Festival Albertine: Beyond States and Borders
972 Fifth Ave.
212-650–0070 Price: Free
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As millions of refugees face increasing scrutiny and are turned away at borders across the world, we will ask basic questions about borders: What are they for? By what right are they created and policed? And how do we live now? Sophia Azeb, Aleksandar Hemon, and Guillaume le Blanc. Moderated by Masha Gessen.
Sophia Azeb is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago. Her current book project, Another Country: Constellations of Blackness in Afro-Arab Cultural Expression, theorizes translational blackness and Afro-Arab cultural traffic in the twentieth century. Her writing has appeared in the Chimurenga Chronic, The Funambulist, Africa is a Country, and KCET’s Artbound.
Guillaume le Blanc is a French philosopher and writer. He works on the question of exclusion, precariousness, and normality as well as epistemology, philosophy of science, and the dialectic between the normal and pathological. He is the author of Vies ordinaires, vies précaires (Seuil, 2007); L’invisibilité sociale (PUF, 2009), L’Insurrection des vies minuscules (Bayard, 2013).
Masha Gessen, staff writer at The New Yorker and professor at Amherst College, has written nine books, including The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the National Book Award for non-fiction in 2017; and The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. Gessen’s writings focus on themes such as Russian and American politics, dictatorships, autocracy, and L.G.B.T. rights. Gessen is also a science journalist, writing about AIDS, medical genetics, and mathematics. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, a Nieman Fellowship, and the Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary, Gessen spent more than twenty years as a journalist and editor in Moscow, and has been living in New York since 2013.
Aleksandar Hemon is a Bosnian fiction writer, essayist, and critic. His best known novels are Nowhere Man (2002) and The Lazarus Project (2008). He frequently publishes in The New Yorker, and has also written for Esquire, The Paris Review, the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, and the Sarajevo magazine BH Dani.
This event is part of Festival Albertine, an annual, five-day event hosted by Albertine Books, the bookshop and cultural center operated by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US. Inaugurated in 2014, Festival Albertine has become a vital summit for discourse between leading French-speaking and American thinkers. Previous curators include Ta-Nehisi Coates, Gloria Steinem and others.
Festival Albertine is made possible with major support from The Recanati-Kaplan Foundation, Susannah Hunnewell, Van Cleef & Arpels, Air France, Institut français, Onassis Foundation USA, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Emily and James Hamilton. Generous support is provided by Champagne Pommery and Intercontinental New York Barclay. Media Partner: The New York Review of Books.