Skip to main content

tv   Freedom to Write Lecture  CSPAN  June 14, 2015 7:45pm-9:03pm EDT

7:45 pm
7:46 pm
>> good afternoon. on behalf of our 4000 members is a great honor to welcome you to the 10th annual arthur miller freedom to write lecture by tim monda's. [applause] 's just a word on the 1st arthur miller lecture which was delivered here in this room and 2,006.
7:47 pm
his new wants to observations read as if they could have been written this week. he said, respect for the rights of religious and ethnic minorities should never be an excuse to violate freedom of speech. we writers should never hesitate on this matter's the matter how provocative is pretext. unnatural attachment and design understand those unlike us should never stand in the way of our respect for human rights. but thomas is not leave it at that. he goes right on to say he is always had difficulty expressing my political judgments in a clear, emphatic, and strong way describing the world where the oppressed can quickly become the oppressor's and the oppressor the oppressed. we are we are holding firm views about people and things is a difficult enterprise. indeed. to me that is a sustained reflection on the eventful week 's. one's. one goal of the world voice festival is to provide context and person sustained
7:48 pm
conversation about important books and ideas to undergird a world where articles reviews, and images was around context free's informing, amusing, and sometimes offending and enraging. to paraphrase an observation can travel halfway around the world. we book an international flight at a hotel room for that missing context bring writers and thinkers here to probe, answer questions, and unlike meeting. as important as it is contact is not always the final word. strong reaction to expressions taken out of context are born to their own context. knowing the context can raise many questions as it answers all the more reason to set aside time's said and reason together across international boundaries especially a golf as wide as
7:49 pm
divide the united states and africa, a africa vast ocean of politics, literature, and culture's pediatric verse. the context sparks greater understanding, appreciation, or empathy across that expense than the festival we will have begun to have done his job. if you have been energized, perplexed more inspired by what you have heard this week about what you are about to your my urge you to join been, support pen, be part of our community add your voice's. we needed. in closing, i want to offer just a quick word of congratulations and profound thanks. the entire team. we are
7:50 pm
proud of them for allowing us all to travel the distance we have gone this week and to arrive in the places where they have let us. thank you. [applause] 's. >> five. last wednesday evening at the bronx museum of the arts there was an event whose texture managed to typify in an exemplary way the aims of this festival. the event was called the witnesses, and it sought to interrogation and an elevation's due to the value of age and wisdom. among the speakers with a west african poet rashid is mainly the great kenyan writer and the american poet's. but what distinguish the discussion was the tone of the writers took the
7:51 pm
complete absence. they watched the put care into their language. what language. what they said about africa, about writing, but history enriching our lives as readers and citizens the mission of this festival is to invite such presences to come in to lie for a moment 's so that we can share there vision come to see more clearly. i was merely one event command these we will all be online. everyone can see them. this is merely one event in many ways set out to honor the vision when he began this festival in which your google here now as director's has organized for such glaring seriousness. i hand you over now. it's. >> thank you. thank you so much. this evening actually started exactly 345 days ago
7:52 pm
i was at a party talking with robin's. i mentioned that i started to work on african series and just run my ideas by. 340 fateful days ago i was talking with's. and when i asked her to actually be my co- curator and help to guide me through this really ambitious project to frame africa the right way she said yes. so we started to work. at the end of the road i think we present something that speaks not about the dark and not about the trouble of africa but the real africa africa's. being insatiable, couple of days after i called and asked her to consider to deliver the arthur miller freedom to write lecture.
7:53 pm
after a couple of days 330 days after she said yes command here we are made 10th 2015 at delivering the arthur miller lecture. [applause] 's. [applause] [applause] >> thank you.
