leila slimani, welcome to hardtalk. you‘re watching bbc news. thank you. i‘m rico hizon in singapore. our top story. the headlines. britain's revoked the citizenship your novel adele which is being of shamima begum, the london teenager who ran away at the age published for the first time the british government says of 15 to join the islamic in english, is about a woman a teenager who travelled to syria state group in syria. who is addicted to sex to marry an islamic state fighter the family of ms begum say they are very and we are talking about sex, disappointed by the decision, will be stripped of her citizenship. and are considering all legal which is she goes in search of cold, avenues to challenge it. the catholic church in india is hit brutal, they are encounters. karl lagerfeld, a giant of the fashion world, has died at the age of 85. by allegations of sexual abuse, where you setting up to shock? he'd been the creative director for chanel and fendi. and this video is not at all. trending on bbc.com. when you are writing a book, you are not thinking of shocking i‘m kasia madera in london. a close call for nhl also in the programme... commentator pierre mcguire the readers and writing about taboo. when he almost got hit in the face now, you just want to explore a chinese businesswoman‘s jailed with a puck during the game the soul of someone and try for 15 years in tanzania for leading one of africa‘s biggest between tampa bay lightning to understand if the character and columbus bluejackets. of someone who was mysterious, luckily the discjust missed, someone who fascinates you. ivory smuggling rings. hitting a tv camera, and adele was fascinating me but no—one was harmed. and a hollywood star in rehab. so ijust tried to understand her we visit thailand‘s famous film and i was hoping that maybe my reader would feel location maya bay as it recovers from over—tourism. some empathy for her. that's all. stay with bbc world news. but it is quite hard to feel empathy live from our studios for her because she is not in singapore... a particularly nice character. no, but she is suffering. she doesn't understand herself. she tries to figure out why she is acting this way, but she doesn't know. you're watching the bbc news channel
i think she is completely and a warm welcome to viewers joining us on bbc one. lost and very lonely. feeling empathy doesn't mean that i'll be back at 1:0, you are going to like someone, but that you're going to recognise the fact that he is a human but now it's time for hardtalk. being and that he is suffering like you can suffer. but she is not a typical female role in the book? were you setting out welcome to hardtalk. to subvert stereotypes? i'm sarah montague. no, but i remember that my father told me when i was a teenager — one day people will recognise that living what recognise france's president macron gavejob of promoting french language as much flaws as men, and culture around the world. she is one of the most famous french authors despite only having written two novels. one of them, lullaby, and that day we would be equal. a story of infanticide was a publishing sensation and has one day people recognise been translated into a0 languages. that we have dark sides like men. the fact that we always want women what draws her to such a dark vision of femininity? to be nice and gentle and soft, and what difference could she make i think it is a tool to dominate them and put them in a box. to the way france and its language are viewed around the world? and i think it is important to explore our flaws and dark sides. and she certainly has some. she is not nice, gentle, soft in any way. she is also a mother.
it is an interesting mix, but one you set out to explore in part. yes, she is a mother and wife and journalist. in a certain way, she has it all. but she is disappointed by all that because everyone told her to marry and have a child and a good job and a nice apartment in paris, then she will be happy. and i think that she discovers that she is not. and she finds her husband boring. she finds motherhood tedious. and very difficult. and she finds that her job as a journalist is not that interesting. she is very lazy, too. another flaw. so i think that she is looking for something else. she wants more. i wanted also to ask this question — and a lot of women want more but they did not dare to say or express the fact that they want more than a husband and a child and a job. i have to ask you because she, like you, was a failed
actress turned journalist, who then has a child. a remarkable situation to your own. yeah. but i chose literature instead of sex addiction. and that is how i wanted more and i had more. but i think that maybe if she had a passion like i have, she would probably not be in this situation. you talk about the freedom when you give life, having a child, there is also something that dies in you. you are in grief, there is something in your past, you feel a certain nostalgia for the woman you were before. if that how you felt when having a child? yeah, that is how i felt. i felt that something new is beginning, something wonderful. of course i loved my son, but i must say that the first feeling i had when i looked at my son for the first time was not love, but it was fear. fear that something could happen to him. fear of the fact that someone was depending on me and i would never be alone again. and that it would never be able to become completely selfish again and someone was counting on me.
that was terrible for me. when adele came out, the response in morocco i think surprised you because of the conversations it opened up with women. yes, a lot of women came to me and talk to me about their sexual life. their intimacy. a lot of them told me, ‘you know, i identify to adele because she lies because she lies all the time, and as a moroccan woman i lie all the time,‘ because in morocco sexual intercourse are for bedding when you are not married.
