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Document Details :
Title: Een zee in het midden van de wereld
Subtitle: Afrikaans-Europese migratie, zwarte filosofie en het einde van de witte mythologie
Author(s): ROOTHAAN, Angela
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 83 Issue: 1 Date: 2021
In Derrida’s 1971 text 'White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy' one can distinguish two interconnected strands of reflection: a critique of modern European metaphysics and of the idea that white culture should dominate the world. The commitment to the exceptionality of European culture is — I will show — based upon the metaphysical illusion that something truly universal has come out of this region of the world. The clear and consistent critique of whiteness in Derrida is put into context by showing that such a critique has been around much longer in the works of black thinkers such as Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, and has been continued by Emmanuel Eze and others. Referring to Derrida’s attention in other work for undocumented immigrants and their ghostly presence in European society, I center the fact that European ideas of cultural purity make the death in the Mediterranean of thousands of migrants from the African continent an inescapable effect of white mythology. Like the Berlin Wall, this most dangerous border of Europe will in the end succumb to the continuous attempts of migrants to cross it. When that happens, the Mediterranean could again become what it once was: a sea in the middle of the world, a center which made the complex identity of someone like Derrida as North-African Jew in France first possible.