7:54 pm
thank you. thank you for that warm welcome. thank you for that introduction. it is always a bit worrying walking across the long-distance issues like these because you worry that you will fall down. happy i did not. thank you all so much for being here. it is an honor for me to be here. i was 1st asked to give this lecture i felt very honored at the thought of standing in this wonderful space steeped in history following in the footsteps of brilliant writers and thinkers. so i. so i happily said yes. and as happens every time i then immediately sunk into panic. i asked myself to questions why in the world that i say yes and what in the world by going to talk about. and in this particular case there it was a panic because of all the talented writers are our fellow practitioners my fellow travelers on the
7:55 pm
strange journey that is storytelling. it is storytelling. penn as much noble and important work's. what can i possibly say about the free and right that has not already been said to my asked. and very kind to me asked me to be as small as possible which then made me wish if only very briefly that i had a dramatic story of being hauled off to prison but nigerian soldiers because of something i had written. but since i do not have such story sadly i would like to talk instead about censorship instead of, about the supposed shade, the smaller, quieter meaning of censorship beyond calories encourage.
7:56 pm
an american an american journalist once interviewed me and kept asking me what it was like to be in exile. i kept telling her that i was not in exile. [laughter] and she just kept asking about exile. [laughter] and then when i managed likely to convince her that i was not in exile she asked if i could talk about other african writers who were in exile. [laughter] there was, for me, something quaintly retro about exile for something serious, but also deeply unfamiliar. it made me think of african writers on the apartheid's. i got the disturbing sense that the journalist wanted me to be in exile something almost about the writer from a foreign and preferably developing country who is in exile exile being a
7:57 pm
condition that a condition that comes with stories of personal intrigue, stories of personal censorship and stories accompanied by much strike. there is a general tendency in the united states to define problems of censorship as essentially foreign problems. on the surface this is not unreasonable, especially unreasonable, especially if our definition of censorship is narrowly about government action. after all nobody is being murdered while the off to prison by the american government for writing a novel. the prospect that is arguably worse than somebody spying in your e-mail's more on your google searches. but what if we look beyond the surface? i live in both nigeria and
7:58 pm
the united states. i consider both of them home however, nigeria is home in the us is all sorts. i love both places for different reasons. but i always hope that if i were ever to get sick of being the us because american hospital families for people like me who were fortunate enough to have health insurance are devoted to keep you comfortable. they give you a good amount of pain medicine. and asking many health related questions that are really centered on pain -- being comfortable. now, this does not happen in nigerian hospitals. hospitals. it is not so much that nigerians like discomfort.
7:59 pm
it is rather that nigerian hospitals are not so interested in keeping you comfortable while treating you as they are and simply treating you. and nigerians expect pain and discomfort. they are assumed to be part of the process of healthcare and i suppose life in general. needless to say if i if i were to undergo surgery i would much rather be oblivious lehigh happy. [laughter] too much pain medication and not. life is complicated enough. there are many other possible sources of pain. but pain. but this american hospital culture is an example of a larger american ideal. the addiction the addiction to comfort. this addiction to comfort this primacy of comfort as an idea which might be harmlessly convenient and hospitals and drive-through banks often leads to a kind of silencing in public
8:00 pm
discourse, a dangerous silencing. the fear of causing offense the fear offense, the fear of wrestling the careful layers of comfort because of fetish. things are not said questions and asked. we human beings i think, generally censor ourselves all the time. we hold back because we all already preset and the narrative to which are loyal but only until i came to america did i become so finely attuned to how you should say things and how not to say things in public discourse. i learned that in public conversations about american problems especially problems to race poverty income race, poverty income inequality with a goal is not truth. he goes comfort.
