Taiye Selasi

Taiye Selasi

I'm a Multi-Local Afropolitan

”There is no going back. Time moves on, we change, countries change, spaces change.” Meet the new star of English literature, Taiye Selasi, in this interview about what it means to be human in a global world, searching for a space to be yourself.

In this interview Taiye Selasi talks about identity, immigration and what it means to be multi-local, as well as about her debut novel ’Ghana Must Go’ on family relations, the different characters of the book, and the dream of finding something you are good at.

Tayie Selasi explains that she, and her characters, are looking for a way to have ”a story which is human, no more and no less.” Having a proud sense of self has nothing to do with wealth, which is why not succeeding can be devastating for someone who has left their home in search of a space to be who they wanted to be. Also, there is plenty to write about family, and family relations, Selasi explains.

Taiye Selasi was born in London, England in 1979, and raised in Boston, USA. Her mother is a pediatrician from Nigeria and her father is a surgeon and poet from Ghana. Selasi did a BA in American Studies from Yale and an MPhil in International Relations from Nuffield College, Oxford.

In 2010 Penguin Press bought Selasi's unfinished novel 'Ghana Must Go' which has now been sold in 16 countries. ’Ghana Must Go’ (2013) is a profound, emotional story of family betrayal, transformation and love. The novel singled Taiye Selasi out as the new star of English literature, backed up by Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison.

Selasi has written one novel, 'Ghana Must Go' and two short stories, 'Bye-Bye, Babar' and 'The Sex Lives of African Girls'. In 2012 Selasi launched "2030 Twelve," a four-part documentary about African millennials in North, South, East, West Africa, and in 2013 she was selected as one of Granta's 20 Best Young British Writers.

Taiye Selasi was interviewed by Kim Skotte at Louisiana Literature 2013.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014

Supported by Nordea-fonden

  • Nástio Mosquito

    'Mama Africa' is a Construct

    In this short interview Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito discusses his provocative video work, in which he through three blazing speeches addresses the legacy of the western logic of ownership and debt, not least regarding a construct like ‘Africa’.

  • Nástio Mosquito

    What are You Willing to Die for?

    Angolan artist Nástio Mosquito has been dubbed “the future star of the art world.” He here talks about his invigorating multidisciplinary practice, which investigates universally human characteristics in a teasing, polemic and humorous way.

  • Bill Viola

    Cameras are Soul Keepers

    When video artist Bill Viola was 6 years old he fell into a lake, all the way to the bottom, to a place which seemed like paradise. "There's more than just the surface of life." Viola explains. "The real things are under the surface".

  • 11 Artists

    on Photography

    “We are so oversaturated with images, so it’s about one question: Can I hold you - can I get you to look at an image for longer than a second?” Watch Catherine Opie, Wim Wenders, Jeff Wall and 8 other artists on the power and potential of photography.

  • The Story of Marina Abramović & Ulay

    Legendary couple in performance art – Marina Abramović and Ulay – lived together for 12 years and made pioneering work as a duo. In this extraordinary double interview the artists look back on their relationship – from their first meeting in 1975 until now.

  • Marina Abramović

    Electricity Passing Through

    For more than 50 years trailblazing performance artist Marina Abramović has used her own body and energy as her main artistic material. In this powerful interview, the artist looks back on her radical practice: “It was like the first woman walking on the moon.”

  • 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.

  • Daniel Libeskind

    Tribute to New York

    “If you took the whole world and collapsed it into one little ball, you’d find it here, in this city.” Daniel Libeskind, world-renowned architect behind the new World Trade Center site, gives tribute to his city in this short and colourful video.

  • 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’.