Royal Academy of Arts
Wed 11 Sep 2024
6:30 pm - 7:45 pm
Changemakers: Elif Shafak image

Award-winning author Elif Shafak discusses the universal power of storytelling.
In this conversation, British-Turkish novelist Elif Shafak will talk about writing, empathy, humanity, activism and the importance of storytelling.
Elif Shafak has published 20 books, 13 of which are novels, addressing silenced voices and untold stories from Eastern and Western cultures, memory and amnesia, climate change and water scarcity, equality and human rights. The most widely read female author in Turkey, her work has been shortlisted for the Costa Award, British Book Awards, RSL Ondaatje Prize, Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Booker Prize.
An advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression, Shafak was among the BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women and the BBC’s selection of 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. Twice a TED global speaker, Politico listed her in 2017 as one of the twelve people who would make the world better. Shafak was awarded the Halldór Laxness International Literature Prize for her contribution to ‘the renewal of the art of storytelling’.
Changemakers is a series of conversations with women across the cultural sector, highlighting how their work has shifted narratives, broken down barriers, and generated change across the arts.
The series is inspired by the RA’s Angelica Kauffman exhibition and her role as a pioneering artist. Kauffman was one of only two female painters among the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1768, the other artist being Mary Moser. Kauffman helped to shape the direction of European art, reinventing the genre of history painting by focusing largely on female protagonists from classical history and mythology.