Ben Okri on poetry and politics. Plus: graffiti legend 10 Foot

Ben Okri on poetry and politics. Plus: graffiti legend 10 Foot

This week, we host a writer and an editor in conversation. Booker-winning novelist and poet Ben Okri and outgoing FT Weekend editor Alec Russell meet in the studio on Alec’s last day in the role. They reflect on the political power of poetry, what fiction and non-fiction can teach each other, and the vital role of art. Then, we meet one of London’s most notorious and prolific graffiti writers. His name is 10 Foot, and his tag is famous, but he’s anonymous. Journalist Miles Ellingham spent months with him, and he and Lilah discuss graffiti’s role and the question of who owns a city.

Want to say hi? We love hearing from you. Email us at We’re on Twitter @ftweekendpod, and Lilah is on Instagram and Twitter @lilahrap.


– Ben Okri’s piece, ‘The Famished Road and my quest for the imaginative richness of Africa’, from Alec’s final edition of FT Weekend:

– Miles Ellingham’s profile of graffiti writer 10 Foot:

– Ben Okri’s poem for the FT, ‘Grenfell Tower, June 2017’:

– Alec is on Twitter at @AlecuRussell. Miles is on twitter @milesellingham

–The whole Africa special is here, and free-to-read

– Other stories by Ben Okri in the FT:

–Miles recommends the classic 1982 documentary, ‘Style Wars’:

– He also recommends ‘Jisoe’ (2014), which has been described as “the best graffiti film ever made”:


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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco.