The 30th Hay Festival coincides with the 500th anniversary of the reforms proposed by Martin Luther. In order to celebrate this important milestone in Western critical thinking, we have asked a number of thinkers to give us a “reform” that would be applicable now. Andrea Wulf will talk about the traditional distinction between the arts and the sciences, proposing a reformation of this classic separation of disciplines and questioning why the imagination is not present in science. Followed by a question and answer session with Peter Florence.
Óscar Martínez (El Salvador) is a journalist linked to the digital newspaper El Faro and the author of one of the most important books for understanding Central American migration through Mexico written in the last decade: The Beast. Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail. Returning to the complex situation of the inhabitants of Central American countries faced with the violence that surrounds them (gangs, state police forces, interfamily violence), Martínez presents Una historia de violencia: Vivir y morir en Centroamérica. In conversation with Arturo Wallace.
Paolo Giordano (Italy) rose to international fame with The Solitude of Prime Numbers, a novel that won the 2008 Strega Prize and which was made into a film in 2010. Author of The Human Body, Giordano was educated as a physicist and will present his recent work, Like Family. In conversation with Héctor Abad Faciolince.
The Brazilian writer Nélida Piñon, a member of the Brazilian Academy of Literature, is one of the most important voices in contemporary literature in her country. Winner of the 2005 Prince of Asturias Literature Prize and many other awards for her literary work, her latest book is A camisa do marido. She will talk to Inés Martín Rodrigo.
The renowned US writer and journalist David Rieff, author of A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis (2003), Against Remembrance (2012) and Swimming in a Sea of Death, in which he deals with the loss of his mother, the writer Susan Sontag, presents his new book, In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies. In this work he reflects on historical memory and the voluntary option of forgetting with regard to traumatic historical events, questioning the ethical obligation to remember as the individual’s responsibility. In conversation with Jaime Abello Banfi.
The fascinating story of discovery, scientific curiosity and adventure by the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in the Americas is a story that is intimately linked to the history of Colombia, in whose territory he carried out some of his explorations. The British historian and writer Andrea Wulf gives a masterful version of this encounter with nature in The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science. The book has received awards such as the 2016 Royal Society Science Book Prize and was selected by The New York Times as one of the ten best books of 2015. She will talk to Gabrielle Walker about this extraordinary work.
The Bogotá39 2017 selection, promoted by the Hay Festival, seeks to focus attention on and celebrate Latin American fiction writers. At this event, the writers María José Caro León (Peru) author of Perro de ojos negros, Carlos Fonseca (Costa Rica), author of Coronel Lágrimas, and Emiliano Monge (Mexico) autor of La superficie más honda, speak with Felipe Rosete.
The famous Argentinean author is one of the most radically original Spanish-language fiction writers. His novels, non-fiction works and other texts that oscillate between the two genres, make up a body of work that has been published around the Hispanic world and translated into many different languages. He will talk to Claudio López Lamadrid about his most recent works: Sobre el arte contemporáneo seguido de En la Habana (2016) and The Musical Brain (2016). His latest works published in Mexico are Entre los indios and La liebre.
In recent decades, hundreds of planets have been discovered, although there is no evidence of intelligent life on any of them. What does this mean about our place in the universe? Are we the only beings with the perception needed to understand the stars, see them and feel their beauty? With the scientists Christophe Galfard (France) and María Teresa Ruiz (Chile).
There are more than 14 million indigenous people in Mexico. However, these communities, scattered throughout the nation, and carriers of their own history and customs, have very little presence in the democratic system. The National Indigenous Council, the association that represents these communities, is working to increase the participation of indigenous citizens. María de Jesús Patricio, from the NIC, and journalist Hermann Bellinghausen will talk to the writer Emiliano Monge about these communities in Mexico and their importance as actors in strengthening civil society.
Two authors from different countries and regions that are not part of the hegemonic centres of literary production will talk to Ingrid Bejerman about their latest books and about how their locations on the periphery define their writing. With Roland Brival (France), author of Sato San, le maître des corsets, and Carlos Velázquez (Mexico), author of the recently published book of short stories La efeba salvaje.
The 30th Hay Festival coincides with the 500th anniversary of the reforms proposed by Martin Luther. So we have asked a number of thinkers to give us a “reform” that would be applicable now. Gabrielle Walker, a Doctor in Chemistry from the University of Cambridge and presenter of the BBC programme Planet Earth Under Threat, proposes a change in the way we look at “climate war”, considering a positive perspective to tackle the problem.
