Who Needs to See This (Again)?: On Raoul Peck’s Exterminate All the Brutes / Grégory Pierrot and Sarah Wasserman

Image by Michael Carrasquillo. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

A note to the reader

When Exterminate All the Brutes aired in April on HBO, we did something we’d done often during the pandemic: synced up our streams and watched “together,” while far apart. With one window open to Raoul Peck’s film and another to our text messages, we tried to process what we were seeing. It turned out that wasn’t enough—there was too much to see, to say, to make sense of. Over the next two weeks, we wrote a series of letters to one another about the film and, inevitably, about ourselves. When it came time to edit these letters, to turn them into a public dialogue, we debated how much of ourselves to leave in. It would be safer, perhaps, to excise the personal, to summarize our “take” in dispassionate, academic language. But among the many things Peck’s film is about, it is about Peck himself and the friendships and collaborations that have shaped his thinking and filmmaking. And so we decided that despite collaborating on each piece of this essay, we would preserve the spirit of our original exchange, not least because what Peck’s film asks is precisely that we see ourselves in the stories he tells so that we can come to see ourselves—and each other—differently.

— Greg and Sarah

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What Do We Know?

Greg Pierrot (GP): I’d been looking forward to Raoul Peck’s Exterminate All the Brutes since I first found out about it—an odd thing to say perhaps, considering the subject, which I imagined to be borrowed from Sven Lindqvist’s eponymous, genre-bending book published in 1992: a genealogy of a refrain of Western colonization and conquest. The Swedish writer tracks the phrase “Exterminate all the brutes” from its infamous utterance in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness through chilling, recurrent iterations in the historical record. Conrad’s novella serves as a familiar point of entry into a generally less familiar history of how atrocities underlying colonialism have been normalized. In Conrad’s novel, Kurtz, the European tradesman ‘gone native,’ is tracked and found by Marlow, a traveler observer who becomes the sole Western witness to Kurtz’s demise. Lindqvist mirrors this figure in his book as he writes first-person, non-fiction narrative sections depicting himself trekking through Africa—both repeating and correcting the journeys of so many white explorers past—and weaves the historical record into them through personal, at times frustratingly subjective disquisitions. Where in his classic essay “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe showed how Conrad’s ingrained racism undermines his critique of imperialism, the Swede Lindqvist takes that racism as an opportunity to open the long seam of white supremacy. As Lindqvist tramps through other Europeans’ accounts of Africa, he chronicles their brutality and reflects on his own place in their unfolding. Still, it is unclear if Lindqvist’s self-reflection can indemnify him against Achebe’s verdict on Conrad: “Travelers with closed minds can tell us little except about themselves… Indeed travelers can be blind.” As present as Africans may be in Lindqvist’s book, as drastic an indictment of imperialism as it is, Lindqvist’s “we,” royal or not, is as unmistakably European as the “you” he addresses in the phrase that begins and ends his book: “You already know that.” Peck bookends his series with the same phrase: but who is he addressing?

In a chapter on the French naturalist George Cuvier, Lindqvist writes: “Even in the most authentic documentary there is always a fictional person—the person telling the story. I have never created a more fictional character than the researching ‘I’ in my doctorate, a self that begins in pretended ignorance and then slowly arrives at knowledge” (104). Peck also contends with this fictionalization of the self. In Lumumba, Death of A Prophet, his first documentary film released one year before EATB demonstrates the affinity he has with Lindqvist. Like Lindqvist’s book, Peck’s Lumumba discusses the abominable colonization of the Congo by Belgium. And both Lindqvist and Peck muse on the idea that there every historical narrative is inevitably mediated by the personal. Moreover, they both insist that presenting the personal is always a performance, one whose self-consciousness makes for a fascinating and possibly irritating spectacle. Peck’s four-episode series also engages with Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s Silencing the Past (1995) and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous History of the United States (2014). These texts inhabit a slightly different register: deep, unyielding studies of the same material, woven with critical reflections on historiography itself. These are books that ask what is remembered and what is forgotten; what makes it into the collective psyche and how; what falls out and why. Peck and the late Trouillot were friends and compatriots, sons of Haiti, a nation forcibly erased from the glorious history of the West for an unforgivable crime: exposing through its mere existence the lies we’ve been taught about the Enlightenment. An immediate issue then, is Peck’s choice to make Lindqvist’s the central text in his film; largely, it seems, because of stylistic affinity.