8:01 pm
comfort for all comfort for all but in reality comfort for the more powerful. and the burden to be comfort sensitive in public discourse. the burden has been placed on those least included. mainstream public conversations are usually not including multiple options. always troubled me how quickly people in media are fired for something they have said, not because i like her support what they say. i often don't but because it is the silencing that leads to a larger kind of silencing. acta firing a person for which is said without engaging with what was said almost suggests that what was said had a certain power if not truth. even the literary world is a
8:02 pm
bit a bit difficult. why, for example, is it criticism in america for discard piece of literature from having something coal production. wonderfully call this the cult of hope. we speak at the ugly side of human nature. we ourselves inherently are incapable of such of the acts and because we are unwilling to recognize within ourselves the possibility of what horrifies us, it leads to a kind of silencing. as do many universities, the united states is well-meaning interest in the protection of the students
8:03 pm
can often degenerate into an insular, -right-curly-bracket where certain questions are not asked where quotes of silence remain unchallenged and where ignorance is never admitted to. and in my opinion the ability to admit to ignorance is a wonderful thing. the movement on social media, transitory and shall not reach its also often tools silencing. a recent example close to home for me was the bring back our goals campaign. there was something the world's proper celebrity photograph. but then but then the same can be said of many things in the world. what was troubling what was troubling to me was how the idea of bring back our girls spark conversations. it simplified activities and
8:04 pm
principles, if one can use those words. the truth is that it is not any more socialistic than the mainstream society. handbook overrun has a task force i cannot voice, murder boys, targeted boys as they have done girls. but the narrative has been forced to fit an easy and internationally digestible model. forced to bend to preexistent forms so that it could become exclusively about girls being kidnapped so that we can say just like the taliban in pakistan. vocal around opposes western-style education for both girls and boys. in the aftermath of the horrible kidnapping the loud but shallow bore of
8:05 pm
international digestibility led to a silencing of the more complex and more accurate story of this murderous movement. it is censorship to tell half the story. it is censorship to neglect context. it is censorship to force a story to fit into something that already preexists. and above all in my thinking about censorship in america the most egregious example is the us supreme court decision in citizens united that money is speech. if a country decides that money is speech went through speech is dead. [applause]
8:06 pm
when i was growing up i love going to church. i no that i no that sounds a bit odd but it's true. my family went to st. peter's roman catholic chapel the tall white building on the capitol building capitol building of nigeria. i loved the latin prayers. the smell of incense the priests's in they're green or wed or white flowing robes command they seem to float into the church procession. the chapel was run by the holy ghost father, a father a congregation of priests who were mostly university lectures and whose order which was irish and origin had a history of social justice. in the 1840s for example they worked, they worked with free slaves in haiti. the holy ghost father ran a
8:07 pm
church that as far as roman catholic churches don't was opened, progressive, welcoming. the sunday sermons were boring and comforting and safe's. after mass people hang around hugging, gossiping in front of the church until the sprawling church compound slowly emptied. that changed hands. now now run by a priest who was singularly focused on women's justice. a list of close. mostly responses. they had appointed a brigade of boys the religious religious police whose job
8:08 pm
it was to stand by the door. examine each woman examine each woman as she approached and decided it other than who cannot. it was an abstract outreach years have passed and loss in distance. and then i went to visit her parents. i wore long skirts and a short blasts and ordinary everyday outfit. i would have found it in different circumstances both very sad and very funny yes midterm back. my sleeves were too short.
8:09 pm
i could not going to the church unless i had a short. i felt outraged. this church was part of my childhood part of my carefully preserve mandate of the time filled with joy. it challenged my own memory, my own sense of my past. if i allowed it to change too much i thought that i was somehow feeling my memory of it, something needed to be done. so i decided to write an article about the incident and the most widely read newspaper in the region. i thought the sense of romantic grandiosity and the article would trigger actions that the university community would finally rise up and say enough and petition the bishop of the
8:10 pm
pope or whoever made the decision and get this thrown out. even if that did not happen if this wondrous revolution did not happen i was sure that i would at least be supported. after. after all, many people in the committee felt as i did. they said so in private conversation. i was sure that all those university women have begun to wrap themselves in shawls would support me. but all the men would 2nd my thoughts. but that did not happen. instead, i. instead, i was astonished by the amount of disparaging feedback i received i was
8:11 pm
struck by how many of these responses did not so much engage with the argument i had made but instead focused on the o sensible ostensible reason why i did not have the right to speak at all. i was young i was a i was a female challenging a man of god, and the need to shut up i found it interesting that the priests repression of women and some strange strangers pushback came from a similar gender control of women, the dehumanization of women. this impulse exists, by the way and have nice lowball the true. for example, women writers i expected to make the female characters likable. as though the full humanity
8:12 pm
must in the end fit the careful limitations of likability. so what happens after i publish that article about the church? the abuse, the hostility of strangers mainly let go of the foolish idea that it comes with the certainty of widespread support. it does not. if i no the backlash that would come what i have written it anyway? the honest answer is i don't know. i do know for certain i would do it again today today, but this time i would do it with very few expectations. i realize that speaking out was something that had to be done always with the expectation of much more
8:13 pm
negativity and not. and it also made me think about why one should speak out why one would speak out's. why did i write this piece of the church? because it didn't matter to me. i felt what was going on was a matter of ugly injustice and because i believed albeit naïvely, that my attitude make a difference for the better. intent matters. the intent behind speech matters. our reason for speaking out matters. intent matters. i do not also just that are intent must be noble over the. i've never done very well with the ability myself, but that it is made and deeply felt way intentions must be true. there is something empty.
