On September, 22, 2017 at 4.00 pm we welcomed to the Assembly Hall of Lviv Ivan Franko University to a public discussion "Memory and Literary Imagination as a Remedy to Evil" with Boubacar Boris Diop (Senegal), Adam Zagajewski (Poland), Madeleine Thien (Canada). Moderator Kateryna Smahliy (Ukraine).
Memory is one of the writers' major resources, while literary imagination is one of their main tools. Both of them are very human and therefore fragile, both are social and therefore vulnerable. Memory can be suppressed or even erased, and we know just too many examples of the kind. But it also can be deliberately distorted or even invented, and this tends to become even more widespread phenomenon. Imagination can serve one goal being driven by ideology and can serve the other being driven by marketability. In both cases, the truth falls victim – to either propagandistic or genuinely commercial expedience. The post-truth era that we arguably ushering in, poses new challenges to our tools and resources. It not merely relativizes the notion of truth, but undermines the very idea of rules, principles, and morality. How the writers can counter the challenge? What kind of a personal experience they have that they may shared with the readers and colleagues? – these are the questions to be discussed at the panel by four prominent international authors and a Ukrainian scholar.
The discussion was in English and Russian, with simultaneous interpreting into Ukrainian.
The public discussion was part of the 83rd PEN International Congress in Lviv and a public program of the Center for Urban History to accompany the exhibition "(un)named".