Indeed, the first-person format both text and film share is seductive. Reading about these excavated Histories, we cannot help but recall our own small histories: the first time we heard about Columbus and the conquistadores’ insane brutality rather than fables of upstanding eggs and fountains of youth; when we first learned of Toussaint Louverture instead of Robespierre; of Heidegger in life rather than Heidegger in books. Somehow, over time, we assemble a mosaic of a million dreadful epiphanies, pieced together from a film, photos, personal anecdotes, the lessons of a righteous teacher. At his best, Peck structures his films to mirror this process, as expressions of the “researching ‘I’” evoked by Lindqvist. Exterminate All the Brutes is no different. Peck doles out knowledge and explanations to grant us an experience of horrified awe. Through photographs, film clips, home movies, maps, re-enactments, animations, infographics, new footage, and first-person narration, Peck inundates his viewers with the truth of Western history, its unrelenting white supremacist drive. He piles up evidence to this truth so that to watch Exterminate All the Brutes is to feel that such knowledge cannot be denied. Still, the most compelling passages in the film, to my mind, are those in which Peck summons his own life story. They offer glimpses of what it means to arrive at Western history not as a Swede, but as a Haitian, with a radically different set of cultural assumptions, commonplaces and truths.

Sarah Wasserman (SW): But knowing something—or rather knowing it once—isn’t enough. Putting aside for a moment the more recent dissolution of fact itself, history has shown us to be amnesiac creatures, especially when it comes to the grim truths of the past that have shaped our nation, our culture, our selves. This is one reason that horrors need witnesses, and that what is witnessed must be repeatedly shared and eternally revisited. How many witnesses, and how many replays does it take to ensure that we will “never forget?” Given the erosion of fact and consensus, it seems that now we must ask an even more disturbing question: how many witnesses or replays does it take to ensure that we agree on what it is we are seeing?

Such questions have particular urgency today, when some sizable portion of the population thinks a global pandemic is an alternative fact and a white supremacist insurrection at the nation’s capital a laudable protest. Peck’s series landed in this post-truth landscape, reminding viewers that they need reminding of the white supremacist untruths that form the bedrock of “Western” Enlightenment narratives. Truth has long been a fraught issue.

Peck also reminds us, of course, that the best way to truth is not always a straight line. There’s no need to rehearse the historiographic lessons of the postmodernists: their insistence that records always lie and that pastiche, fragmentation, and wild play can better represent reality than so-called objective narratives. It’s hard to know what place this kind of ludic form should have when fact is under such threat: what are humanists to do when the deconstruction of truth has been co-opted?

In a project committed to exposing and undoing the lies white supremacy has told about itself, Peck’s interest is as much in the “lies” that the camera tells—the corrective artifice that film makes possible. None of this redeems the issues in Exterminate All the Brutes, many of which we will touch on here, but it does explain much of Peck’s aesthetic, and many people’s criticisms of it: Marius Kothor laments the way that “Peck ends up perpetuating” the “violence of colonialism” he wishes to expose; Kyndall Cunningham concurs, calling the film “disorienting” and its scenes of violence “gratuitous.”1 Aditya Iyer notes that for all the film’s excess, it omits key elements in the story of colonialism, notably its impact on the global south and its imbrication with sexual violence.2 There’s a sense that Peck is so busy being self-reflective, or worse, arty, that he detracts from his message. In film after film, though, Peck turns his camera upon the camera holder and narrates the narrator—not out of mere postmodern affectation, but because he wants to ask viewers not only to witness the truth (again), but to imagine what and how we need to see in order to witness it once and for all. Peck’s reflexive aesthetic, like Lindqvist’s genre-bending, affords an unfamiliar genealogy of white supremacy. It also pokes at the inconvenient truth of everyone’s involvement—Peck’s, the viewer’s, yours, mine. Watching Exterminate All the Brutes isn’t like watching a BBC documentary, or something from National Geographic, where “facts” reach us dispassionately. Instead, we’re asked to inhabit scene after scene of devastation, to look closely until we see our own complicity. I suppose that’s part of why watching prompted us to write not just about what we saw on our synced-up screens, but about what we’ve seen and who it’s made us.

