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According to bestselling author Siri Hustvedt, the election of Donald Trump marks a new split in the population of the US. Hear Hustvedt on her political awakening, the biases in contemporary society and writing in challenging times.

Although Hustvedt grew up in a small Midwestern, white town she became intensely interested in the civil rights movement from an early age: “The spectacle of white racists turning hoses on civil rights demonstrators, including children my age, was an image of injustice so profound that I think it has stayed with me ever since.” Returning to America after a year abroad in 1968, to a country that had gone through the assassination of Martin Luther King, President John F. Kennedy and the Vietnam, Hustvedt says she witnessed “an America that was being torn apart.”

The election of Donald Trump for president marks a new split in the population of the US. “We have witnessed the backlash of not only white men, but the white women who identify with them. Who have found a figure of vengeance and making up for what they have lost: white America,” says Siri Hustvedt, for whom civil rights and feminism have always been in correspondence. She sees Donald Trump’s media performance as “a kind of parody of extreme masculinity” and sees the election as a result of the ongoing struggles of the United States: racial and gendered inequality creating disconnects in the population. As the American writer reminds us: “For the last eight years the face of America has been a highly educated, elegant, supernaturally calm black man. I think that rubs salt in the deep racism of the US.”

Siri Hustvedt (b. 1955) is an American author and essayist who has written poetry, novels, essays, and works of non-fiction. Her books include ‘What I Loved’ (2003), ‘The Sorrows of an American’ (2008), ‘The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves’ (2010) and ‘The Blazing World’ (2014) for which she was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 2016 she published ‘A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind’.

Siri Hustvedt was interviewed by Philipp Alexander Ostrowicz in Tübingen, Germany in November 2016.

Camera: Benjamin Dornis
Edited by: Klaus Elmer
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner

Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016

Supported by Nordea-fonden

 

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