[CANCELED] Freedom Finds a Rhythm: Ben Okri, with Yacouba Sissoko on Kora

Concert
06 May 2020
7:00 pm-8:30 pm
The Center for Fiction
15 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217

Ben Okri’s novel, The Freedom Artist, creates a dystopia where books no longer exist, bookstores have been decimated, reading is strictly forbidden, and literacy is an imaginary skill. This allegorical story manages to maintain optimism while observing how gravely freedom and justice are threatened in a post-truth society. Join us for a powerful reading by this Booker Prize-winner, set to live music by the West African kora player Yacouba Sissoko. Okri’s words tell us about the dangers of manipulating national myths to fit present circumstances, the effects of power corrupting narratives of national history at large, and the power of myth to restore reason in spite of apparent political and cultural unease. Hosted by Anderson Tepper.

This event has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Please stay tuned for updates about future PEN World Voices Festival programming.

Yacouba Sissoko
Anderson Tepper
Ben Okri

Event Sponsors


The live events of the 2020 World Voices Festival have been canceled due to concerns about the safety of participants and audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In early May, we launched the 2020 digital World Voices Festival at pen.org/worldvoicesdigital. This ongoing digital version of the Festival includes a suite of podcasts, videos, interviews, and musical playlists, with live events and other features to be rolled out over the coming weeks. We hope this digital content brings you joy during a time of uncertainty.

Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@PENWorldVoices) for updates about future PEN World Voices Festival programming.