Amin Maalouf and Karine Silla in conversation

Saturday 5 June 2021 at 3pm

Reversing the Gaze: Writing about Africa and the Middle East
Moderated by Oriane Jeancourt Galignani, writer and editor at Transfuge magazine
In French interpreted into English

This event will be livestreamed. You are more than welcome to ask questions to our invited writers:
* either directly during the event by sending a question over WhatsApp to this number: +41 79 926 42 51;
* or before the event by sending over a question by email to
Please make it clear to which writer you are directing your question. Thank you! 

Event translated into English: YouTube Live

In French: YouTube Live


Amin Maalouf was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1949. He studied economics and sociology and then worked as an international reporter until the Lebanese Civil War broke out in 1975. Maalouf and his family decided to leave their country and settled in Paris in 1976, where he became editor in chief of the newspaper Jeune Afrique. He published his first book, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, (Saqi Books, 1986) in 1983. In 1993, The Rock of Tanios, (Quartet, 1994), his fifth novel, won the Prix Goncourt. Amin Maalouf is a member of the Académie française and in 2010 was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature for his entire oeuvre and the National Order of Merit by the French state. His books, characterized by a deep humanism, are inspired by the history of Africa and the Middle East, and span cultures and continents. His work has been translated into fifty languages and his most recent book published in English Adrift; How our World Lost its Way (World Editions, 2020), mixes personal narrative and historical analysis to provide a warning signal for the future.


Karine Silla, a novelist, playwright, actress, scriptwriter and producer, was born in 1965 in Dakar, Senegal. In 1988, after her studies in New York, she returned to France, where she worked as an actress in various films including Sanguines (1988) or Jean Galmot, aventurier (1990) and, after 2001, as a producer and screenwriter for Peau d’ange (2002) and Un baiser papillon (2011). Her novels cover the themes of secrets, grief, abandonment and solitude. Aline et les hommes de guerre is her fourth novel (L’Observatoire, 2020). It tells the story of Aline Sitoé Diatta (1920-1944), the young female Senegalese heroine of opposition to the French colonial empire, a strong female symbol of resistance and liberty.