anténor firmin – learning from the past.

hereS a little text on anténor firmin,


who i encounter in a mapping project i currently run with students of bayreuth university –

in my personal project i try to map the entanglements of academic and cultural discourses around ‘race’ in relation to the city space of bayreuth, the dull town with its exciting edges we engage with on a daily, and the larger world – haiti, the us, finally, over detours and connections, south afrika (which i still have to prove).

firmin wrote the counter work to sleezy de gobineau’s fearful book on the ‘inequality of races’. de gobineau was bayreuthian taste – he was close with the wagner breed, used to hang in oberfranken & got some help for re-editing the aforementioned book by the wahnfried circle. what a legacy around the corner.  afirmin, on the other hand, was not against racism only but  also against foreign possession of land in his country, haiti. he influenced the history of anthropology & stands as a counter-figure in the midst of racialised and racist discourse. a re-membering in wahnfried will be necessary.

i find great solace in trying to visualize these routes and intersections; they profoundly excite me.


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