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Tariq Ali In New Zealand - Writers & Readers Week

Tariq Ali In New Zealand


Writer, filmmaker and long-term political activist Tariq Ali will take part in two public events in Wellington as part of New Zealand Post Writers and Readers Week (9-14 March 2004) in the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

A welcome late addition to the programme, the Pakistani-born, London-based commentator can be seen in conversation with former political journalist Al Morrison on March 12 and as part of an international panel discussing history and fiction on March 13. Tickets for both events are now on sale at Ticketek ($12, $9 students) and booking is highly recommended as these will be his only two New Zealand appearances.

Tariq Ali made his name as an activist in the 1960s and has since written over a dozen books on world history and politics, five novels and scripts for stage and screen. His novel Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree was awarded the 1994 Archbishop San Clemente del Instituto Rosalia de Castro Prize in Spain for Best Foreign Fiction and has been translated into several languages. He is driven by a socialist democrat view of current events and a desire to question and challenge, and is very much in demand as a provocative commentator on the current situation in the Middle East. Last August he attracted a crowd of 2000 people when he delivered the keynote address at the Melbourne Writers' Festival. He is a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio and contributes articles and journalism to magazines and newspapers including The Guardian and the London Review of Books.

Tariq Ali's two latest works are highly topical in the light of America's most recent war. His bestseller The Clash of Fundamentalisms provides an explanation for both the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and new forms of Western colonialism. 'Ali's style is vigorous, his narrative compelling, showing that the short-term, self-interested and oil-greedy policies of the British and Americans in such countries as Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran must make our much-vaunted ideals of democracy and equity seem like a bad joke', wrote Karen Armstrong in The Times.

Bush In Babylon - The Recolonisation of Iraq is a polemic on the invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US and Britain. Through both of these works Ali presents not just a passionate argument but also a magnificent cultural history and a heartfelt homage to the great poets of Iraq and the Arab world whose influence remained strong throughout their long periods of exile.

Details of Tariq Ali's appearances are as follows: Friday, March 12, 2.20-3.20PM, Embassy Theatre, $12 ($9 for students) Crusades, Jihads and Modernity: Tariq Ali. Chair: Al Morrison

Saturday, March 13, 12.30-1.50PM, Embassy Theatre, $12 ($9 for students) The Unreceived Version: Jenny Uglow, Annamarie Jagose, Suchen Christine Lim, Tariq Ali. Chair: Lydia Wevers.

Bookings at Ticketek, 04 384 3840, $12 ($9 for students).


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