On episode 207 of The Quarantine Tapes, guest host Lena Herzog is joined by journalist Chris Hedges. Author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and America: The Farewell Tour, Chris joins Lena to discuss the pandemic and the other challenges of this moment in history. Chris and Lena break down the ultimatum given to us by the pandemic. They dig deep into the history of war, the current state of the media, and the threats facing us from a collapsing environment. Their conversation is steeped in historical context and offers a thoughtful reflection on our moment and what it will take to move forward out of this time.
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist who was a foreign correspondent and bureau chief in the Middle East and the Balkans for fifteen years for The New York Times. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He is host of the Emmy Award–nominated RT America show On Contact. Hedges, who holds a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, is the author of numerous books and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University, and the University of Toronto. He has taught college credit courses through Rutgers University since 2013 in the New Jersey prison system.
Born in Russia, in the Ural region, Lena Herzog moved to St Petersburg to study at the Philological Faculty to study Language and Literature. She moved to the United States in 1990, where she studied History and Philosophy of Science. Herzog is a multidisciplinary artist, she is the author of six books of photography and a contributor to Harper’s Magazine. Her work also appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, The Paris Review and Cabinet among other publications and has been widely exhibited in Europe and in the United States. Her most recent conceptual work was dedicated to the loss of world’s linguistic diversity and it is called Last Whispers: Oratorio for Vanishing Voices, Collapsing Universes and A Falling Tree. Last Whispers is a multimedia, audio video installation, a public platform and a virtual reality (VR). The project is an ecosystem that explores the global mass extinction of languages. It premiered at the British Museum in London in 2016, and has traveled around the world. Last Whispers Virtual Reality premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and garnered acclaim and prizes at over twenty major international VR festivals. Last Whispers’ 45 min immersive installation was shown at major concert halls and theaters: The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, while in France, it showed at the drama theater Le Théâtre de la Ville and at the Paris opera house Le Théâtre du Châtelet.