Books saved my sanity, knowledge opened the locked places in me and taught me first how to survive and then how to soar.

- Gloria Anzaldùa

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March 25: How to Write About War

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Mar 25, 2022 

Are you shocked and distressed about the way in which war and displacement is being represented, reported and talked about right now? Think through this difficult topic with these writers, journalists, activists, scholars. Bhakti Shringarpure, Nadifa Mohamed, Suchitra Vijayan and Billy Kahora intervene in the moral and political crisis around the writing, reporting, representing and filming of war and all the extraordinary violence, plunder and displacement it perpetuates. 

Watch the conversation here:


Bhakti Shringarpure is a writer and educator who co-founded and edited Warscapes magazine for ten years before it transitioned into the Radical Books Collective. Her book Cold War Assemblages: Decolonization to Digital looks at the ways in which the Cold War thwarted decolonization movements in colonized regions and used soft power to shape their literary cultures.

Nadifa Mohamed is an award-winning Somali-British writer. She has published three novels and they all center historical research to retell stories of war, violence and justice through fiction. Her novel The Orchard of Souls is about three women trapped in Hargeisa as it sinks into war in the eighties. She was nominated for the Booker Prize for her novel, The Fortune Men that is based on the true story of Mahmood Mattan, a Somali sailor who was wrongfully executed in the UK in 1952 for a crime he didn't commit.

Suchitra Vijayan is a writer, photographer and activist. She is the founder and Executive Director of The Polis Project. For her book, The Midnight's Border: A People's History of India, Suchitra traveled across the 9000-mile Indian border. A barrister by training, she previously worked for the United Nations war crimes tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda before co-founding the Resettlement Legal Aid Project in Cairo, which gives legal aid to Iraqi refugees.

Billy Kahora is a writer and journalist from Kenya and now based in the UK. He was Managing Editor of the Kwani Trust and has edited several issues of Kwani and a sci-fi anthology titled Imagine 500 with Malawiian writers. His stories have been shortlisted for the Caine Prize For African Literature. He is the author of The Cape Cod Bicycle War And Other Stories and was a screenwriter for the films Soul Boy and Nairobi Half Life.