Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden

Howard Caygill – The White Mask: Light and Shadow in Fanon

Paper presented at the conference “What is a Mask?”, 26-27 January 2017, Royal Institute of Art.

“The association of the mask and whiteness in Fanon’s Black Skin, White Mask is complex and in many ways intangible. The white mask not only covers black skin or serve as an object of desire for it, but also extinguishes and casts it into relief. This complexity will be described and traced to an association of whiteness with light and Fanon’s alignment of Manichean structures with Nietzsche’s account of ressentiment. It will be asked what is left of the topology of the mask as covering, disguising or displaying once it has been set in a mis-en-scene of the mask as white light.”

The conference was curated by Catherine Malabou and in collaboration with the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University London.

The conference received generous funding from The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond).