Art and literature are vital to democracy - here’s why
With everything that's going on in the world, it's easy to question the value of telling stories or making sculptures. Easy, but wrong, says Miguel Syjuco.
Miguel Syjuco, a contributing opinion writer for the International New York Times, is a novelist, journalist, and university professor from the Philippines. His acclaimed debut novel "Ilustrado" was a NY Times Notable Book of the Year as well as the winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Hugh MacLennan Prize, the Palanca Award, the Filipino Readers' Choice Award, among other accolades.
Currently an Assistant Professor of Practice, Literature, and Creative Writing at New York University Abu Dhabi, Dr. Syjuco has worked on staff for the Montreal Gazette and the Independent Weekly in Australia. His writing — on politics, corruption, literature, and democracy — has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, the Globe & Mail, Rappler, The Boston Review, OpenDemocracy, the BBC, the CBC, Inside Higher Ed, and many others.
Born in Manila in 1976, Dr. Syjuco received his bachelor’s degree from the Ateneo de Manila University, a master’s from Columbia University, a PhD from the University of Adelaide, and a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University.
Both his fiction and non-fiction focus on politics, history, inequality, cultural identity, literature, and formal experimentation.