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Rubén Blades in conversation with Roberto Pombo

Cartagena 2011, 
This great star of Latin music is also an activist, a composer, actor and a lawyer; to all of this, we can add his experience as Panama’s Minister of Tourism for five years. Rubén Blades, the inventor of “intellectual salsa”, so-called because of its socially involved lyrics, never rests; he has just finished his Todos Vuelven tour, he has been filming a movie in Mexico and has recently won his ninth Latin Grammy. He talks to Roberto Pombo about musical innovation, social commitment and about how he combines music with his other projects.

Simultaneous translation from Spanish to English available

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Alberto Barrera Tyszka, Federico Vegas and Francisco Suniaga with Sergio Dahbar

The Saviour of the nation goes mad

Cartagena 2011, 
These three authors have written successful books about real figures from Venezuelan history who tried to save the nation, but were not successful. In some cases, they went insane, in others they were assassinated and one of the three is still in power. They will talk to journalist Sergio Dahbar.

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David Eagleman

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Cartagena 2011, 
How do you imagine life after death? David Eagleman, neurologist and writer, talks to us about Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives, a novel that the Wall Street Journal describes as “imaginative and ingenious”, translated into 23 languages and a bestseller in a number of countries. The book’s stories are inspired by both fiction and science, creating a universe of possibilities that is sure to move us. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Bee Rowlatt

Talking about Jane Austen in Bagdad

Cartagena 2011, 
Bee Rowlatt, a reporter for the BBC World Service, looked for Iraqis who spoke English in order to find out about life in a Baghdad destroyed by war. That was when she found May Witwit, an English literature teacher who helped her students forget about bullets and bombs with stories about Jane Austen. Communicating by email, they became close friends despite differences in age, religion and culture. This correspondence, which was made into a book, provides a fascinating portrait of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and also describes an ingenious plan for May to escape from Baghdad, bringing her safely back to the United Kingdom.

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Martín Solares, Tomás González and William Ospina with Óscar Collazos

Narrating Violence

Cartagena 2011, 
El escritor y editor Martín Solares es autor de Los minutos negros, una novela policíaca que aborda el problema del narcotráfico en el golfo de México. El escritor colombiano Tomás González retrata en su última novela, Abraham entre bandidos, los sentimientos humanos en medio de la guerra. William Ospina, escritor y poeta colombiano, galardonado con el Premio Internacional Rómulo Gallegos 2009 por El país de la canela, nos narra habitualmente en El Espectador sus crónicas sobre la realidad en su país. Los tres tratarán con el escritor y periodista Óscar Collazos el tema de la violencia en la novela.

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Juan Gossaín in conversation with Daniel Samper Ospina

Cartagena 2011, 
The well-known writer and journalist Juan Gossaín, formerly Head of News for RCN Radio, for which he has worked for 27 years, has just published the novel La muerte de Bolatriste. He will talk about the book and about his intense career in journalism with the writer Daniel Samper, editor of Soho magazine.

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David Trueba with Malcolm Otero Barral

Books and Scripts

Cartagena 2011, 
Writing for a film, writing for a book… there are more and more novelists writing scripts, and scriptwriters books. David Trueba is the author of film scripts like Los peores años de nuestra vida, Dance with the Devil, The Girl of your Dreams and Balseros; as a writer, his novels have been translated into more than fifteen languages, and he was awarded the 2008 Premio Nacional de la Crítica for his novel Learning to Lose. He talks to editor Malcolm Otero Barral about his experiences with both writing processes. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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David Aaronovitch

The Fascination of Conspiracy Theories

Cartagena 2011, 
The respected journalist and Times columnist David Aaronovitch, through his latest book, Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History, introduces us to the world of conspiracy theories and their social role. The cases he analyses are fascinating, ranging from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the death of Marilyn Monroe and the assassination of President Kennedy, to Princess Diana’s fatal accident and the notion of US involvement in the attack on the twin towers. Today, the author will talk to us about why conspiracy theories arise and why they are so appealing to us. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Poetry Gala

Cartagena 2011, 
Our 6th Poetry Gala includes outstanding Colombian and foreign authors: William Ospina and Hugo Chaparro (Colombia), Miguel Syjuco (the Philippines), Joumana Haddad (Lebanon), Andrés Neuman (Argentina), Owen Sheers (United Kingdom), Francisco Hinojosa (Mexico), Khaled Khalifa (Siria), Agustín Fernández Mallo (Spain) and Alberto Barrera Tyszka (Venezuela). Chaired by Guido Tamayo.