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So Who Needs to See This (Again)?

GP: Darnella Frazier, the young woman who filmed Derek Chauvin murdering George Floyd, did something in filming that sublimates the record itself. Her act was repeated every time her video was played in court during the Chauvin trial. Despite its preposterousness given the circumstances, the honorary Pulitzer Prize she received suggests the video’s impact as news; an impact that is neither straightforward nor unproblematic. In “White Witness and the Contemporary Lynching,” Zoé Samduzi writes, “Central to the white argument for watching these videos is the idea that viewership begets justice or somehow emphasizes the notion that black life does matter and that black life is grievable […] It’s like a demonstration of moral fortitude by—though one may flinch—refusing to turn away and so refusing to remain ignorant of the anti-black violence at the heart of American life and spreading the message of that cruelty to others. But there is no awareness to raise. This is at best ignorant-naïve liberal projection, and at worst, complete mythology.”3

There is witnessing, and witnessing witnessing, and so on, but this too often falls short of deed. What is the meaning of witnessing unless it is turned into action? Samudzi says that “there is no awareness to raise,” and I believe she is correct: for whom does police brutality and white supremacy remain a surprise? How likely are they to be swayed by evidence if they have not by now? That grotesque Pulitzer speaks to this: an award to laud Frazier for doing a journalist’s job. But the prize paints over most everything, including the unfathomable trauma Frazier lived through as a witness fully aware of racist violence’s pervasiveness. She witnessed because she was already aware, not because she had to be swayed into awareness. As I write this, I realize I may be letting my pessimism speak loudly, but I also suspect there is no proving correlation between confronting evidence and changing one’s heart or mind. We hope this to be true but again, the only measure is action.

Later we will discuss whether or not knowledge can ever be action; for now I want to stress that history and literature are not specialty knowledge; if anything, they’re the most popular knowledge there is. I mean this in the most pragmatic and crass way: historical ‘truth’ matters less than historical popularity—the versions of our national histories that, for a variety of reasons, we find more palatable, often get precedence over historical fact. That’s where I feel Peck gets to something existential, and maybe the gut feeling I have that he gets to it in the wrong way is a symptom of something else. For me, that is discomfort at having to re-live, or pretend to re-live, the shock of facing the history of racist atrocity. Doing that forces me to confront my own notions of what is ‘tasteful,’ what if any is the right way to evoke and represent atrocity. It also reminds me that conversations about aesthetics so often displace conversations about deeds. There is titillation in horror; the discomfort, more than anything, may have to do with the knowledge we’ve done more or less nothing; individually, collectively. There may be some Catholic guilt here—I’ll never fully shed that, I don’t think—but also, certainly: the endless, cosmic horror of knowing that these are the bones on which we stand.

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The Camps at The Heart of Darkness

SW: There may be Catholic guilt, but Exterminate All the Brutes returns again and again to Jewish death. Even though this death is a part of my family’s history, I was caught off guard to see it foregrounded here. I’m only in this country benefiting from my white privilege because one Wasserman(n) left Minsk in the early 1900s and escaped the extermination that befell every other member of my ancestral family. I’m reluctant to talk about this, largely because I’ve found that too often, this history gets leveraged in toxic ways. Because we’ve been such excellent victims, there’s no way we can be perpetrators. Of course this kind of thinking is patently false no matter who engages in it; we all know racism comes in every possible container. But to see this piece of my history represented in Peck’s film, and to see it made so central in the long arc of white supremacy that the film traces, was unsettling.

