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Philip Ball

Unnatural – The Heretical Idea of Making People

Hay Festival 2011, 
The writer delves beneath the surface of the cultural history of ‘anthropoesis’ – the artificial creation of people – to explore what it tells us about our views on life, humanity, creativity and technology. And what it tells us about the soul.

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Russell Stannard

The End of Discovery

Hay Festival 2011, 
The Open University’s Emeritus Professor of Physics explores the scientific frontiers and the limitations of the human brain. He asks whether we are approaching the boundaries of the knowable.

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Jon Lee Anderson, Robin Yassin-Kassab and Åsne Sierstad in conversation with Benedict Brogan

From war to words

Beirut 2012, 
Journalists face the challenge of witnessing conflict and violence and having to transform often harrowing first-hand experience into suitable journalism. How do you put war into words? Jon Lee Anderson is a writer for The New Yorker who has worked extensively in conflict zones across the world. He is also the author of Che, a Revolutionary Life, a biography of Che Guevara, and The Fall of Baghdad. Robin Yassin-Kassab is co-editor of and a regular contributor to PULSE Media, recently listed by Le Monde diplomatique as one of its top five websites, and the author of The Road from Damascus. Åsne Seierstad is a norwegian freelance journalist and writer, best known for her accounts of everyday life in war zones: Kabul after 2001, Baghdad in 2003 and the ruined Grozny in 2007. She is the author of the international bestseller The Bookseller of Kabul. Chaired by Benedict Brogan, Deputy Editor of The Daily Telegraph.
 
Event in English
With the support of the British Council and NORLA

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Jane Bradley, Misha Glenny, Luke Harding talk to Oliver Bullough

Kleptoscope 1: The Real McMafia

Hay Festival 2018, 

A walk on the dark side of globalisation and the all-pervasive organised crime that reaches from Russia to the banks and parliaments of the world, and to every personal computer networked to the web. Bradley is Buzzfeed’s Investigations Correspondent, Glenny is the author of McMafia, Harding is the author of Collusion and a foreign correspondent at the Guardian, Bullough’s forthcoming book is Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks now Rule the World and How to Take it Back.

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Sarah Woods, Bill McGuire and Andrew Simms

There was a Knock at the Door – can modern folk tales help to understand these troubling times?

Hay Festival 2017, 

‘Strange’ is the new ‘normal’ for global events. Throughout history, folk tales emerged to help us come to terms with extreme events. With the world as it is today, might stories make better sense of things than news reports? Artist and playwright Sarah Woods is joined by Andrew Simms, editor of a new collection of tales There was a Knock at the Door, and Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at UCL and author of Waking the Giant.

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Dexter Dias talks to Tom Clark

The Ten Types of Human

Hay Festival 2017, 

We want to believe that there are some things we would never do. We want to believe that there are other things we always would. But how can we be sure? What are our limits? Do we have limits? The human rights lawyer examines the best and worst of our capabilities.

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Secret Treasures of Ancient Egypt

Hay Festival 2016, 

Step back in time and explore the amazing lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus with the help of Xanthe Gresham Knight, one of the core Storytellers for the British Museum. Enjoy incredible tales of submerged deities and treasures and discover how these fantastic cities were rediscovered.

8+

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Osvaldo Gross, Leonor Espinosa and Rafael Osterling in conversation with Sergio Vilela

New latinoamerican cuisine

Cartagena 2012, 
We present three of Latin America’s finest chefs. Osvaldo Gross is one of the best chef patissier of the world and presents the tv programme elgourmet.com.  Rafael Osterling is the author of the cookery book Rafael and one of Latin America’s major chefs. His restaurant, Rafael, in Lima, has appeared on lists of the best in South America. He also has a restaurant in Bogota by the same name. They will talk to the editor and writer Sergio Vilela.

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Gaby Wood, Philippe Sands, Elif Shafak, Juan Gabriel Vasquez

The Golden Man Booker Prize

Hay Festival 2018, 

What is the best Booker winner? To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fiction prize, five judges have each selected what they think is the best winner of each decade since 1968. The shortlist result will be announced at Hay on 26 May. Wood, the Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, hosts an all-star panel who will have read the shortlisted books and will pick a Hay winner. Sands won the non-fiction Baillie Gifford Prize for East West Street. Turkish author Shafak’s novels include Honour, The Forty Rules of Love and Three Daughters of Eve.  The Colombian novelist Gabriel Vasquez won the Premio Alfaguara and the IMPAC award for The Sound of Things Falling. His latest novel is The Shape of the Ruins.

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Emma Rothschild

The Inner Life of Empires

Hay Festival 2011, 
Tracing the lives of a single Scottish family whose eleven siblings roamed the globe to seek their fortunes, the historian explores the great elements of the C18th world: empire, politics, slavery, warfare and Enlightenment thought and sensibility. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.

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Gillian Beer

Alice in Space

Hay Festival 2015, 

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Beer sets the Alice books in a number of different contexts in the Victorian period – what was going on in Punch, in maths, in language theory, in evolutionary theory, in child development – and asks how the books both thrive on these presences and wriggle free of them. Beer is also the editor of Carroll’s poems Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense.

Gillian Beer

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Holly Smale

Hay Festival 2014, 

Join Holly Smale, winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and creator of the bestselling Geek Girl series, talking to Damian Kelleher about smart and funny fiction for smart and funny readers. Guaranteed to get your geek on!

