Black Flag White Masks: Anti-Racism and Anarchist Historiography

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Sureyyya Evren


Dominant histories of anarchism rely on a historical framework that ill fits anarchism. Mainstream anarchist historiography is not only blind to non-Western elements of historical anarchism, it also misses the very nature of fin de siècle world radicalism and the contexts in which activists and movements flourished. Instead of being interested in the network of (anarchist) radicalism (worldwide), political historiography has built a linear narrative which begins from a particular geographical and cultural framework, driven by the great ideas of a few father figures and marked by decisive moments that subsequently frame the historical compartmentalization of the past. Today, colonialism/anti-colonialism and imperialism/anti-imperialism both hold a secondary place in contemporary anarchist studies. This is strange considering the importance of these issues in world political history. And the neglect allows us to speculate on the ways in which the priorities might change if Eurocentric anarchist histories were challenged. This piece aims to discuss Eurocentrism imposed uopn the anarchist past in the form of histories of anarchism. What would be the consequences of one such attempt and how can we reimagine the anarchist past after such a critique?

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Author Biography

Sureyyya Evren, independent writer

Süreyyya Evren writes on contemporary art, literature and radical politics. He has published several books in Turkish and several articles in English and German. He has been the editor and founder of the Turkish post-anarchist magazines Kara??n and Siyahi. He also edited Post-Anarchism: A Reader (Pluto 2011) together with Duane Rousselle and they are also publishing the only international post-anarchist journal, ADCS (Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies). He has written many pieces on contemporary art, and edited two reference books together with Turkish contemporary artist Halil Alt?ndere: User's Manual, Contemporary Art in Turkey 1986-2006 ( 2007) and 101 Artworks, Forty Years of Contemporary Art in Turkey (2011)