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Fernando Gaitán, Beatriz Robledo, Guadalupe Nettel, Andrés Neuman and Roberto Burgos Cantor with Juan Gossaín

RCN Ministry of Education story competition: How to tell a story

Cartagena 2011, 
The judges of the fourth RCN Ministry of Education short story competition will share their experiences and skills with the public by telling their own stories. This will be followed by the presentation of awards to the young competition winners.

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Joumana Haddad in conversation with Juan David Correa

Cartagena 2011, 
The writer Joumana Haddad is one of the Middle East’s most multi-talented authors. As well as being a poet, translator and journalist, she is one of the organisers of the IPAF literary awards (the Arabic Booker), she is literary editor of the An Nahar journal and editor of the Arabic magazine Jasad, which specialises in literature and bodily arts. Her book I Killed Scheherazade, which has now been translated into six languages, has been described by Mario Vargas Llosa as “a very courageous and illuminating book about women in the Arab world. It opens our eyes, destroys our prejudices and is also very entertaining.”

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Philip Glass in conversation with Peter Florence

Cartagena 2011, 
Philip Glass’s work is some of the must outstanding music written in the second half of the 20th century. This renowned composer and musician, linked to the minimalist and postminimalist tradition, has composed for the soundtracks of films such as Koyaanisqatsi, The Hours and Notes on a Scandal, creating operas and orchestral versions of albums such as David Bowie’s Heroes. He will talk to Peter Florence about experimental, avant-garde music for all. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Pablo Francisco Arrieta in conversation with David Eagleman

Information Utopia

Cartagena 2011, 
The architect Pablo Arrieta is a master of new technologies. Neuroscientist David Eagleman is a supporter of the digital project Why the Net Matters: How the Internet will Save Civilisation. They bring us up to date with the information industry of today, reflecting on the disappearance of the boundaries between the publishing, digital and media industries.

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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John Paul Rathbone in conversation with Mauricio Rodríguez

The Sugar King of Havana

Cartagena 2011, 
The writer and journalist John Paul Rathbone, currently the Financial Times’ Latin America editor, presents his latest novel The Sugar King of Havana: the Rise and Fall of Julio Lobo, Cuba’s Last Tycoon, highly praised by The New York Times. It tells the story of Julio Lobo, considered the richest man in pre-Castro Cuba; educated, art collector and a magician of finance, Julio Lobo helped Che Guevara to bring down the Batista dictatorship. He will talk about the exciting life of this man with Mauricio Rodríguez, Colombian ambassador to the UK, as well as giving his view as a journalist about the current situation in Latin America. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Miguel Ángel Bastenier, Alejandro Santos and Pablo Ordaz

What use is Literary Journalism?

Cartagena 2011, 
Literary journalism, which is exceedingly popular in the Hispanic world, is a way of writing journalism that borders on literature. It was a phenomenon that revolutionised traditional journalism, and it has had avid followers and energetic detractors from the outset. Today, three experienced journalists, representing media of considerable importance in Latin America, debate about literary journalism, whether it exists as such and the grey area between literature and journalism.

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Lydia Cacho in conversation with Daniel Samper Pizano

Cartagena 2011, 
Lydia Cacho is one of the most committed and bravest journalists around. As a specialist in matters of violence and gender, she manages a care centre for female victims of abuse in Mexico and has won prizes for her feminist activism and defence of human rights. Daniel Samper Pizano, the Colombian writer and journalist, will talk to her about her latest projects.

