How do we find coherence in incoherent times? How do we get a global, multicultural and increasingly virtual world to function? How do we each find a way to function in it? What tears us apart, what brings us together? And what, if anything, does art and literature have to contribute?
From world politics, to Yeats, Mohammad, to Turgenjev, from conflict and war to Danish ‘hygge’. From lollipops to power. Twenty-one essays about art, estrangement and the attempt at being human. And not least, about how they all interconnect.
Whether we want to or not, today we live in a multicultural world, in culturally and ethnically mixed cities, towns, societies. Capitalism that once was considered the panacea to all socio-economic ills, has (in its current version) proven itself a systemic instigator of inequality, a way the few, the super-rich, are enriched on the backs of increasing impoverism of the middle- and lower classes, the many. A way to social alienation, rather than coherence. At the same time, we live to growing extent in a virtual reality, not just socially, but also financially and politically. A virtuality which often does not reflect or even connect to the reality at hand. Yet, again and again it acts toppling blow to a perilous domino that runs right through the core of most people’s real life destinies. The velocity of change has become so high that few can keep up. Nationalism, religious fundamentalism, extremism of all kinds, is not the answer to, but a symptom of the problem. How do we take back the reigns?
“WALKING NAKED draws upon my own personal experiences being of an immigrant family and thus of mixed culture, of having lived for years in many different countries, on my past work for the United Nations with humanitarian aid, development, and peace and reconciliation in Africa and around the world, as well as my conviction of art’s strength and importance – how needed art is more than ever - exactly here, exactly now, in our whirlwind globalized world.
When I have selected these particular twentyone essays, it’s because regardless of their different specific topics and questions, they all circle around one and the same larger enigma: How to find coherence in an incoherent world? Individually, within groups and societies, as well as globally? In other words, how to halt the growing estrangement, how to halt the widening human gap? How to narrow the human gap, within oneself, as between oneself and the other: How to Walk Naked in a much dressed-up world?” Janne Teller
“Janne Teller writes candidly, with personal integrity and a significant amount of courage. She takes off her coat, removes her ‘external identities’ and dare in the words of Yeats to ‘walk naked’, to be herself with no attached [identity] labels. … Janne Teller’s world perspective spans a solid criticism of our brutal capitalism, cultureless materialism, new nationalism and much more that stand in the way of our struggles for a better world.” Politiken
“Janne Teller isn’t afraid to put herself and her own experiences on the line, and that gives credibility, just as her argumentation is convincing. She has her facts in order and doesn’t write to overpower but to bring to light … Janne Teller is a great essayist, and within themselves, each one of her texts are important and eye opening.” Fyns Stiftstidende, og Dagbladenes Bureau
"Janne Teller's personal background and experiences makes the texts lively and interesting, eg when she writes about the civil war in Mozambique. Also her essays about the magic of reading are highly recommendable." Poul Flou Pedersen, Bibliotekernes lektørudtalelse
“It’s strong literature. It’s important literature. It’s essential. Read it. Read it no matter what, and let it speak to you.” Louise Andersen, Skriv for livet