8:14 pm
about speaking speak as to us because you can are about speaking with the sole intention to perform. by the way, to end the story of what happened in the church that day i insisted on being let in. i brushed aside i brushed aside the religious police and walked in and sat down and that they did not end well. [laughter] the priest was informed of the stubborn person who was showing too much female armed. the priests call that if altar. and after mass unpleasant words were exchanged to put it mildly. so there was nothing noble. i have often been told that i i cannot speak on certain issues because i am young. you should be" really. female or to use the
8:15 pm
disparaging nigerian speak because i'm a small girl. a man my age is nigerian state's. have often been told i should not speak because of a fiction writer and i should stick only to fiction writing, but but i am as much a citizen as i am a writer. both of those both of those can coexist, sometimes they need and sometimes they don't. the nigerian government recently passed a law that criminalizes homosexuality. all was in such things i want to be widely talked about in nigeria and widely supported. it legitimizes language for the demonization of a group of people and it's a
8:16 pm
language that precipitated actions. people were attacked for being gay. there was also silence many people. i people. i decided to write about it because it matters very much to me that my fellow nigerian citizens were being attacked for no reason and because there was the possibility of there being an attack citizenship was less worthy than that of others. and so i decided to write about it as a citizen as a citizen who was fortunate enough to have a voice because my writing. i hope to try and change just one mind to try and give one person to rethink the idea that another human being is inherently worthy of disdain because of that being is in love with. i expected a lot of backlash. i wasn't bothered.
8:17 pm
use after the incident i now know to expect that simply comes with the territory. what did surprise me was how personal it became. people, family to ask me to quote unquote show. the family member that to fire's because of the peace i had written because according to the bar she came from a family that supported evil. my experience with censorship is shaped by my difference all. in my life as a private person to person and family and friends, a person who loves and is loved censorship is present in different degrees i often censor myself.
8:18 pm
my family members do not always believe what i do not not always believe that they do but we love each other. and in certain conversations i choose not to say certain things. i asked myself what is the intent. what will this achieve? there are stories that i will not tell will certain people alive. certainly i alive. certainly i could tell them. i have the right itself, but i choose not to because of the because of the need to protect the people alive and to shield them from harm. but in my but in my life as a citizen and as a writer i have less comfortable with willingly sounds myself. to choose to write in some ways is to reject silence, silence, but it is always a process of negotiating
8:19 pm
self-censorship. and so in general i we will not i will not silence myself because in my work because of the fear of consequences, but i am willing to acknowledge the possibility of consequences. when i wrote my 2nd novel which is set during the nigerian war i was prepared for backlash because i was writing about the contested history. and the consequences today are that in some circles my nigerian patriotism questioned. because i speak unapologetically about the equality of men and women
8:20 pm
and because i am an advocate of the rights of gay people to live the life of a cop of africa my true africanists is questioned in some circles. these are consequences i can can live with. but what about my own complicity? i make a conscious effort to have the diversity of voices because i i believe the way we see it is shaped my experience. again man came to the workshop. one of the workshop participants read a story without a plot celebration of language.
