison? How do you explain that? We were not angry with him. Every Thursday we used to go and hunt together with a slingshot up on the hill behind the village. He was our best friend. He had left school because he wanted to become a mason like his father. One day we decided to kill him because the Europeans want to kill all the Arabs. We can’t kill the grownups but we can kill someone like him because he is our own age. He used to play with us. Another boy would not have gone up the hill with us.


'Colonial War and Mental' Disorders was performed and recorded live on stage in May 2019. It is a Sound-Text rendering of three cases, described and analysed by Frantz Fanon as they appear in the fifth chapter of his book ‘The Wretched Of The Earth’ (1961).
In this section, Fanon deals with the problem of mental disorders born out of the national war of liberation waged by the Algerian people.
Rather than charging full steam ahead, this creation creeps slowly forward, letting both the psychological and physical horrors of Fanon’s words echo in negative space.

"Colonialism is a disease of reality itself. The disease as a condition rearranges reality according to distorted principles, which we find hard to understand to the core. From the cases that Fanon presents and analyses in his book, we have extracted fragments that reflect these distortions."
Meira Asher and Eran Sachs.


released November 27, 2020

Recorded Live at Levontin 7 Tel Aviv, 17 May 2019
Text by Frantz Fanon from ‘The Wretched of the Earth’
Translated from French by Richard Philcox
Meira Asher - Voice, electronics, turntable
Eran Sachs - No-input mixer
Dave Phillips - iPods, electronics, mix
Riccardo Mazza - Mastering

Cover Design by Nadav Levi


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