Anton Chekhov said that art’s job is not to solve problems, but to state them correctly. In today’s turbulent political and social climate, the work of writers, artists and intellectuals is of enormous value, and some of the world’s finest minds have started circling the wagons. Slate’s movie critic Dana Stevens talks to Hisham Matar (The Return), Nadja Spiegelman (I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This) and Teen Vogue Editor Elaine Welteroth about resistance through art.

Supported by Vanessa Megan Advanced Organic Skincare.

Elaine Welteroth (International)

Welteroth, Elaine c Anna Ottum.jpg

Appointed in May 2016 and promoted to Editor in Chief in April 2017, Elaine Welteroth oversees and manages the editorial direction of Teen Vogue. She is largely responsible for the expansion of Teen Vogue’s coverage to include a wide range of feminist, social-justice, and political topics, alongside fashion, beauty, and entertainment news. Elaine edited September 2016’s 'For Girls By Girls' issue, which was shot entirely by female photographers, and set the tone for the brand’s increased emphasis on diversity, female empowerment, and cross-generational conversations. Elaine joined Teen Vogue in 2012 as the first African-American ever to hold the post of beauty and health director at the publication, where, in addition to her beauty coverage, she continuously raised awareness of current events and social issues dedicated to empowering teens through print and online features. Prior to Teen Vogue, Elaine was the senior beauty editor at Glamour and a beauty and style editor at Ebony magazine, where she started her editorial career.

Hisham Matar (International)

Matar, Hisham c Diana Matar.JPEG

Born in New York City to Libyan parents, Hisham Matar spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his adult life in London. His debut novel, In the Country of Men, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and The Guardian First Book Award, and won numerous international prizes, including the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and a Commonwealth First Book Award. His second novel, Anatomy of a Disappearance, was published to great acclaim in 2011. His prize-winning memoir, The Return, was published in 2016 and was the recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography. His work has been translated into twenty-nine languages.

Nadja Spiegelman (International)

Spiegelman, Nadja c Kate Komberg.jpg

Nadja Spiegelman is the author of I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This, a memoir about the nuances of love and family, exploring the lives her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and the fallibility of memory. She is also the Eisner Award-nominated author of the Zig and Wikki graphic novel series for young children and Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure. She has received fellowships from Lemon Tree House and The MacDowell Colony.

Dana Stevens (International)

Stevens, Dana.jpg

Dana Stevens is Slate's movie critic. Previously, she wrote the Slate television and pop-culture column Surfergirl for two years. She has also written for The New York Times, the Washington Post Book World, Bookforum, and The Atlantic. She has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from UC–Berkeley and lives in Brooklyn.