Bruno Kreisky Institute for International Dialogue presents:

Tessa Szyszkowitz in conversation with Lea Ypi

Lea Ypi grew up in one of the most isolated countries on earth, a place where communist ideals had officially replaced religion. Albania, the last Stalinist outpost in Europe, was almost impossible to visit, almost impossible to leave. It was a place of queuing and scarcity, of political executions and secret police. To Lea, it was home.

Then, in December 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the statues of Stalin and Hoxha were toppled. Almost overnight, people could vote freely. There was no longer anything to fear from prying ears. But factories shut, jobs disappeared and thousands fled to Italy on crowded ships, only to be sent back. Predatory pyramid schemes eventually bankrupted the country, leading to violent conflict. As one generation’s aspirations became another’s disillusionment, and as her own family’s secrets were revealed, Lea found herself questioning what freedom really meant. Free is an engrossing memoir of coming of age amid political upheaval.

With acute insight and wit, Lea Ypi traces the limits of progress and the burden of the past, illuminating the spaces between ideals and reality, and the hopes and fears of people pulled up by the sweep of history.

Lea Ypi will present the German edition of Free/Frei.

‚Funny, moving but also deadly serious, this book will be read for years to come. . . Beautifully brings together the personal and the political to create an unforgettable account of oppression, freedom and what it means to acquire knowledge about the world‘ – David Runciman

Frei –

Erwachsenwerden am Ende der Geschichte, aus dem Englischen von Eva Bonné, erschien bei Suhrkamp im März 2022.

Lea Ypi, is a professor of Political Theory at the London School of Economics. Free is being translated into more 21 languages.

Tessa Szyszkowitz, Author and Journalist for PROFIL, Falter and Cicero. She is also Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.