Carmen Pardo, author of En el silencio de la cultura, is a lecturer at the University of Girona and teaches on Barcelona University’s Sound Art Master’s programme. A specialist in contemporary music and author of a major study of John Cage (La escucha oblicua: Una invitación a John Cage), Pardo’s book is about the complex development of Western culture throughout the 20th century, directly linked to the aestheticisation of socio-political contexts.
Misha Glenny interviews the musician and activist, Nadya Tolokno (Russia), a member of the punk group Pussy Riot and arrested together with her partner in 2012 because of a performance in Moscow Cathedral. She was sentenced for crimes of religious hatred, and spent two years in jail, a sentence that became a symbol around the world for the Vladimir Putin government’s attitude to freedom of expression. She currently lives in Canada, where she continues to work as a human rights activist.
The Spanish writer Ignacio Martínez de Pisón presents his latest work, Derecho natural, in a conversation with Irma Gallo. The author of novels such as Carreteras secundarias (1996) and the award-winning non-fictional work Enterrar a los muertos (2005), winner of the Rodolfo Walsh and Dulce Chacón awards, tells the story of Ángel, a boy who passes from childhood to adult life during the Transition, the political process that restored democracy in Spain.
Journalism in Mexico is in danger. The constant attacks and violence against professionals who work in the industry has increased consistently since 2006, when the journalist protection protocol was first introduced, following the model used previously in Colombia. Why is the Mexican context one of the most dangerous in the world in which to carry out this profession? Jaime Abello Banfi (FNPI), Ana Cristina Ruedas (Artículo 19) and Adrián López (Noroeste) will talk to Jacobo García.
The Bogotá39 2017 selection, promoted by the Hay Festival, seeks to focus attention on and celebrate Latin American fiction writers. At this event, the writers Gabriela Jauregui (Mexico) author of La memoria de la cosas, Eduardo Rabasa (Mexico), author of Cinta negra, and Diego Zúñiga (Chile), author of Niños héroes, will talk to Inés Martín Rodrigo about their latest books.
Salvador Novo is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures in contemporary Mexican literature, and has attracted the attention of figures as outstanding as Octavio Paz and Carlos Monsiváis. In Escribir con caca, the Mexican poet Luis Felipe Fabre looks at the figure of the author and his complex writing through an exhaustive yet playful review of Novo’s life and work. In conversation with Irma Gallo.
The pianist James Rhodes (United Kingdom) has found in music not only a profession but also a kind of safe space in which to develop his creativity and deal with the terrible events which, from age six, marked his life, when a school teacher began to sexually abuse him. In his extraordinary autobiography, Instrumental (2015), Rhodes tells how a relationship with music allowed him to keep on living and become a well-known pianist.
Few family histories have captured the collective imagination in the same way as that of the Romanov dynasty. The family that governed Russia with an iron fist for four centuries abruptly disappeared with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The British historian Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of, among other books, Jerusalem. The Biography and Titans of History, tells in The Romanovs: 1613-1918, the story of this famous dynasty in the Russian Revolution’s centenary year. In conversation with Mariana H.
Two outstanding Mexican poets and writers will talk to Alejandro del Castillo about their latest work. With David Huerta, author of the essay on poetry El vaso de tiempo, and Alberto Ruy Sánchez, author of the poetic diary Luz del colibrí.
The release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered not only a milestone in terms of The Beatles discography, but also in 20th century pop music. With this concept album, in which the band experimented with very different rhythms and subjects, and full of references to the 1960s context, the Fab Four left a musical legacy that is still with us today. Three fans and admirers of The Beatles talk to Rulo about the album that revolutionised music history. With the musician and writer Joselo, the novelist and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi, and the academic and writer Carmen Pardo.
The Bogotá39 2017 selection, promoted by the Hay Festival, seeks to focus attention on and celebrate Latin American fiction writers. At this event, the writers Carlos Manuel Álvarez (Cuba), author of La tribu; Brenda Lozano (Mexico), author of Cómo piensan las piedras and Felipe Restrepo Pombo (Colombia), author of Formas de evasion. In conversation with Mariana H.
Creators that work with language and with other creative media speak about how creative migrations and appropiative strategies can result in new creative forms athat call for the collective and the comunal. Edgardo Bermejo (Mexico) speaks with Malika Booker (UK), Johnny Payne (USA), Rocío Cerón (Mexico) and Gaspar Orozco (Mexico).
Lionel Shriver is a writer and Guardian journalist. In 2005 she won the Orange Prize for Fiction for her seventh novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin. She is also the author of The Post-birthday World, So Much For That and Big Brother, which reflects on the cult of the body, obesity and junk food, while also dealing with family relationships and the struggle against the self-destruction of the people we love. She will talk to Kirsty Lang about her latest work, The Mandibles. A family: 2029-2047.