Peck explains that “the road to Auschwitz was paved in the earliest days of Christendom, and this road also leads straight to the heart of America.” He tells viewers that concentration camps existed in southwest Africa before they did in Europe. But I was still surprised by the way Peck winds his grand narrative of the Western world’s white supremacy so tightly around the Holocaust. Threaded throughout the film are the too-familiar images of Jews being herded into cattle cars, gas chambers, and their bodies into crematoria. We see Hitler speaking to the masses and Germans eagerly saluting him. We see the footage that we have seen so many times; perhaps the only record of atrocity that we can even begin to claim has been seen ‘enough.’ Peck’s aim is to show how colonial wars in Africa and the genocide of Native American peoples, as well as the practice of slavery gave rise to the Holocaust, which then came to displace earlier and more recent crimes in the imaginations of Europeans and Americans. But doesn’t centering this particular record, leading the viewer (once again) down the road to Auschwitz risk repeating such elision and displacement?

There’s a wager here, perhaps, that because the record of the Holocaust is uniquely irrefutable (though it is nonetheless sometimes refuted), meticulously documented and bound up with modern technology—including photography and cinema—viewers will feel the weight of this truth and so be swayed more easily to accept Peck’s other truths. As Tony Karon puts it in his essay on the film, “if you want to get the West’s attention, talk about the Holocaust.”4 There’s another wager, of course, which is that the victims of the Holocaust look white, and so any narrow-minded colorist claims about the targets of white supremacy are destabilized. Even those who are, as Peck puts it, “white by birth, a default setting,” must take notice of these victims, must see themselves in the faces on the trains and in the camps. But unlike the other genocidal acts he confronts in the film, Peck does not give the Holocaust the re-enactment treatment, nor does he go in for revision. He does not tell viewers about the Warsaw Uprising, he does not show us a counterfactual scene of Nazis being shorn and tattooed. It is as if the monumental record of the Holocaust does not require a corrective, an animation, or a reimagining.

Documentary footage, unlike the other kinds of materials Peck weaves together, does a certain kind of work in the film, conveying the “modernity” of racial extermination. The Holocaust was time tables and trains and spreadsheets and chemistry and bureaucracy, not some pre-modern aberration. Whatever its political meaning (whether we cite Giorgio Agamben or Achille Mbembe), the positing of the Holocaust as the Real suggests that in the realm of representation, we still rely heavily on the Holocaust for a visual grammar of modern genocidal violence. Peck uses the Holocaust as a kind of “truth anchor,” and perhaps he feels that the record is in some grim sense sufficient enough that he doesn’t have to turn to fabulation to convey the truth of this genocide. But he also wants to make it perfectly clear that we can draw a straight line from Nazi ideology and brutality to the rhetoric, symbolism, and violence of current-day white supremacists. When Peck says, “we would prefer for genocide to have begun and ended with Nazism,” he means that ‘we’ in the West often imagine or pretend that the Holocaust is the only genocide to have happened, and that it can only have taken place under the specific circumstances of German National Socialism. This is a line taken verbatim from Lindqvist, who uses it as an entry point into a further discussion of colonialism in Africa. Peck, meanwhile, intones the statement while lingering with visuals of Auschwitz. The corrective thus feels undermined to some extent by the fact that Peck foregrounds the Holocaust and so unwittingly marginalizes the many other and ongoing holocausts that are also the subject of the film. Nonetheless, Peck is out to remind viewers of the thriving tendrils that have grown from Auschwitz; if the camp is the film’s heart of darkness, its blood courses through contemporary veins: in Charlottesville, in acts of police brutality, in the Capitol Building on January 6th.

