In this episode, Ricardo meets poet, essayist, and painter Etel Adnan 2 years before her passing. Etel Adnan expressed her prodigious creative and intellectual vision in many forms. In addition to being a visual artist, she is a renowned poet, a prominent journalist, and the author of one of the defining novels of the modern Arab world. Adnan’s biography is notable for its rich convergence of cultural influences. She was born in Lebanon to a Greek mother and Syrian father; grew up speaking French, Arabic, and Greek; and as an adult lived for extended periods in Lebanon, the United States, and France. She began to paint in the late 1950s, while working as a professor of philosophy in Northern California. It was a period when, in protest of France’s colonial rule in Algeria, she renounced writing in French and declared that she would begin “painting in Arabic.” While Adnan’s writings are unflinching in their critique of war and social injustice, her visual art is an intensely personal distillation of her faith in the human spirit and the beauty of the natural world. She once stated, “It seems to me I write what I see, paint what I am”. Etel died on November 14, 2021.
12/17/21 • 32 min
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