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Jonathon Porritt - The World We Made

THE JOSEPH ROTBLAT LECTURE

Hay Festival 2014, 

The environmentalist presents a credible, positive vision of our planet that is green, fair, connected and collaborative and reveals how it is possible to reach a genuinely sustainable world by 2050. He describes the key events, technological breakthroughs and lifestyle revolutions that will transform our planet. Chaired by Rosie Boycott

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Max Hastings

Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War, 1914

Hay Festival 2014, 

The historian offers a wide-ranging chronicle of the politics and military action of 1914. Hastings gives a blistering critique of German and Austrian aggression in the run-up to war, and a new vision of the first months of the conflict. He describes how the French Army marched into action amid virgin rural landscapes in uniforms of red and blue, led by mounted officers, with flags flying and bands playing. 

Max Hastings

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Martin Griffiths

Dark Land, Dark Skies

Hay Festival 2018, 

The astronomer subverts conventional astronomical thought by eschewing the classical naming of constellations and investigating Welsh and Celtic naming. Ancient peoples around the world placed their own myths and legends in the heavens, though these have tended to become lost behind the dominant use of classical cultural stories to name stars. In many cases it is a result of a literary culture displacing an oral culture. Griffiths has researched past use of Welsh heroes from the Mabinogion in the naming of constellations and his new book is both an interesting, provocative combination of a new perspective on Welsh mythology and an astronomy guidebook.

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Geza Vermes

Searching for the Real Jesus

Hay Festival 2010, 
The Scrolls scholar examines perceptions of Jesus Christ through the prism of contemporary cultural representations – from The Da Vinci Code and Mel Gibson’s The Passion to Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth.
Geza Vermes

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Emily Gravett

Wolf Won't Bite!

Hay Festival 2011, 
A whistle-stop tour of the two-time Greenaway Medal-winning illustrator’s favourite creations; from her adventurous meerkat to her three new cheeky little circus pigs.
 
5–7 years

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Richard Suggett

From Castell Cricieth to Penarth Fawr

Hay Festival 2012, 
The architectural historian celebrates the poets and carpenters of late-medieval Wales.
 

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Kate Humble talks to Miles Jupp

Friend For Life: The Extraordinary Partnership Between Humans and Dogs

Hay Festival 2016, 

The wildlife broadcaster and smallholder uses her journey with her sheepdog puppy Teg to frame her examination of this very special relationship. Written with warmth and love, and packed full of stories about rescue dogs, guide dogs, service dogs and medical dogs, this event is a joy for anyone with a four-legged friend. In conversation with host of The News Quiz, Miles Jupp.

Kate Humble talks to Miles Jupp

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Daniel Hahn, John Boyne, Jenny Valentine

The New Golden Age

Hay Festival 2015, 

We are revelling in an exhilarating time for young readers, fired by the richest imaginable field of novelists creating work for teenagers. The editor of the new Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature hosts this celebration of great contemporary YA writing with two superstars of the genre, who pick a library of ten essential reads for teenagers. All ticketholders will be entered into a draw to receive the ten books they choose as well as copies of Boyne’s The Boy With The Striped Pyjamas and the forthcoming Valentine novel Fire Colour One.

Daniel Hahn, John Boyne, Jenny Valentine

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Mark Wallinger talks to Alastair Sooke

Hay Festival 2012, 
The artist and 2007 Turner Prize-winner’s work is not only brilliantly accessible and witty, but also conscientious and politically incisive.

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Penelope Vogler

Great Food

Hay Festival 2011, 
Penguin’s Great Food series brings together the sharpest, funniest, most delicious food writing from the past four hundred years. The editor discusses cooking from old recipes and invites the audience to try some tastes from the past. Chaired by John Mitchinson.

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Robin Hanbury-Tenison

The Oxford Book of Exploration

Hay Festival 2010, 
The adventurer gathers the words of those who changed the world through their pioneering search for new lands, new peoples and new experiences, from Vasco de Gama, Magellan and Cook to Thesiger and Livingstone.

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Thomas Keneally talks to Philippe Sands

Schindler’s Ark

Hay Festival 2016, 

The writer discusses his 1982 Booker-winning novel about Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who risked his life to protect and rescue Jews from Auschwitz. The book was made into a film by Steven Spielberg as Schindler’s List.

