Chimamanda Adichie

Chimamanda Adichie

The Right to Tell Your Story

”A strong woman is not something I find remarkable, it’s something that I find normal.” Interview with the acclaimed Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie about the power of writing against violence and war.

Writer Chimamanda Adichie talks about having an inquisitive mind and explains how she has always felt the need to read and write. Even as a child Adichie felt a passionate interest in history and in human character. In this interview she talks of war, religion, skin color and love: ”I’m a believer in love. Love can heal.” Although she feels furious about some of the things people do and say, she explains: ”I try to pretend that I’m cynical and sarcastic, but deep down I’m just a hopeless romantic.”

Realistic fiction demands that you make your characters round, even though they are flat and simple in real life Adichie says, and goes on to explain how she feels guilty when exposing real people in her books, because they are unable to answer back.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (b.1977) was born in southeastern Nigeria but moved to the US to attend College. In 2003 she completed a masters degree in creative writing, and in 2008 she received an MA in African studies from Yale University. Adichie published poems, plays and short stories before publishing her first novel 'Purple Hibiscus' in 2003. Her big break through was with her second novel 'Half a yellow sun' from 2006, about the Nigerian-Biafran War. In 2013 she published her third book 'Americanah'.

Chimamanda Adichie was interviewed by Synne Rifbjerg at Louisiana Literature 2011.

Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Marc-Cristoph Wagner
Stills: Andreas Johnsen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Riad Sattouf

    Advice to Young Cartoonists

    Watch the acclaimed cartoonist Riad Sattouf draw while sharing his advice for colleagues: “Be careful with advice, it’s not always good. Find your own way of expressing yourself, everything is acceptable, there’s no one good way to draw or not draw.”

  • Jean-Marc Bustamante

    The Notion of Landscape

    “I think art is not very useful, it’s a question of what you feel.” Watch the acclaimed French artist and photographer Jean-Marc Bustamante, who merges photography and painting, and whose starting point is always the concept of landscape.

  • John Giorno

    A Visit to the Poet

    “Poetry never dies. You can’t kill poetry.” We called on John Giorno – one of the most influential figures in contemporary performance poetry – in his legendary home on the Bowery in New York, to talk about the innate freedom and possibilities of poetry.

  • John Giorno

    Inside William Burroughs' Bunker

    Step inside ‘The Bunker’ in New York, the windowless former apartment of legendary writer William S. Burroughs, and let yourself be guided around – from Burroughs’ typewriter to his shooting target – by its current resident, iconic poet John Giorno.

  • Colson Whitehead

    I Have to Know the Destination

    “I became a writer once I realised no one liked my stuff.” Watch Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey’s favourite author, Pulitzer Prize-winning Colson Whitehead, on how rejections of his first stab at a novel made him realize that he wanted to pursue writing.

  • Marina Abramović & Ulay

    A Living Door of the Museum

    Standing naked in the main entrance of a museum, facing each other while the audience passes sideways through the small space. Legendary performance artists Marina Abramović and Ulay share the story behind their poetic work ‘Imponderabilia’.

  • Wang Shu

    Architecture is a Job for God

    The Chinese architect Wang Shu’s buildings – a crossover between traditional Chinese culture and large-scale modern architecture – have earned him prestigious awards. “Democracy means a really diverse society,” says the architect in this inspiring interview.

  • Margrethe Odgaard

    Colour Diary of New York

    Becoming more aware of your surroundings can “open a new dimension inside as well as outside yourself.” Meet award-winning Danish designer Margrethe Odgaard who has trained herself to register the world through colours.

  • Nick Cave

    The World is my Skin

    Have you ever wished that you could put on a suit which would open up the imagination and take you to the world of your dreams? In this video artist Nick Cave presents his wearable sculptures, the 'Soundsuits', made from discarded everyday materials.

  • Gerhard Richter

    In Art We Find Beauty and Comfort

    “I don’t really believe art has power. But it does have value. Those who take an interest in it find solace in art. It gives them huge comfort.” Gerhard Richter, one of the greatest painters of our time, discusses beauty in the era of the internet.

  • 11 Artists

    First Encounter with Art

    “That was the beginning of my film and photography career – my first image ended up under the Russian soldier’s boot.” Watch Jonas Mekas, Laurie Anderson, Paul Auster, Gerhard Richter and 7 other acclaimed artists on how they began their career.

  • Ulay

    How I Stole a Painting

    The story of one of the most radical performances in art history told by German artist Ulay, who in 1976 decided to steal Hitler’s favorite painting from Berlin’s national museum and hang it in the home of a Turkish immigrant family.