Kehinde Wiley and Thelma Golden to Speak at Ta-Nehisi Coates-Curated Literary Festival

This might be the biggest edition yet.

Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks onstage at the New Yorker Festival 2015 - The Fire This Time in New York City. Courtesy of Anna Webber/Getty Images for The New Yorker.

Writer and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates is putting together this year’s Festival Albertine literary festival in New York City, running November 2-6. It will take place at Albertine Books, the well-known bookshop overseen by the French Embassy.

For the third edition, Coates has invited several well-known names to join him in discussions surrounding black identity in the United States and France. Speakers include artist Kehinde Wiley, choreographer and dancer Benjamin Milliepied, and Thelma Golden, current director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Thelma Golden at Museum of Modern Art on June 2, 2015 in New York City. Courtesy of Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

Thelma Golden at Museum of Modern Art on June 2, 2015 in New York City. Courtesy of Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

Particular attention will be paid to the effects of the Black Lives Matter movement, the rising popularity of right-wing movements in the two countries, and, according to the press release, “what both countries’ attitudes toward immigration have done to shape its interaction with the broader world.”

Having recently returned to New York after a year in Paris, Coates continues to draw inspiration from writer James Baldwin, who was also an American exile in the City of Lights.

In using Baldwin’s themes on race and representation as a focal point, Coates explains that “There is something both sanguine and challenging in Baldwin’s view. It proposes that conflicts between cultures are not inevitable but the result of policies and decisions. But it also puts responsibility on people, themselves, to make the requisite changes in policy.”

The staging of the event is timely, as the 2016 US presidential election is slated to take place on November 8.


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