homosexuality is forbidden, abortion. a lot of women have to lie when it comes to sexual topics. your family are from morocco. yeah, and i was born and raised in morocco. were you surprised by the things they were saying? yes, and i was surprised by the fact that they want so much to speak out. i was surprised by the fact that the more you speak and conquer your dignity. at the beginning the women were looking like this and more they spoke to me and the more they were standing up and looking me and looking me in the eyes, and i could feel that telling me their story was helping them to heal, to feel that maybe their story counts. right, which has prompted you to put an essay together of what had been said to you and your response to it. also on this question of freedom — you talk about, ‘freedom in our arab world, is torture if not a tragedy,‘ and that is because of the effects of a woman if she chooses to be free. as a lot of people, i was an idealist and i thought that every human being wants to be free. for me it was obvious. but it is not. actually a lot of people prefer security to freedom, or money to freedom.
it is very difficult to choose to be free because you must be able to sacrifice a lot. i think it is particularly difficult for women because you are educated as a woman to be a giver and take care of others — your children, your parents — and to be able to sacrifice yourself as a mother for your children. so when you choose to be free, you have to choose also to disappoint people. and sometimes to be selfish, to do just what you want to do. and it‘s very difficult. there is another area in morocco which you have explored, this idea that if you choose to be free, for example in your sexual relations, you are then outcast from your society. yes. you are a pariah, marginalised, that is for sure. and you are very lonely. what is sad is that i talk to women
and they chose to be free, and at the end said, ‘i admire you so much, you are so brave,‘ and i said, ‘no, iam not brave and to be honest i regret what i did. if i had to redo it, i wouldn‘t do the same. and i will what each is to be free because it wasn‘t worth it.‘ do you blame islamic society for that? what are the reasons for that, is there a connection to islam? can you have that sort of freedom for women in islamic society? i wouldn‘t say with islam, i would say with religion. i think any religious society is very hard towards individual rights. it is the same in some regions in the us. it was the same in ireland when you saw with abortion and things like this. it is not only islam, it is religion. but any form of religion is incompatible with freedom for women? yeah, i think. it is an enemy of lemon. that says what about the arabic world? it says that we have two debate and evolve on those questions.
i think that there is an evolution, if you see the conditions of my grandmother or my mother and mine, it is very different. i have much more rights than my grandmother had. it was like 50 years ago. but you‘re living in france, though? yes, but it doesn‘t mean that i don‘t know what life is in morocco, and my mother lives in morocco. and when you go back, you‘ve got to have the same freedoms? yes, of course. let‘s turn to your other book, lullaby. it was a publishing sensation. it won france‘s most prestigious literary prize, sold a huge amount. you were inspired by a story in new york have a nanny who killed the two children in her care. why take that on it? actually i was not inspired by this story. i was writing the book when i was writing the story. i wrote it about a nanny coming into the family and wrote about 150 pages and sent it to my publisher.
he said, ‘yes, i like the idea, but the book is a little bit boring, it is always the same. you have to find something to put some tension in the narrative so the reader wants to read the book‘. one day i was reading the newspaper, and i read about this crime in new york, and i began to search about different kinds of crimes like this. it was a crime also in strasburg and i discovered the case of a british nanny who went to the us. i had the idea to begin the book with the murder of the children. what has been praised for is its depiction of modern mothering, an examination of what it is doing to society. the idea that you are outsourcing something that is an intimate relationship and commodifying it. yes. in a certain way, you wouldn‘t ask this question for a man because it is very natural that a man is going to outsource this — either to his wife or to a nanny.
but for a woman you always feel guilty to outsource this, as if it was your duty to take care of your children and you don‘t see it in the same way for men. so i wanted to ask the question — is it possible to have it all? i belong to a generation of women to whom our mothers said, ‘you can have it all — a job, children, marry or not marry, you can do whatever you want. you are free women‘. but the day we have everything, we get conscious that it is very difficult to be a good mother and professional and individual at the same time. the message in the story is it is not possible, your children are murdered. there is no message in the story. literature is not here to get a message, it is just a story. can you have it all? i think so, yeah. i have it all. despite what seems to be suggested here... it is just a story. it is not because one nanny killed two children that every nanny
is going to kill children. in real life, the majority of nannies are wonderful women to help you to be at the same time a mother and professional. it is not because of that, that every nanny is a killer. so the outsourcing is necessary if you want that? yeah, i think so. i think everyone needs help. and it is not a shame to ask for help. the other thing you do with this book is the subverting of stereotypes. i imagine you deliberately set out to do this, where the mum is actually north african and the nanny is white. i don‘t know if you had even thought about that. yes, it was a little bit ironic because i think it is sad and very cliche that in books or movies immigrants are victims people are dominant — and it is not true.
