Elif Shafak

The revolutionary power of diverse thought

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"From populist demagogues, we will learn the indispensability of democracy," says novelist Elif Shafak. "From isolationists, we will learn the need for global solidarity. And from tribalists, we will learn the beauty of cosmopolitanism." A native of Turkey, Shafak has experienced firsthand the devastation that a loss of diversity can bring — and she knows the revolutionary power of plurality in response to authoritarianism. In this passionate, personal talk, she reminds us that there are no binaries, in politics, emotions and our identities. "One should never, ever remain silent for fear of complexity," Shafak says.

About the speaker
Elif Shafak · Novelist

Elif Shafak explicitly defies definition — her writing blends East and West, feminism and tradition, the local and the global, Sufism and rationalism, creating one of today's most unique voices in literature.

Elif Shafak explicitly defies definition — her writing blends East and West, feminism and tradition, the local and the global, Sufism and rationalism, creating one of today's most unique voices in literature.