Online Lecture

• Thu 23 09 2021 / 7:30 pm •
Writing Is the World

moderated by ISABELLE LEHN

A lecture by the Jewish Canadian writer Sheila Heti kicks off this year’s INSERT FEMALE ARTIST literary festival, which is dedicated to female biographies and the question of female autonomy in our male­dominated literary history. As an author, Heti focuses intensively on self­referential writing, the tension between fiction and factuality, and the search for her own identity, as well as female authorship. In her 2012 book How Should a Person Be? she interrogates her own existence: Who do I want to be as an artist? What female role models do I need to emulate? What is the difference between the idea of the male and female artist genius? What actually is the authentic self?

The opening lecture offers the opportunity to critically examine the format of autofiction. To what extent can self­reflection – conceived as a dialogue and self­inter­ rogation – about your own life serve to crystallize socially relevant themes and lines of conflict? Or is it nothing but navelgazing? What aesthetic forms can be used to represent life? With regard to Heti’s book, there is also the question of how her text has actually aged: How do we deal with a white, rather privileged view of the self and the world today?

The lecture, followed by a Q&A, will be moderated on site at the Alte Feuerwache by author Isabelle Lehn (Frühlingserwachen (Spring Awakening), 2019); Sheila Heti will be joining via livestream.

Doors: 7:30pm
Start: 8pm
Venue: Alte Feuerwache Köln, Melchiorstr. 3, 50670 Köln and online
Language: English with interpretation in German
Admission: On site € 10* | Online live stream € 5* (*VAT included, plus service fee)
Tickets available at

Writing is the World is a cooperation between the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World) and the INSERT FEMALE ARTIST festival (Sept. 23–26, 2021).