actually now in france you have a lot of immigrants and especially from north africa, who are dominant and employees and who have nanny and maids. so it is interesting. i thought for her, she is right and the only right nanny and she is the type of immigrants. when she goes to the park, the other nannies come from africa so she feels very lonely and humiliated that she is doing ajob of immigrants. because she is a bit racist. it was interesting me to build a character who is very lonely. your editorsaid, "under the simplicity of her writing "the efficiency of her narration, there is something dark. "this darkness is the enormous trauma of the injustice
"that was caused to her father who we see now dedicates every day "and every moment of her life. i suppose he is right. not an exact way. i think he gave me a lot of strength. i want my father, wherever he is, to be proud of me. we should explain what happened to your father. he was morocco‘s economy minister in the late 70s and then he was chief executive of a moroccan bank. but then there was a financial scandal. he was indicted for embezzlement and misappropriation and he was imprisoned, and it was only after he died that he was posthumously acquitted of all charges. exactly. do you feel that you still need to right that wrong? need to write about the story? well, perhaps. i will. it will probably be the most important book of my life. i never investigated this case, and never tried to understand and i never asked questions about that because it was so hard so hard experience that.
i didn‘t want to bother my mother with that. i think in a few years i will want to write something about my father. he said it was the end of your childhood and all of a sudden you wondered this whole world was in the midst of falling apart. yes, but at the same time. i discovered a part of morocco that i would never have discovered if my father was not in prison. i discovered prison and injustice. the violence and the government and the violence of politics in mark—up. i think maybe i felt empathy for for lots of people in morocco. i think i‘m probably not the one who suffered the most in my country. a lot of people suffer more than i did. you‘re in a situation now as a result of the success of your books.
you were posed to become the first minister of culture. but you turned it down and took on the role instead of promoting french language and culture overseas, an ambassador to the french speaking world. that you take this on at a time when the president and the man who gives you the job, says, "french will be the first says, "french will be the first "language of africa and perhaps of the world if we know how to do it in the coming decades. "let‘s take this challenge together and be ambitious." do you agree with him, that french should be the first thing which of the world? yes, why not? but i don‘t think it is aggressive or we want to impose french people. that is the opposite. what i expect is that so many people will fall in love with this wonderful language and will want to learn french and will want to speak french. when you go to africa, french language is very different in different cities. people speak different languages
with different expressions and metaphors and poetry, and it is wonderful to hear that. now new artists in those countries try to promote this french language, and i think it is wonderful. you know immediately there were some suspicion and irritation and anger at this idea. the congolese writer said, "i think francophoni operates as a form of colonial control" and he talked about the organisation never challenges african dictators who manipulate constitutions or rig elections. france still welcomes the two dictators. the organisation never criticise systems that date back to our so—called independence. he criticises it as a neocolonial situation and it‘s time to expose it. i completely agree with him. what — the control by france? yeah, and i think that is exactly why emmanual macron chose me,
because i completely agree with him. he is a great friend of mine and helps me a lot in my work. i think we have to change that, that this organisation is too old and it has to renew itself, that french language should not now be imposed to a population. that is exactly the contrary. it is now the national population who should embrace this french language and make it ours and possess it. so i think that is completely right. so there is not a conflict between what president macron is saying on the one hand about conquering the world with french and you saying no, there should be... no. because when emmanual macron spoke in french, he said we don‘t own the french language. french language is not french, french language is moroccan, senegalese, cambodian. that is what is interesting. it is not ours, it is not french. but there is more recently criticism from italy‘s deputy prime minister — who said france has never stopped
colonising african states. he said the eu should sanction france and all countries like france that impoverish africa that make these people leave. because africa should be in africa, not at the bottom of the mediterranean. i think i wouldn‘t comment on this statement. i think what he says it‘s completely stupid and irrelevant in general. he is not a man i want to comment. because he is wrong? he is wrong in so many ways. not only in what he says about france, but in everything, i think. but he is not alone in criticising france over its approach to africa. there are a number of people. despite the rhetoric, france is not about to loosen france‘s paternalistic grip in africa.
