In the last event of the Sin Cities series, join Miguel Syjuco – recipient of the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2008 for his debut novel, Ilustrado – for a talk about drug trade in his hometown, Manila. Chaired by Phillip Kim, Managing Editor of Asia Literary Review, this talk will shed light on both the past and the present of the capital of the Philippines.
The Philippines was described by The New York Times as “a country in search of an identity”. With its colonial Spanish rulers came the Roman Catholic Church, making the archipelago the largest Christian state in Asia. However the country is currently in the midst of Drug War, spearheaded by current President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte. He has taken a hard-line approach to his country’s drug problem, overseeing a campaign of extrajudicial killings that has left more than 7,000 people dead, most of them suspected drug dealers or users. However, many experts have pointed out that there has been a distinct lack of concerted effort in addressing the widespread poverty and corruption that have helped fuel the drug trade.
Miguel Syjuco was born and raised in Manila. As well as winning the Man Asian Literary Prize, Ilustrado was a NY Times Notable Book of 2010, as well as the winner the Hugh MacLennan Prize, the Palanca Award, and the Filipino Readers’ Choice Award. Translated into 16 languages, it was also a finalist for several international prizes in its various editions and is currently taught in universities and high schools in the Philippines and around the world. As a journalist and freelance writer, Syjuco was an editor at The Independent Weekly (Australia) and The Montreal Gazette, and he has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek and the BBC, among many others.
Currently a visiting Professor of Practice, Literature, and Creative Writing at New York University Abu Dhabi, Syjuco was recently a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and the International Writer-in-Residence at Singapore’s Nanyang University.
The Sin Cities series has been sponsored by Cockayne Grants for the Arts, a donor advised fund of the London Community Foundation.
To book tickets for this event, please click here.
General: £10, Concessions: £8, Asia House Arts Members: £5
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