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Cameroonian Achille Mbembe wins German book prize

Cameroonian political scientist and author Achille Mbembe has received the prestigious “Geschwister Scholl-Preis” 2015 for the German edition of his latest book ‘Critique de la raison nègre’.

His book reflects the history of globalisation and deals with capitalism, colonialism and racism. One of the central conclusions is that capitalism does not only move goods around the world but also humans, in form of workers.

“We see new forms of racism, those that are not legitimated by biological attributes. For today’s racism it is sufficient to demand the closure of borders, hunt foreigners or to deport refugees back to their countries,” Mbembe told the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel.

The prize is awarded by the Foundation of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association and the City of Munich. It honours authors whose literature promote civil rights and give a moral impetus to the present awareness of responsibility. The award ceremony took place recently at the University of Munich. Achille Mbembe received a price money of 10,000 euros.

Achille Mbembe is a philosopher, political scientist and public intellectual based at WiSER (Wits Institute of Social and Economic Research) in Johannesburg. Mbembe told South African online portal www.bookslive.co.za that “the award is a tribute to the work done at the institute.” Furthermore,  he stated that he wants ‘Critique de la raison nègre’ also to be seen as a South African book, a country to which he owes a lot of gratitude and for which he entertains huge hopes – along with many other descendants of Africa in the world.

© GIC Africa

[Photo: Achille Mbembe; © DOTI]

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