i‘m not involved in macron‘s politics in africa. quite interesting, because i know as well you are not involved in these politics but you have been openly critical of his approach to comment about immigration. because you said he could have defended it with more and coldness when somebody was saying that people be sent out of france. so you are quite critical of the president‘s policies? no. just i say what i think. i don‘t belong to a court and i‘m not here just to say that i‘m ok with everything. when i‘m outraged or scandalized by something, i think it is important to speak out. i think that now in europe, the way that we treat immigrants is still outraging and so terrible that we as intellectuals and human being should speak out because one day we will regret that we had not. because what? because of the violence, in hungary
and even germany and poland, everywhere of the extreme rights against immigrants. i think it is very important to defend their dignity and their right to be respected. do you see that as pa rt to be respected. do you see that as part of your role and something you can do with the rls and ambassador? now, with my role as a human being. that is it. i don‘t think it belongs to my role as an ambassador. it is just me as a citizen, i think it is important to do what? to say look, on the one hand... to write, thatis on the one hand... to write, that is my one job, on the one hand... to write, that is my onejob, i am a writer so i use my pen and a piece of paper andi i use my pen and a piece of paper and i try to write when i think something is wrong. right, one of the things that france has seen over the things that france has seen over the last six months if the rise of people who are put on yellow vests effectively saying you cannot ignore me, this is the effect of a difference between those who would wear the yellow vests and the elite.
do you agree with that? do you have sympathy with that? yes. in france we call them the invisibles. you know even as a writer, i have always been interested in the invisibles, people that we don‘t look at and that we don‘t respect. that we ignore. i think not only in france but in many countries of the western world, and a lot of people feel that they are ignored. and they cannot live with dignity. of course it is very important that they can speak out and they can ask for help and for change. so when the np who is one of the few political figures in the movement says "anger is going to get rage the pride of the presidents, his lack of concessions area presidents, his lack of concessions are a machine of hatred" and he says he must leave before making our country crazy. do you have any sympathy? no, no. i don't. i don't have sympathy with violence. and i don‘t have sympathy with political
manipulation, the fact that they try to use a movement to win election and to be in the front of the spectacle, i don‘t like that. i think that we should alljust spectacle, i don‘t like that. i think that we should all just try to understand the situation and its complexity without violence and without trying to be the star of this thing. leila slimani, thank you for coming on hard talk. thank you. hello again. our weather has been pretty mild over recent days. we are about to turn the heat up even further. we will be jacking up some aircoming off the further. we will be jacking up some air coming off the northwest of africa. pushing past spain and
towards the uk as we get towards the end of the week. that will be posting temperatures. we could well see highs, given a bit of sunshine, getting as high as 18 celsius. that is just about possible. depends on how much sunshine we‘ll see. the next few days to look pretty cloudy even though it will be mild. at the moment the system is pushing its way northward san e—sports, bringing with it somewhat weather. over the next three hours, we do have some rain around across scotland and northern england. a few spots into the midlands. largely try and the south. some showers falling to northern ireland. you‘ll notice it isa mild northern ireland. you‘ll notice it is a mild start to wednesday. temperatures in the range of 7—11dc. wednesday, going to be a cloudy start for most of us with outbreaks of rain at times, particularly across northwestern areas. to be quite heavy at times for whales and northwest england and western scotland. it will be some sunshine coming out in the afternoon. the best chance of seeing that across east anglia and south east england and also for the northeast of
scotland, slowly brightening up for northern ireland. a mild day with temperatures between 11—1lidc. there wednesday evening and overnight, most of the main lease for a time, but there could be a few more splits and spots of rain and drizzle across oui’ and spots of rain and drizzle across our western coasts and heels. mostly mild night but with clear skies towards the and the countryside. he gets a bit cooler here. thursday was a greater prospect of seeing at least a little bit more in the way of sunshine breaking through. it will be be east of high ground, to the midlands and eastern wales not doing too badly. eastern areas of scotla nd doing too badly. eastern areas of scotland whereas many western areas are probably... not just scotland whereas many western areas are probably... notjust in the uk that has mild weather. across the saphenous vein as we head towards the weekend, we could see dust temperatures hit around 25 celsius. towards the end of the week pressure builds a little bit further. that should punch a few more holes in the cloud. perhaps a little bit of mist and fog for some to start the day.