Thomas Keneally talks to Philippe Sands

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Tom Holland

Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar

Hay Festival 2016, 

Rome was first ruled by kings, then became a republic. But in the end, after conquering the world, the republic collapsed. So terrible were the civil wars that the Roman people finally came to welcome the rule of an autocrat who could give them peace. Augustus, their new master, called himself “the divinely favoured one”. The lurid glamour of the dynasty founded by Augustus has never faded. No other family can compare for sheer unsettling fascination with its gallery of leading characters. Tiberius, the great general who ended up a bitter recluse, notorious for his perversions; Caligula, the master of cruelty and humiliation who rode his chariot across the sea; Agrippina, mother of Nero, manoeuvring to bring to power the son who would end up having her murdered; Nero himself, racing in the Olympics, marrying a eunuch, and building a pleasure palace over the fire-gutted centre of his capital.

Tom Holland

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David Mitchell and Tiffany Murray

Fictions – Halloween Comes Early

Hay Festival 2015, 

A late-night reading of ghost stories as Mitchell previews his new story to be published in October, Slade House, and Murray reads from her acclaimed Sugar Hall. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.

David Mitchell and Tiffany Murray

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Steve Dring talks to Kitty Corrigan

Growing Underground

Hay Festival 2017, 

With an increasing population, climate change and concerns about food (in)security, new and innovative farming methods are required. Steve Dring started the UK’s first underground farm based in disused air raid shelters, growing herbs and salad plants.

Steve Dring talks to Kitty Corrigan

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Gerry Gilmore

Cambridge Series 12: Past, Present and Infinite Future?

Hay Festival 2011, 
Was there anything before the beginning? Why does science claim to know the apparently unknowable? Where do I come from? What do we know about the infinite future?

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Martín Caparrós, Wojciech Jagielski and Vaiju Naravane talk to Guillermo Altares

50th Anniversary of Amnesty International: On freedom of expression

Segovia 2011, 
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression” and this right includes the “freedom to hold opinions without interference.” The journalists Martín Caparrós (Argentina), Wojciech Jagielski (Poland) and Vaiju Naravane (India) will put forward their professional experiences and their points of view regarding the exercise of this right, which has many times been ignored or not respected. The event will be moderated by Guillermo Altares, editor of Elpais.com.
 
Simultaneous translation will be available from English into Spanish.

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Michelle de Kretser and Amy Sackville talk to Lisa Dwan

Fictions – Boy Meets Girl

Hay Festival 2013, 

De Kretser’s Questions Of Travel conjures people displaced by love and longing, and by disaster. It is infused with wit, imagination, and a deep understanding. Sackville’s Orkney plays out a curiously-matched honeymoon couple on a remote island in the north.

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John Bulmer

Wind of Change

Hay Festival 2015, 

In 1962 the pioneering Sunday Times photographer embarked on a project to photograph the profound social and political changes sweeping across the world, from the slow disintegration of the Middle East, the early collapse of the Communist bloc and the rise of African nationalism, to the totalitarianism of China and North Korea, and the disparities of wealth and poverty in the Americas. Fifty years on, he shows his photogaphs and discusses them with filmmaker Corisande Albert.

John Bulmer

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Michael Rosen

Jelly Boots/Uncle Gobb

Hay Festival 2017, 

Jelly Boots is a riotous celebration of words – silly words, funny words, new words, old words, words you only use in your own family and the very best words in the right order. Uncle Gobb and the Green Heads is the second uproarious Uncle Gobb adventure. Join Michael Rosen for an introduction to these and others of his much-loved and amazing stories.

6+
Michael Rosen

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Jess Phillips

Everywoman: One Woman's Truth About Speaking the Truth

Hay Festival 2017, 

“You might already know me as that gobby MP who has a tendency to shout about the stuff I care about. Because I’m a woman with a cause, I have been called a feminazi witch, a murderer and threatened with rape. The internet attracts a classy crowd. So, speaking the truth isn’t always easy but I believe it’s worth it. And I want you to believe it too.” #absolutehero

Jess Phillips

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Fumiya Iida

Cambridge Series 7: Robot Intelligence Versus Human Intelligence

Hay Festival 2016, 

How intelligent (or otherwise) are robots? Is it a good thing that they can steal our jobs? And will robots ever take over the world? Dr Iida is a Lecturer in Mechatronics at Cambridge.

Fumiya Iida

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Mark Redknap talks to Sian Lloyd

Discovered in Time

Hay Festival 2011, 
The Keeper of Archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales talks to the BBC journalist, examining the relationship between casual or amateur archaeologists and the role of museums and curators in shaping the national ‘story’.
 
More about Mark Redknap

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Mahmood Mamdani

Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror

Hay Festival 2009, 
The Ugandan-born scholar weighs the claims of counter-insurgency and genocide and examines the reporting and understanding of the Sudanese conflicts.

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Iain Hutchison

Face to Face

Hay Festival 2010, 
From facial transplants to cosmetic surgery the Facial Reconstruction surgeon discusses the challenges, ethics and issues of identity which arise from his groundbreaking work.