You asked me over text what kind of images we need to see to be witnesses, to connect the dots from Nazi Germany to White Nationalists holding tiki torches. To be honest, I’m not sure that we do, but there are so many people who might. You and I swim in these difficult waters all the time. I’m not trying to valorize myself or claim that I didn’t need to watch the film as a whole, but it’s important to remember that scholarly reactions like ours are, well, scholarly. We are viewers who have been reading this history and looking at these images, for personal and professional reasons, for our whole lives. But then again, “knowledge isn’t enough,” Peck says several times at the end of the last episode. We agonized about this statement, you and I: if knowledge isn’t enough, then what is the real point of the film, of history, of our jobs as scholars? I’ll just note here that the Frankfurt School guys (grumpy Jews!) taught us that knowledge has to happen for us to reach enough—that without clear-eyed diagnosis, we’re forever doomed.

The past few years have made many academics feel as though they urgently need to do more than produce knowledge. But what if the job, at least for some of us, is knowledge? Am I just making excuses for myself, giving a name to my complicity to make it seem more palatable? I suppose Peck makes us ask the question—and by us I mean those in the business of knowledge production: if knowledge isn’t enough, what then? I imagined that the rejoinder to that line was about action, but now I’m wondering if it was something else. After the film ended, I wasn’t actually left with the images of the Holocaust or enslaved men and women that I’ve seen so many times; instead I linger with lingering with the landscapes, and with Peck’s beautiful, beatific face as a boy in his home videos. I’m left with these mental pictures of beauty, and of Black joy—and with the heartbreak that comes from knowing such pictures are from a film about the pervasive, persistent, genocidal mania of white supremacy. As it turns out, that’s enough to make me move from watching to doing, even if the doing in this case is “just” writing.

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Welcome to the Drive-In

GP: I got to where I am by reading books and I have to believe it means something. I also know it can mean nothing. It strikes me that Peck worries about this: finding the form that might justify doing this again; going over this information we already know. First-person narration draws attention to the witness as much as what is being witnessed: it offers a compelling narrative throughline, but also one that appears to draw away from the topic at hand in favor of the researching I. This dilemma is an obsession of Peck’s, inscribed in the structure of his films. He never resolves it, but worries it over and over, trying different strategies to undo the knot. Thus in Peck’s films there is Godardian postmodernism, in-your-face editing, graphic montage, reenactments, historical footage, animation: a mosaic of approaches, some that hit, some that miss. In this avalanche of images, the ones that struck me most in EATB were a shot of a somber roiling sea and a tracking shot of an overgrown drive-in theater strewn with rusty cars. Oh, the power of metaphor!

I’ve loved drive-in theaters as long as I’ve known them to be a thing, and that was long before I got anywhere near one; that was in France, and drive-in theaters were an exotic, American wonder. Peck was born in Haiti in the early 1950s, moved to Zaire as a child, and then later to Brooklyn, eventually studying in France and Germany. Different background, different times, but my guess is that it is likely he experienced the slack-jawed wonder of the non-American when considering the utter luxury, preposterousness, and waste of space implied by the drive-in theater. The giddiness of it: a field with a hundred parking spots, each one its own speaker, a screen the size of a building. Too much. My guess is that American excess hits many foreigners the same way. It’s incomprehensible, although we’ve always already seen it; it’s the language movies are made in. All people currently alive were born after cinema, and even though the French will claim they invented cinema first, we all know movies are American.

So of course Peck would go back to cinema; or, rather, not to cinema, but to America watching cinema. It is a haunted image, because Peck is arguing that the recurrent crime of genocide is always the same crime and also always absent. It is a referent we know but cannot see on the impassive screen, even when it is filmed. This is a trite, if surrealist, epiphany: this is not a pipe; and this recording (text, sound, film, what have you), however immediate, is not the crime itself; not quite. There is a line running from your run-of-the-mill twitter reply guy asking for “the broader context” of the video of George Floyd’s assassination to the Holocaust denier and, beyond him the neat American, English, French politicians now portraying Critical Race Theory as the ramming rod of barbarians at the gates. There is no recorded truth that cannot be undone frame-by-frame, Zeno’s-arrowed into post-truth. This is why all of Peck’s films are, at least in part, about films, about the flayed cars turned toward dead screens.

