Global fragmentation and the search for identity are reshaping the world. The last century has seen increasing waves of migration, often driven by the economics of wealth or war. The struggle to console country, culture and identity can be seen in all its urgency and complexity in the lives of migrants and clashes between these competing influences can turn some people towards extreme ideologies in the hope of finding simple solutions to complex problems.
Join three writers as they discuss the themes of migration and radicalisation that lie at the heart of their new books and demonstrate how it is possible, even imperative, to address these issues on the page.
Johannes Anyuru’s A Storm Blew In is part the story of a search for identity and part mourning for the loss of a homeland across two generations. The lyrical longing of Anyuru’s writing countenances a globalised world in which everywhere could be anywhere and nobody is wholly at home.
The same factors lead in a different direction in Tariq Mehmood’s Song of Gulzarina, which travels from Bradford to Pakistan and back again. Examining the politics of race and war and their relationship with radicalisation, it throws light on a world where local wars have global players and far-reaching consequences.
Tabish Khair’s Just Another Jihadi Jane tells the tale of Islamist radicalisation from inside the lives of two young, Yorkshire girls. Seduced by the extremist religious communities of social media, the girls flee England for Islamist Syria. Once there, they slowly realise that their new reality is a narrow, brutal universe apart from the one they had imagined.
This important event will examine the search for identity in an increasingly war-torn, fragmented world and the extreme consequences this can bring.