8:21 pm
i found i found a beautiful. perplexed by it. this is not even a story committee said. nothing happens in it. and most of all it is not teaching us anything. it's ashamed of my response. my response was sent to -- shaped by mainstream idea. promote literature. that is a question the usefulness of literature. and so my response exactly that. i was silencing him telling
8:22 pm
him he had no standing in which to ask the question. still unconvinced. later in thinking about this november stories much of the the moral is. i have had that question mostly nigeria, mostly in africa. the moral of the story. my response is that it does not have an overt moral but is up to the reader. i reader. still believe although i do think every known as a worldview's. of course the more or less
8:23 pm
that we don't want to go in the territory. but asking that day was really a much bigger and i think very important question. does it matter? does writing matter? does literature matter? there are schools in different parts of the world today that are increasingly downplaying the teaching of our literature the sorts of serious disciplines. and maybe the question came from the general idea of usefulness. and so she was and so she was right and questioning the usefulness of the wanted a peace. i don't have to justify
8:24 pm
whatever value. you either get it or you don't. which is what i like to call the (literature. the truth is that there are many, many intelligent good, kind people in the world who don't value literature and even more on a litter. but that's. [inaudible] we could begin suffering the edges of our definition's. what is it mean to be useful? does usefulness end of the concrete? if something doesn't ultimately lead to a job does it mean it's not useful? we humans are not a collection of logical won't
8:25 pm
flush. we are emotional beings. so food and shelter matter. what else matters? and so i wish i had not silenced colucci. i wish i had engaged in told him what i now think which is that i now think, which is that our definition of usefulness to now. our idea of what a lesson should be was a slut. every story teaches us. we're always. we are more alike than we think. different and how we train. i read for many reasons, one of which is to be consoled. consolation is used. if i had engaged and if he had remained unconvinced i would no i had tried and i would not think less of them because it defines useful in
8:26 pm
a way that is different than how i define it. i would very much like to learn concretely useful things because my knowledge is sadly limited. but i would not want to live if i were not able to have the consolation the stories get. and for this reason i will stand and speak for the right of everyone, everyone the tell his or her story. thank you for listening. [applause] >> thank you so much.
8:27 pm
[inaudible conversations] >> first, let me say that while you may have thought concern about having to come out-concerned. that was -- [applause] >> so exquisitely brave and also lucky that you came to new york to do it today. >> thank you. >> let me begin i think with the lecture itself. i was itself.
8:28 pm
i was interested in by your description of comfort's and the ways in which censorship and does emerge in the united states. many of us in this room are deeply aware. and then the question of the society in which there is no -- more openness. i openness. i wonder whether you can explain the nature of social censorship not the censorship that comes from government the social censorship and self-censorship very different. >> i don't think david open's were expecting pain and discomfort part of life. america addicted to comfort i do think that in nigeria
8:29 pm
they have nigerian they have lived in the us went back home, people would sometimes say something and i would find the american as part of me go -- into the people it was not what they had said was not worthy of the reaction. so i think it's simply a a different way of being in seeing. in nigeria people are not as -- i mean i mean i think the intent is the us is well-meaning. this is a society and the kind of way that it is -- it has its roots in the diverse coming together people but is constantly making remaking itself. there's something troubling about it. it refuses to go deep. the intention is good. in nigeria i in nigeria i
8:30 pm
don't know that there is any such intention. [laughter] >> and do you think that the experience that you have is one of feeling slightly out of place in both societies? ..
8:31 pm
>> >> i like the idea of all one milk. [laughter] having options. i remember being horrified at the supermarket and that the wide is people need the entire aisle for serial? [laughter] cornflakes is line. cornflakes with berries or this or that but i do think
8:32 pm
it is not so much having lived in the united states or spending time in both places but will always felt i was slightly removed and i was always watching. it isn't indignation because we do have a close-knit family and but i always feel i am one step removed. i am always watching. whenever situated anywhere. >> do you think of storytelling as a moral act? you said you wanted to go deep. [laughter]
8:33 pm
>> if i give very uncomfortable. i have to think about that. >> and get back to me. in telling of stories that you have told you gave the ted talked of the parallel of a single story that is the nature and the understanding into any story with the ways they're archer project. for those of have shifted or evolve. has writers are citizens to break down to the single tierney.
8:34 pm
i don't think enough time is spent listening and i also think ed is easy to dismiss the role the power of faith. it is easy to dismiss it. as an example in this country i think if it is really lovely if we don't stop pretending anybody can speak about anything in it depends on the level that they occupy. [applause] i can speak to myself. it is important that i listen and i try to look at
8:35 pm
almost every opportunity. i'm also just a hopeless the of people's stories which i think is lovely because it forces you to bring gauge. if people are up in their studios and. i don't talk course listen to anybody of which we do less than that large to less of hiding behind it. it is a willful refusal to getting gauged again. particularly in the u.s..
