Studio B: Unscripted

Studio B, Unscripted: With Elif Shafak and Wole Soyinka

Two writers discuss the rewriting of history, culture wars, multiple identities and the storyteller’s duty to speak up.

In this episode of Studio B: Unscripted, renowned novelist and academic Elif Shafak sits down with award-winning playwright and essayist Wole Soyinka to talk nationalism, safe spaces, and the role of storytellers in the modern age.

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. Her latest book, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize. Shafak is also a celebrated public speaker and activist, championing women’s rights, minority rights and freedom of expression.

Wole Soyinka was the first black African to win a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986 and has a long history of fighting for social justice and human rights both within his country, Nigeria, and among the global African diaspora.

He famously described the primary focus of his work to be “the oppressive boot, and the irrelevance of the colour of the foot that wears it”.

With their wealth of knowledge and experience, and with an aim of bridging differences, Shafak and Soyinka dissect many of the biggest issues society faces today. From the challenges of resistance and speaking out, to having multiple identities and feeling like an outsider, they leave no stone unturned in this warm, frank, and unguarded conversation.

The views expressed in this programme are the guests’ own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

Studio B, Unscripted is a free-flow conversation between two guests and a small audience, with no mediation, no MC, no TV presenter … focusing on what brings us all together and how we can tackle and discuss some of the big issues of our time.