Sven Lindqvist

Sven Lindqvist

Swedish independent journalist, holds a doctorate in the history of literature from Stockholm University, he is an author of many essays, aphorism and reportages from Africa, South America, and Australia; he is best known to Polish readers as the author of the books Terra nullius and the widely acclaimed Exterminate All the Brutes, a work which engages in dialogue with the author of The Heart of Darkness in the very title. The book is a powerful indictment of the culture of the old world, founded in its imperialistic roots. Lindquist depicts the history of terror at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, explores the roots of European colonialism, exposes today’s results of white people’s activities in Africa that persist today. It demonstrates how white scientists, in accordance with the paradigm of European anthropological theories allowed genocide, treating it as an effect of progress. More than a description of places, people and customs he is interested in deconstructing colonial mechanisms – travel through space becomes for Lindquist a journey through time. His writing is a collage of history, journalism and literature. In his works, Lindquist – like John M. Coetzee – unveils the failure of the Enlightenment model of man – as the proud conqueror of the world bringing happiness to other peoples; he exposes the workings of the machinery of civilization. At the Second Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival, he took part in the meeting Exterminate all the Brutes, which will be hosted by Grzegorz Janowicz.