I reread that old review I wrote about the first film I saw by Peck, his personal essay/documentary Lumumba, Death of a Prophet.5 I’m not sure what to call it. It is so obviously the template for what he has done since that it feels silly to say I still think it his best, but it’s true. Even then, I knew most of the elements he brought up about Lumumba’s life and death; what I didn’t know was Peck, how his personal life intersected with the subject matter. What I didn’t expect was that a tracking shot following no one in particular through Brussels’ Grand Place, or through a fancy gala, glimpses of the faces of the rich befuddled at our presence would make such an impression. In the Lumumba film, Peck says on several occasions that Lumumba haunts these places: Brussels, high society parties, where the people who killed him survive, have fun, and make deals. Sure.

We’re the ones who end up haunted.

But Peck’s signature tracking shots, empty landscapes, and family Super 8 snippets in Exterminate All the Brutes are cast among so many other images, so much archival footage and photographs, and so much of it so shockingly graphic. Seeing these familiar documentary images juxtaposed with Peck’s dramatic, graphic, and ultimately befuddling reenactments, featuring Josh Hartnett as the West’s colonizing ‘I,’ felt to me like a regrettable cheapening of the ‘real’ footage—even as I hear, typing this, Peck whispering “What real footage? What’s real footage?” On that note, Peck tells us how he came to certain forms of knowledge and what they moved him to do. Still I don’t think much is actually revealed about Peck when he talks about himself. The point instead is that the stories we tell about ourselves are always stories we are telling about history. This may seem a minor, rather academic point about interpretation compared to the much broader claims Peck as narrator appears to make throughout the series.

When I finally did go to a drive-in theater it was in rural Illinois. I wasn’t alone, of course—imagine the absolute loneliness of going to a drive-in alone—but I was anxious, worried I would not know to do the right thing. It was almost the twenty-first century: speakers no longer needed, tune in to the right radio station for sound. The drive-in operates on the tension between shared, open space and enclosed privacy. Once the sun goes down, you can ignore the neighboring cars. Yet before we get there, it becomes clear, once again, that I’m floating on a roiling sea of whiteness. Louise Erdrich speaks of it in her poem “Dear John Wayne”: young Native Americans watch a John Wayne film that portrays them as insects to be destroyed, occupying land to be conquered. The same crime, the same white atrocity turned into Hollywood gold. The cinematic orgy of violence over, the viewers come out “speechless and small,” but also changed: central to Erdrich’s rendering of their witnessing, is awareness—new or renewed. Erdrich’s witnessing of their witnessing makes the knowledge they come to available to readers of her poem. Reading this scene of watching lays bare a devastating truth: the logic that animated Manifest Destiny is fundamentally the same as cancer: “Even his disease was the idea of taking everything.” If John Wayne’s offensive drivel can be the occasion for a history lesson, surely much more can be made of even the lesser moments of Exterminate All the Brutes?

You’ve written, “As it turns out, that’s enough to make me move from watching to doing, even if the doing in this case is ‘just’ writing.” You’re right. The revolution won’t be televised, or screened at the drive-in. All that can be filmed is testimony to the spark or to its drowning. Telling stories about storytelling: so our ouroboros confines us. But if the point is to make us discuss the history itself, even as the thing we think this film missed, then maybe the mission is accomplished.

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You Knew Enough

SW: Then again, we didn’t end up discussing the history so much as our histories. I worry that we’re just being self-centered, but that worry is tempered by my belief that Peck inserts his own biography into the film because he wants us to do the same. If that’s true, it changes the possible answers to our question about who needs to see this. What our exchange reveals is that in seeing it—the history that we know all too well—we see our own formation differently and more clearly. Peck uses film reflexively to insist that we are all deeply imbricated in the Enlightenment’s visual regimes; as a result you and I revisited our own moments of subjection to those regimes. We might not have recognized it at the time, but all those visual lessons—in the classroom and at the drive-in—are part of the genealogy Peck wants to help us see so as to dismantle them.

