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Priscilla Morris and Elif Shafak talk to Paul Boateng

Beyond Conflict: The Role of Libraries in Rebuilding Societies

Hay Festival 2024, 

Libraries are a lifeline for many, but they are all too often damaged or destroyed during times of conflict, either deliberately as repositories of cultural heritage or simply as collateral damage in a war zone. The attack on the National Library in Sarajevo, the bombing of Mosul University’s library and the ongoing devastation of libraries across Ukraine and Palestine are all recent examples of this shocking destruction.

Writers Priscilla Morris and Elif Shafak talk to Lord Paul Boateng, vice patron of charity Book Aid International, about what is lost when libraries are targeted or when people are displaced and access to libraries is taken away. They look at the role that libraries can play both during conflict and as a country begins to repair and consider why, even when people are displaced, books and libraries remain important.

Priscilla Morris and Elif Shafak talk to Paul Boateng