In conversation with Janine di Giovanni
With Bernard-Henri Lévy
Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center, New York • United States
Do We Have the Will to See?
Afghanistan had withdrawn from much of the world’s awareness, even as the US continued its 20-year military mission . . . until President Biden withdrew American troops, the Afghan president fled, the Taliban came roaring back and images of panicked people clinging to the landing gear of departing jets were burned into our consciousness.
But Afghanistan is hardly the only hotspot of human rights abuses, humanitarian crises and social collapse endangering millions in our chaotic world. When was the last time you thought about the jihadist conflict in Nigeria that was at the top of the news after 276 girls were abducted by Boko Haram? Or the thousands of refugees stranded on the Greek island of Lesbos for years, suffering both neglect and xenophobia? The Somalis caught up in terrorist attacks, famine, droughts and civil war; the Kurds struggling for independence; or the Ukrainians fighting in trenches to push back Putin’s aggression?
Upon the release of his passionate new book, The Will to See, France’s most renowned public intellectual joins us to discuss his personal journey in defense of the most vulnerable and his eight recent trips to the sites of Christian massacres in Nigeria; overrun refugee centers in Lesbos; the Panjshir Valley and base of the Afghan resistance leader Ahmad Massoud, now the head of the anti-Taliban forces; and beyond.
He will dare us to level our gazes and shake off our indifference.