Walls: Travels Along the Barricades by Marcello Di Cintio is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning book that asks the question:
“What does it mean to live against a wall?”
I just finished reading the book, and found it absolutely remarkable. Entertaining. Deeply informative. Emotional.
Beginning in 2008, Marcello traveled to some of the world’s most unfriendly edges to meet the people who live along walls from Western Sahara to India’s fenced frontier with Bangladesh, the Arizona borderlands with Mexico, and the so-called Peacelines of Belfast.
Walls is a sobering treatment of the futility of borders and barriers that, according to the author, only ever succeed in creating prejudice and pain, erecting false senses of safety, and spreading psychological disease.
I really appreciate that the book is not only a first-hand treatment of the author’s experiences traveling along the walls, himself — it’s thoroughly researched, and rooted in a historical-journalistic style of storytelling.
I met the author in 2015 at The Iceland Writers Retreat and I had the chance to interview Marcello about his experience writing the book in 2016 (still only having half-read his book at the time, before completing it urgently with current political developments in the U.S.).
In this interview, Marcello and I discuss the author’s relationship to writing, what it means to “make change” in a world divided by walls, and much more.
- Do you find stories when you travel, or do the stories find you?
- How much of writing is about empathy?
- Is it unprofessional to take a political stand when telling social and political stories in writing?
Tune in below, or click here.