• 14​ 10​ 2017 •
Hari Kunzru On Creative License and Cultural Authenticity


Venue: studiobühneköln, Universitätsstraße 16a, 50937 Cologne
Combined ticket Hari Kunzru and Kader Attia: 3 €
Combined ticket Hari Kunzru and Filastine & Nova: 12 €
In English

Trespassing into otherness is a foundation of the novelist’s work, says writer Hari Kunzru, and the injunction to refrain from “cultural appropriation” sounds like a call for censorship, or at best a warning to self-censor, an infringement of the creative liberty to which so many people profess themselves attached. Yet attempting to think one’s way into other subjectivities, other experiences, is an act of ethical urgency, and one full of pitfalls and traps. Kunzru negotiates these issues in his most recent novel White Tears (2017). A ghost story and a terrifying murder mystery, it is a timely meditation on race, and a love letter to all the forgotten geniuses of the Mississippi Delta Blues – a music born of slavery and commandeered by the music industry. Kunzru’s novel presents a parable in which history itself seems to exact its revenge for this expropriation. Kunzru joins Academy member DAVID RIFF in a discussion on creative license and cultural authenticity, in an age where dissident voices of all kinds are shut down in the name of inviolable cultural authenticity.

Hari Kunzru (*1969 in London, UK) is the author of several successful novels. With The Impressionist (2002) he presented his widely recognized debut novel, followed by Transmission (2004), My Revolutions (2007), Gods Without Men (2011) as well as White Tears (2017) which has recently been published in German. Kunzru’s books have been translated into 22 languages and awarded with several prizes. The author lives in New York.