8:36 pm
so you think about america america, look at the contemporary literature. [applause] but there is a hiding behind art. you know . [laughter] if i could tell people what to do. [laughter] i then have strains of dictatorship in my blood. [laughter] >> host: as you say that about listening with my own mother cruz said when i was little they could listener
8:37 pm
is more interesting than a good talker. that is fundamental. with that part of literature but i am interested the way and passed to be addressed to those who have left power those are already being heard. if your role as a writer is to employ full -- simplify points of view for those who may not make it to the surface. >> i hope that i can and i have that i will. that is important to me. also i want to address the people because they need to do the listening. the people without power, they don't have a choice. they listened.
8:38 pm
[laughter] i felt use an example of nigeria but like other privileged nigerians when people talk about anybody can speak about anything but there is nothing he says because of the position he occupies in the world with the kind of power and finesse maltose universe --
8:39 pm
and a small and close universe. i think that for me what i would of powerful people to do. i don't have as much power as i would like. [laughter] but really of a like people to behave more aware. it is very easy i don't want to suggest they are not because they are not but simply in a position of power is so much easier not to know because the reason what goes on in baltimore but he talked about your country's history. [applause] but again is not because they're evil or malicious
8:40 pm
but he makes that obliviousness possible that you don't need to know what. >> there is always that kept - - difficulty people will speak for those who are disenfranchised tuesday a truth to power to allow those places to reach there is always creches of how much power someone has it is true that on the one hand you are powerful but but the riches and disenfranchisement the to move between the eight your position of power or do use it securely. >> guest: or the other
8:41 pm
option of powerlessness. i think there are times and places in my life lamp powerful and times when i am not. so talking about not having as much power as a live televised to have more than i have. >> host: if there is a thing i can do to help. [laughter] >> guest: but the groups that we occupy in the world, i like to joke to say there is three people with race, class, gender. class is additional privilege gender and race not so much but it is contextual. in nigeria i am deeply aware
8:42 pm
of the limitations of gender if the id with the security man who says hello to him but not to me? that basic argument of people say that sort of thing outside of nigeria i'm much more aware of race as a prison but is just really annoying. [applause] but what is interesting about race for me to grow a penitentiary garner never
8:43 pm
quite sure what it says about race. so of by walking into a store for example, the storekeeper is true that i think the possible options are he is having a bad day the store keeper is an idiot and rude to everybody. are that he doesn't like black people. the other option is to of knowing. [laughter] >> and living in baltimore the issue of race has been in the headlines lately. what is your sense that question of race does to people sense of
8:44 pm
disenfranchisement? is it in additional power of powerlessness? >> no. i don't want to pretend that the experience of of a deposition on -- deprivation of the system it of you the same way as people of west baltimore and to pretend that i do but i do think the question vansittart structural increasingly i find myself asking when you have a policeman that shoots a black man or choked him or whenever he lies dead in their delicate him as equally human as themselves my question is what happened? what did america do to these
8:45 pm
people to get them to the place and they cannot recognize the humanity of another human being. [applause] >> amanda shot in the pact -- a man was shot in the back. another human being and he dies. sometimes i watch people kill cows and even they have more emotion. we can talk about it what does it do to our souls? >> that is the question not to see all other human beings as human.
8:46 pm
and to be able to translate so that they can be heard in the ears of the powerful that is precisely what you are trying to turn around. but under that press freedom in ferguson there is the real feeling that if ferguson there was the exposure of reporting or discourse and access and to be extremely frightening and it is helpful of american censorship as it grows through the abilities to help the stories to use the plural of what is happening
8:47 pm
there and of the of the same degree of baltimore. >> when was this? man when they went to fergus said immediately after the shooting to report on what was going on and they lead to certain neighborhoods are certain seasons - - scene said they were corralled at headquarters in denied access that they legally had the right to. it is a frightening episodes to see how a local police department was not only implicated in that horrifying story the also to be culpable of turning the national discourse cannot understand the humanity of people living in another way. but what about identity?
8:48 pm
i feel that it run-through a great deal of what do you think it needs coherent surge you think as a storyteller it has its identity? >> i think my sense of one step removed is simply too i am hands apart of who i am. i am not sure i suppose of your black writing about black people it becomes about identity. i don't know.
