Exhuming Thomas Sankara
Anti-Imperialism and the Legacy on Afro-Stalinism

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

In the wake of the 2014 Burkinabe uprising that witnessed the overthrow of Burkina Faso's long-time ruler, Blaise Compaore, the people of Burkina Faso are revisiting the brief and tumultuous rule of Thomas Sankara, the Marxist Army officer who governed the country from 1983 to 1987. This talk will argue that despite Sankara's Stalinist and Maoist tendencies, his anti-imperialism, directed against France and its West African client Cote D'Ivoire, as well as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, remains a source of inspiration for people of the underdeveloped world, and a useful example of resistance to Western imperialism. While critiquing the shortcomings of Sankara's ideology, the talk will also link Sankara's stance against the economic exploitation of underdeveloped countries with the upsurge in recent years of working class radicalism across the African continent.

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