FULLY BOOKED Ryszard Kapuściński: Where does journalism end and literature begin?

Voted journalist of the century in his native Poland Ryszard Kapuściński is renowned across the globe for his coverage of the developing world during the final stages of European colonialism.

Whilst covering revolutions and coups across Africa throughout the ’60s and ’70s he was known to carry two note books. One he would use to record the facts used in his reports, the second for observations and experiences that would form the content of his many books that in his 40s gave him fame on the global stage. He described his work as “literary reportage” which allowed him to translate incommunicable stories of suffering from the developing world to audiences in the developed world.

We will be joined by a panel including Artur Domoslawski the author of Ryszard Kapuściński: A Life to discuss the work of this renowned journalist and his influence on journalism today. We will be asking to what extent Kapuściński blurred the line between journalism and literature.

Chaired by Victoria Brittain, former associate foreign editor at the Guardian where she covered Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Her books include Hidden Lives, Hidden Deaths: South Africa’s Crippling of a Continent, Death of Dignity: Angola’s Civil War and the forthcoming Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror. She is co-author with Moazzam Begg of his book Enemy Combatant, A British Muslim’s journey to Guantanamo and Back. She is author and co-author of two plays about Guantanamo.


Artur Domoslawski, a writer on international politics for the weekly review Polityka and for the Polish edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, and for two decades reported for the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza. In 2010 he received Poland’s prestigious Journalist of the Year award. A Knight Fellow at Stanford University in 2005-6, he is the author of five books, and is currently working on a book about contemporary Latin America.

John Ryle, a British writer and specialist in Eastern Africa. He is co-founder and executive director of the Rift Valley Institute, and Legrand Ramsey Professor of Anthropology at Bard College, NY. He is a board member of the Media Development Loan Fund and of the scholarly journal African Affairs.

Antonia Lloyd-Jones, an award winning full time translator of Polish literature ranging from novels to reportage, biographies and poetry. One of her most recent works is Artur Domoslawski’s book, Ryszard Kapuściński: A Life.

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