It feels a touch embarrassing to end up here: surely two literature professors should know that art doesn’t have to tell us new things, but can tell us old things in new ways. This must be one of the lowest common denominators in the study of literature, even for non-modernists. Peck’s film lingers with us not because of what he’s saying, but because of how he’s said it—in a voice that you’ve described as “the sound pebbles make when they roll out with receding waves.” It brings to mind Sean Bonney’s 2014 poem, “ACAB: A Nursery Rhyme.” Bonney insists that the content shouldn’t change: “don’t say ‘here is my new poem,’ he writes. Return to the old refrains, the old slogans, the old struggles; they are the current struggles. Poets, filmmakers, and the rest of us just need to find the language and the images that keep them current. Peck’s film tries to do just that. And on the days when I can’t stand to see it again, can’t hear those rolling pebbles, I can listen instead to another artist giving us the same message in a sun-drenched song. As Shungudzo reminds us, it’s always been and always will be “a good day (to fight the system).”

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Endnotes

  1. Martius Kothor, “The way we tell stories.” Africa Is A Country. 14 June 2021. https://africasacountry.com/2021/06/the-way-we-tell-stories. Kyndall Cunningham, “HBO’s Exterminate All the Brutes is a Flawed Study of White Colonialist Rape and Terror.” Daily Beast. 4 April 2021. https://www.thedailybeast.com/hbos-exterminate-all-the-brutes-is-a-flawed-study-of-white-colonialist-rape-and-terror.
  2. Aditya Iyer, “Raoul Peck’s Frustratingly Incomplete Treatise on Colonialism” Hyperallergic. 13 June 2021. https://hyperallergic.com/651990/raoul-peck-hbo-docuseries-exterminate-all-the-brutes-is-an-incomplete-treatise-on-colonialism/https://hyperallergic.com/651990/raoul-peck-hbo-docuseries-exterminate-all-the-brutes-is-an-incomplete-treatise-on-colonialism/.
  3. Zoé Samudzi, “White Witness and the Contemporary Lynching.” New Republic. 16 May 2020. https://newrepublic.com/article/157734/white-witness-contemporary-lynching.
  4. Tony Karon, “If You Want to Get the West’s Attention, Talk About the Holocaust.” Africa is a Country. 28 April 2021. https://africasacountry.com/2021/04/if-you-want-to-get-the-wests-attention-talk-about-the-holocaust.
  5. See Grégory Pierrot, “Peck et Lumumba rôdent sur l’Atlantique Noir …” Mélanine. 3 August 2002. https://www.google.com/url?q=http://melanine.org/?Peck-et-Lumumba-rodent-sur-l&sa=D&source=editors&ust=1625099108096000&usg=AOvVaw3FZtxnuDOpyuWXmg0liOiX.
Sarah Wasserman
Sarah Wasserman is Associate Professor of English at the University of Delaware, where she also serves as Associate Director of the Center for Material Culture Studies. She is the author of The Death of Things: Ephemera and the American Novel (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) and co-editor of Modelwork: The Material Culture of Making and Knowing (University of Minnesota Press, Fall 2021) as well as Cultures of Obsolescence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Her essays appear in PMLA, Contemporary Literature, American Literary History, Lit Compass, the Journal of American Studies, and various edited volumes. Her public writing has been published in Public Books, LARB, and Flaunt Magazine.
Grégory Pierrot
Grégory Pierrot is an Associate Professor of American and African American Literature at the University of Connecticut at Stamford. His research focuses on Blackness as transnational politics and culture. He is the author of Decolonize Hipsters (OR Books, 2021), The Black Avenger in Atlantic Culture (UGA Press, 2019), and co-editor of the forthcoming An Anthology of Haitian Revolutionary Fictions (UVA Press, 2021). He is also a translator, and co-host of the Decolonize That! webcast series with Bhakti Shringarpure. His writing has appeared in Africa Is A Country, L.A. Review of Books, Libération, Public Books, Warscapes and scholarly journals such as The African American Review, Criticism, Atlantic Studies and more.