Bernard-Henri Lévy & Elif Shafak: Misery, Hope and the Humanitarian Crisis
Bernard-Henri Lévy, Elif Shafak
Chair: Rafael Behr
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Two of the world’s most respected thinkers and speakers come together for the first time, live in London and streaming wherever you are. Bernard-Henri Lévy returns to Jewish Book Week ahead of the publication The Will to See: Dispatches from a World of Misery and Hope. In this stirring rebuke to indifference, he focuses on eight investigative trips he took shortly before the pandemic, taking us from an antisemitic ambush in Libya to an overrun refugee camp on Lesbos, via crises in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kurdistan, Nigeria, Somalia and Ukraine that lack attention or active responses. As well as winning awards and acclaim for her novels – including Blackwell’s Book of the Year for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, The Forty Rules of Love and The Island of Missing Trees – Elif Shafak is a TED Global speaker, a human rights advocate and the author of non-fiction including How To Stay Sane In An Age Of Division. Chaired by Guardian columnist Rafael Behr.
Bernard-Henri Lévy is a philosopher, filmmaker, activist, and the author of over thirty books, including The Virus in the Age of Madness and now The Will to See: Dispatches form a World of Misery and Hope. He is widely regarded as one of the West’s most important public intellectuals.Elif Shafak
Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She has published 19 books, 12 of which are novels. She is a bestselling author in many countries around the world and her work has been translated into 55 languages. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje Prize; and was Blackwell’s Book of the Year. The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among the 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. The Architect’s Apprentice was chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall’s inaugural book club, The Reading Room. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne's College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. She also holds a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Bard College. Shafak is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. She was a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart”. She has judged numerous literary prizes, including PEN Nabokov prize and she has chaired the Wellcome Prize. Recently Shafak was awarded the Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize for her contribution to 'the renewal of the art of storytelling.' www.elifshafak.com
Rafael Behr is a political columnist and leader writer for the Guardian. He is a former Political Editor for the New Statesman, Chief Leader Writer and Online Editor for The Observer, a business news reporter for BBC online and a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, based in the Baltic region and Russia. Rafael is a regular contributor to Prospect Magazine, a guest on BBC and Sky News and host of the Politics on the Couch podcast. Before becoming a journalist, Rafael was a political risk analyst covering countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. He studied modern languages Merton College, Oxford and took a Master’s degree in Russian Studies at the School for Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.