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Guadalupe Nettel, Jorge Franco and Pola Oloixarac with Eduardo Rabasa

In production

Cartagena 2011, 
Three different voices from American literature, with styles as varied as those of the Colombian Jorge Franco, the Mexican Guadalupe Nettel and the Argentinian Pola Oloixarac, will tell us how they tackle writing new stories, the new novels they have in mind, what obsessions they have as writers and how they knit together new narratives in their imagination. Chaired by the editor Eduardo Rabasa.

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Fernando Gaitán, Senel Paz and David Trueba with Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón

The Script: A Universal Form

Cartagena 2011, 
Television and film are based on a kind of writing called the script, which is perhaps one of the most universal forms. What is it like? What goes into making it? Why does everyone consume it? Talking about these matters will be: the Colombian Fernando Gaitán, well known scriptwriter and soap opera and television series producer; the Cuban Senel Paz, cinema scriptwriter and author; and the multi-talented David Trueba, who has experience in all facets of film making, particularly scriptwriting and direction. Chaired by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, one of the most recognised directors of his generation, with many awards to his name.

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Pola Oloixarac, Andrés Neuman and Agustín Fernández Mallo with Mario Jursich

The Novel: A Useful Artefact

Cartagena 2011, 
The novel has not only maintained its condition as an open and iconoclastic genre, but also shows, in the work of these writers, that everything is possible in its vast territory. Participating are Pola Oloixarac, “the great revelation in new Argentinean writing” according to Ricardo Piglia and author of Las Teorías Salvajes; Andrés Neuman, winner of the Alfaguara Prize with El Viajero del Siglo; and Agustín Fernández Mallo, the Spanish writer and author of the narrative Nocilla Project trilogy. They will talk to the journalist and literary critic, Mario Jursich.

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Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Francisco Santos

Cartagena 2011, 
Shashi Tharoor is a very prolific author, as well as a journalist and human rights activist. He worked at the United Nations between 1978 and 1996, ultimately leading the team in charge of keeping the peace in the former Yugoslavia. He is currently a member of the Indian parliament. He will talk with Francisco Santos, director of RCN La Radio, about the challenges faced by India, an emerging world power. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Senel Paz and Hugo Chaparro

My Favourite Films

Cartagena 2011, 
Senel Paz is a scriptwriter and author of plays, stories and novels; the adaptation of his story El lobo, el bosque y el hombre nuevo into the film Strawberry and Chocolate, brought international recognition, with both the script and the film winning a number of awards. At this event, he will talk to the Colombian writer and cinema enthusiast, Hugo Chaparro, about the films he has most enjoyed, and he will show some scenes from these.

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Miguel Syjuco in conversation with Beatriz de Moura

Cartagena 2011, 
The Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco put his small island in the spotlight of contemporary literature with his first novel, Ilustrado, winner of the 2008 Man Asian Literary Prize, as well as a Palanca Award, the most prestigious prize in Philippine literature. Today he will talk to the well-known editor Beatriz de Moura about this fascinating history that has captivated both the public and the critics. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Kjetil Bjørnstad in conversation with Hugo Chaparro

Cartagena 2011, 
Kjetil Bjørnstad is a well-known Norwegian jazz pianist, who combines his work as a musician with writing, having published more than 30 novels and poetry and essay collections. He has received the Norwegian Riksmål Prize and the French Prix des Lecteurs in 2008. He will talk about his varied career with Hugo Chaparro, with particular attention paid to his recently published book To Music. 

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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Juan José Millás, one of the best known Spanish writers and journalists, will talk to the writer and contributor to El Espectador, Juan Esteban Constaín, about his literary career and, particularly, about his latest novel Lo que sé de los hombrecillos, a fable that treads a fine line between delirium and reality. There will also be mention of his recent interview with Felipe González.

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A sea of hope? Climate change and its effects on the oceans

Alanna Mitchell

Cartagena 2011, 
The Canadian journalist Alanna Mitchell is a specialist in science and the environment. Her talk will be about the effects of climate change on biodiversity in the oceans, particularly focusing on its consequences for coral reefs in the Caribbean. Alanna analyses this problem in her book Sea Sick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, a popular success that has also won the 2009 Grantham Prize for Excellence in Environmental Reporting.

Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available

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