Imagine the world

The ninth edition of Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias took place 30 January–2 February 2014.

We welcomed Ricardo Piglia, Rosa Montero, Joe Sacco, Laura Restrepo, Gael García Bernal, Melania G. Mazzucco, John Boyne, Virginie Despentes, Irvine Welsh, David Foenkinos, Beatriz Preciado, Emmanuel Carrère, Enrique Krauze, Yoani Sanchez, Juan Campanella, Cees Nooteboom and many others. Browse the programmes below.

Hannah Furness rubs shoulders with Scottish bongo players, Hollywood stars and bestselling novelists in Colombia's most beautiful city, as the Hay Festival Cartagena begins... Day one of the festival in The Telegraph.

Irvine Welsh tells Colombians what he really thinks about the legalisation of heroin — and the Scottish referendum. Day two of the festival in The Telegraph.

Next year's festival will take place in Cartagena from 29 January to 1 February 2015.

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Michael Jacobs

We have lost him to Don Quixote: Michael Jacobs has just set off on a new adventure, and this time it is his last. Michael was one of the many gifts that the Hay Festival brought to me. I first met him at Hay Festival in Granada, Spain, and immediately felt his goodwill towards people and his generosity. We shared many trips, many adventures; I remember in particular a journey to La Guajira and Cerrejón in Colombia. His heart was big enough to contain his native Italy (he was born in Genoa in 1952), the Andalusia in which he loved living, and of course, England and Colombia – the country he adopted and to which he dedicated so many trips and his latest book The Robber of Memories, which we hope will soon be published in Spanish.

His stories were great, though it was sometimes hard to follow the thread because he recounted them so vehemently, his passion swallowing the words. He was a Sybarite, a conversationalist, great traveller and lover of good food, with a contagious enthusiasm for life. The day I took this photo with Michael perched inside a giant rubber coal-truck tyre, which he accepted without question, he ended up with his trousers stained black and, to top off my guilt, lost his wallet inside the tyre. It was a mixture of Peter Sellers and Pierre Richard, of Indiana Jones and Don Quixote. In one of his last letters he wrote of our plan to make a book together and now, faced with the news of his death, I understand that Michael was the book; because he lived life like Don Quixote, convinced that the reality and the dreams were the same thing. Today, we are all more alone in the world. Friends and readers who had the opportunity to know him and love him, and those who love reading and life, we are all more alone because Michael Jacobs has left on his last journey. Don Quixote is dead: long live Michael Jacobs.

Daniel Mordzinski

Listen to Michael Jacobs' talk on The Robber of Memories at Hay Festival 2013, or his event 'Fascinados por España' at Hay Festival Segovia 2008 on Hay Festival Audio.


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2014 highlights

  • Ricardo Piglia
  • Rosa Montero
  • Joe Sacco
  • Laura Restrepo
  • Gael García Bernal
  • Melania G. Mazzucco
  • John Boyne
  • Virginie Despentes
  • Irvine Welsh
  • David Foenkinos
  • Beatriz Preciado
  • Emmanuel Carrère
  • Enrique Krauze
  • Yoani Sanchez
  • Juan Campanella
  • Cees Nooteboom
  • and many others...