8:49 pm
i have many problems in my life but that is not one of them. [laughter] and here is the thing. to be tied up with a kennedy is the america phenomenon. is interesting. the intent was the evil woman is very important to me. with my views of ethnicity i
8:50 pm
know my history. my a nigerian or my african lore in america. if it matters to read. if i did it come to america i don't think it was half that with that said there are many other things. i think of myself as the writer and a dreamer. so i don't know. but when you sit there in front of your computer you don't remember that you are blacks from africa so i've not battling with identity.
8:51 pm
i really am not. >> host: but you did just talk about african writers to give some representation in the u.s. and two african voices. is there such a thing as the african police? what do you think you're doing? [laughter] >> guest: vice of those it is two different things but i don't want to be dismissive of those who have children issues of identity of where i was born or raised. i know people who don't have that. for those people i love and admire those that are
8:52 pm
searching for identity but as a citizen as one whose occupies though world but the african stories to be told by the african people. [applause] i find myself having unreasonable rage. [laughter] when i watch the news and something in africa is being covered. it is so interesting about kong go in the eye constantly think to myself.
8:53 pm
you think about it if i've been nigeria the americans are telling the story. or it is a french person is not from the part of the world that i come from and they do feel strongly about that. but i do think it does of a disservice to the people who are hearing this story because you miss out on the new ones and the context and i just think about people who don't have the context that i have and have will really come to understand if we're not told this story is
8:54 pm
in a way that is fully done? so i am excited and it has been wonderful and probably one of the best. [applause] this reminds me of the nigerian musician from the interview was asked what his favorite kind of music was use the western classical music. he was surprised he said it gives my visions a kick but africans give everybody a kick. [laughter] think that is why it is so much fun for everybody. >> host: african
8:55 pm
literature as well. space to tell us what you are working on? >> guest: note. [laughter] >> guest: to share what you are working on? >> host: nobody wants to hear it. [laughter] >> guest: alternately i am very superstitious. i don't like to talk about things in progress. >> host: let's go back to what you talked about in your words to quickly cover because they will be at a time to speak of the absence of african voices to explain
8:56 pm
what is happening. what would it take to have a more authentic understanding? i was struck by the article from the times that there was the boko haram massacre of about this time time the episode in paris it was on frontpage around of rolled and the ravaging it nigeria was barely covered of most of the western press. what is the structure of that ad may interpret boko haram that is that in the interest of belgium point of view. >> guest: i found the older i get the less interested ibm and how the west sees africa and the more interested ibm how it
8:57 pm
sees itself. before i would have been angry but now i am much more interested in kenya helping nigeria's then the u.s. really. there is the power again in the example the nigerian journalists was to get the interview with the data syrian president the nigerian one is more likely to get the interview. that is a problem. average just of being stupid [laughter] really of above to be more articulate on this problem but don't know if i have a solution. [laughter] so what happened in paris or
8:58 pm
nigeria, it is harder to get access to the front of the jury that has been overrun by boko haram and it is much easier to disparage but i think the people who make them -- in decisions it doesn't make them evil lebed but i wish boko haram was on the cover of every african newspaper but it was not. and i am not saying that i am becoming an isolationist because i am not. but increasingly the and not as interested as a use to be the idea that the western
8:59 pm
way is what should be the subjects from continental africa. also the there is so much about the continent. [applause] there are just things that are outdated i find myself so much more interested to think and talk about those things than to be known the fact that the coverage of the ebola. idolaters get started. [laughter] >> host: having said that
9:00 pm
of course, i think half of them to be transformed to that many people were not african understood alleys that part of the history of your kedgeree. while another lengthy internal ideas but one of the great achievements of your working is that it has allowed people who are not african to have a sense of intimacy with experiences that were previously that could not understand the fuel -- full humanity. >> guest: that makes me very happy. thank you. [applause] >> host: it is time to wrap up so i of what to say as a gay american i am deeply thankful for that position and have taken
9:01 pm
about homosexual oddity in nigeria. [cheers and applause] and tuesday i am thrilled to see you again after far too long. thank you very much. [cheers and applause] [applause]
9:02 pm
stead festival itself over. thank you jim my staff you guys are amazing. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations]

98 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on