Hawad, The autonomy of thought:

We can only count on ourselves and on our desire to transform death into life. The first autonomy we demand is not from Algeria or Niger or Mali or their master France. We require it of ourselves: it is the autonomy of thought. This is not a right, it is a duty. We have to come back to this because the oppressor has no project for us or for itself.
I am not saying we have to disconnect from the world, but we have to connect to our own thought production.
A society that no longer produces its own ideas or its own culture or its own viewpoint is the suburb excluded from the center of town. For me, the center is like a traffic circle that turns around itself to produce its own energy. Now, the center today is no longer the center—it has become its own suburb. To be the center, there have to be many convergences of roads… comings and goings: there are not. They keep us out. In Africa the States exile everyone except the bureaucrats, the administration and the talking heads. We, the Tuaregs and other peoples, have been pushed to the suburbs.
We have to make these suburbs into centers and forget about the center that is not a center. This is the only thing that gives me strength. The youth who agreed to lay down their weapons, like a bunch of sheep, did not notice that Bamako [Mali] was not a center anymore than Niamey [Niger] was to find food. There was a terrorist called the IMF and the gaping mouth of the States melded together in the emptiness.
We have to create independent roads and make our marginalization and exclusion by the States the starting point of new ways. It is our only salvation.


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