11+ years

Holly Smale

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Philippa Semper

Who Wants to Live Forever? Mortals, Immortals and the Undead

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Medievalist and Fantasy scholar considers our interest in life without death – as vampires, zombies or in other forms, and as it appears in myth, folklore, literary novels and popular culture. What can these stories tell us about the desire for immortality?

Philippa Semper

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Tom Anderson and Eurig Salisbury

A Brief History of Welsh Rhyme

Hay Festival 2011, 
The travel writer and the poet discuss the legacy of Welsh rhyme and its influence today.

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Naomi Wolf

Outrages: Sex, Censorship, and the Criminalisation of Love

Hay Festival 2019, 

Wolf illuminates a dramatic history – how a single English law in 1857 led to a maelstrom, with reverberations lasting to our day. That law was the Obscene Publications Act. Dissent and morality became legal concepts: if writers, editors, printers and booksellers did not uphold the law and the morals of society they faced serious criminal penalties. This was most dramatic regarding anything to do with love between men; homosexuality was linked to deviancy in the eyes of the law. Wolf portrays the dramatic ways this censorship played out among a bohemian group of sexual dissidents, including Walt Whitman in America and the English critic John Addington Symonds. Both a fascinating story and, crucially, an important way of understanding how the Act created homophobia and our ideas of ‘normalcy’ and ‘deviancy’, Outrages also shows the way it helped usher in the state’s purported need and right to police speech. Chaired by Matthew d’Ancona.

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James Scott

AIQ: How Artificial Intelligence Works and how we can Harness its Power for a Better World

Hay Festival 2018, 

The statistician and data scientist offers an up-close and user-friendly look at artificial intelligence: what it is, how it works, where it came from and how to harness its power for a better world. A revolution of intelligent machines, from self-driving cars to smart digital assistants, is now remaking our world, just as the Industrial Revolution remade the world of the 19th century. Doctors use AI to diagnose and treat cancer. Banks use it to detect fraud. Power companies use it to save energy. AI is changing our lives at lightning speed. Many of these changes offer great promise, including freedom from drudgery, safer workplaces, better health care and fewer language barriers. But others elicit worry - whether about jobs, data privacy, political manipulation or the prospect of machines making biased decisions with no accountability. Scott shows how intelligent machines operating on massive data sets are changing the world around you, and how you can use this knowledge to make better decisions in your own life. Chaired by Hannah MacInnes.

James Scott

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Guy Bass

Dinkin Dings

Hay Festival 2011, 
Dinkin is afraid of everything (and we mean everything, not just scary things). Join his infectiously enthusiastic creator and learn how to protect yourself from Zombaliens and whatnot.
 
7+ years Rib Ticklers 

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Andrew O’Hagan talks to Rosie Boycott

Fictions – The Illuminations

Hay Festival 2015, 

How much do we keep from the people we love? Why is the truth so often buried in secrets? Can we learn from the past or must we forget it? O’Hagan’s fifth novel is a beautiful, deeply charged story about love and memory, about modern war and the complications of fact.

Photo: Tricia Malley Ross Gillespie

Andrew O’Hagan talks to Rosie Boycott

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Dannie Abse talks to Gwyneth Lewis

Hay Festival 2007, 
The writer discusses his latest collection of poetry Running Late and his memoir The Presence. After his wife Joan died in a car accident in June 2005, he began to write a diary which is both a record of present grief, and a portrait of a marriage which lasted more than fifty years.

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Hay on Earth 4

A Market Place for Innovation

Hay Festival 2010, 
Groups participating by invitation in the Hay on Earth 4 social enterprise and business sustainability workshop taking place earlier this morning have the opportunity here to engage members of the public in discussion and sharing of ideas that make their projects stronger and more likely to succeed.

Entry to this event is free, and no need to reserve a ticket – just drop in.

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Dolly Alderton talks to Clemency Burton-Hill

Everything I Know About Love

Hay Festival 2018, 

When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown-up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart-themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Alderton’s captivating memoir is about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.

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Yasmeen Ismail

Specs for Rex

Hay Festival 2015, 
Time for Bed, Fred! is Yasmeen Ismail’s award-wining debut picture book. Join her for storytelling and find out how to draw Rex, a young lion character from her newest book Specs for Rex.

Photo: Olivia Hemmingway

4+ years
Yasmeen Ismail

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Gulwali Passarlay talks to Oliver Bullough

The Lightless Sky: An Afghan Refugee Boy’s Journey of Escape to a new Life in Britain

Hay Festival 2016, 

Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan at the age of 12, after his father was killed in a gun battle with the US army. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali embarked on a 12-month odyssey across Europe, spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, cruelty and violence. He endured a terrifying journey on a tiny boat in the Mediterranean, braved the brutality of those who should care for children and spent a desolate month in the camp at Calais. Somehow he survived and made it to Britain, no longer an innocent child but still a young boy alone. Here in Britain he was fostered, went to a good school, worked hard and won a place at a top university. Gulwali was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. Many refugees die along the way. Some are sent back to face imprisonment and possible death. Some survive and make it here, to a country that offers them the chance of a life of freedom and opportunity.

Gulwali Passarlay talks to Oliver Bullough

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Korky Paul

Sir Scallywag and the Deadly Dragon Poo

Hay Festival 2014, 
Fans of Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants will be delighted to hear that it is time for a brand new crazy adventure. Sir Scallywag and the Deadly Dragon Poo, from the inspired team of Giles Andreae and Korky Paul, is guaranteed high-octane fun.
5+ years
Korky Paul

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Harriet Walter talks to Rosie Boycott

Facing It

Hay Festival 2011, 
The actor and photographer shows and discusses her portraits – Reflections on the Images of Older Women.