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Walled In – Banned Books Week 2019 (David Hare and Ben Okri)


For Banned Books Week 2019, David Hare and Ben Okri discuss the history of real walls and their impact on writing, and how imagined walls figure in literature.

Thirty years ago, the Berlin Wall was pulled down. With the resurgence of interest in the boundaries and borders of nations across the world, is the symbol of that wall still potent in 2019? Do walls and censorship go hand-in-hand? For Banned Books Week, David Hare and Ben Okri discuss the history of real walls and their impact on writing, and how imagined walls figure in literature. David Hare is a playwright and film-maker. He has written over thirty plays which include Plenty and Skylight. His many screenplays include The Hours, The Reader and the Worricker trilogy. Ben Okri is a poet, novelist, essayist, short story writer and playwright. His novels include the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, the first in a trilogy, and The Freedom Artist, published in 2019.

Their conversation is chaired by Samira Ahmed – a freelance journalist, writer and broadcaster at the BBC, where she presents Radio 4’s Front Row and Newswatch on BBC1. She is the host of the Intelligence Squared podcast ‘How I Found My Voice’

This is a Banned Books Week event in partnership with the British Library, English PEN, Free Word, Hachette UK, Index on Censorship, Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, Libraries Connected, Media Diversified and The Publisher’s Association.

Recorded on: September 23, 2019
Recorded at: British Library Knowledge Centre