11.debate with Ben Okri: ‘Can art save the world?’

On Thursday, March 5th, the hall at the KVS in Brussels  was filled to the brim for the reading of Ben Okri about the role of art in contemporary society. It was a memorable evening with an impressive lecture and a call to use our creativity to shape our ideals.

Watch his full lecture (split into two parts), which he wrote specifically for 11.11.11, in the above videos.



Ben Okri was born in Nigeria on March 15, 1959. His parents emigrated to Great-Britain when he was only 1.5 years old. They returned when he was 7.

He witnessed the Nigerian civil war at first hand from the ghetto of Lagos.

At the age of 19, he moved back to England.

His breakthrough as a writer came in 1991, when he won the prestigious Booker Prize for his novel The Famished Road. His most recent book (November 2014) is The Age of Magic.  

Ben Okri is a versatile writer. He has published novels, poetry, short stories and essays, as well as plays and film scripts. He has written all the texts of the latest Belgian director Peter Kruger movie, N-The Madness of Reason.

Ben Okri is considered to be one of the most important African authors alive.


2014    The age of magic, Head of Zeus
2012    Wild, Rider Books
2011    A Time for New Dreams, Rider Books
2009    Tales of Freedom, Rider Books
2007    Starbook, Rider Books (roman)
2002    In Arcadia, Weidenfeld & Nicolson - Nederlandse vertaling 'In Atcadië' (roman)
1999    Mental Fight, Phoenix House - Nederlandse vertaling 'Gevecht in de geest' (gedichten)
1998    Infinite Riches, Phoenix House - Nederlandse vertaling 'Onmetelijke rijkdom' ( roman)
1997    A Way of Being Free, Phoenix House - Nederlandse vertaling 'Een vorm van vrijheid' ( non-fictie)
1996    Dangerous Love, Phoenix House - Nederlandse vertaling 'Een gevaarlijke liefde' (roman)
1995    Birds of Heaven, Orion (non-fictie)
1995    Astonishing the Gods, Phoenix House - Nederlandse vertaling 'De onzichtbare' (roman)
1993    Songs of Enchantment, Cape - Nederlandse vertaling 'Toverzangen' ( roman)
1992    An African Elegy, Cape (gedichten)
1991    The Famished Road, Cape - Nederlandse vertaling 'De hongerende weg' (roman)
1988    Stars of the New Curfew, Secker & Warburg  - Nederlandse vertaling 'Roodbestoven stad' (verhalen)
1986    Incidents at the Shrine, Heinemann (verhalen)
1981    The Landscapes Within, Longman (roman)
1980    Flowers and Shadows, Longman (roman)

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