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Global Soul: writer and campaigner ELIF SHAFAK on art vs. anger

June 14, 2018 2:02 PM
By Nick Clegg
Originally published by South Lincolnshire Liberal Democrats

Nick CleggCan art defeat fascism? In the latest edition of ANGER MANAGEMENT, award-winning author, columnist and women's rights activist Elif Shafak talks to Nick about the seductive dangers of sameness, how Western countries' greatest weakness was our belief that we'd won all the big battles… and how we'll never turn back the tide of anger until we understand where it comes from.

"This is an age of emotions," Elif tells Nick, "and emotions are guiding and misguiding politics. In an age of anger we need to increase our emotional intelligence."

Born in Strasbourg and raised in Ankara, Madrid, Amman and Istanbul, the self-declared "linguistic nomad" Elif Shafak is one of the world's most influential writers, and the widest-read female writer in Turkey. In her non-fiction work and her ten acclaimed novels - including The Architect's Apprentice and The Bastard of Istanbul - she looks at identity, feminism and LGBT and women's rights.

  • "Countries can go backwards. Generations can make the same mistakes that previous generations did. But if we can learn anything, we will learn it from people who are not like us."

  • "Populist demagogues tell us we will be safer if we're surrounded by sameness. That is a lie."

  • "If you're a novelist from a non-democracy - or a wounded democracy like Turkey or Russia - you do not have the luxury of being non-political."

  • "The opposite of kindness and goodness isn't evil, it's numbness. What art does is rehumanise those people we've been told are not human."

Anger Management with Nick Clegg is created by Podmasters, producers of the hit Brexit podcast Remainiacs. Producer: Andrew Harrison. Studio production: Sophie Black.