In times of instability and change, more and more African writers are turning to non-fiction. A new anthology, Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction, brings local perspectives to the stories behind the headlines, and highlights contemporary issues across the continent. It addresses the Chinese in Africa, the refugee crisis, and Ebola. Can creative nonfiction move readers where fiction falls short, or simply fails to inspire action? Rosie Goldsmith hosts South African-based author Mark Gevisser, Hawa Golakai from Liberia and Kevin Eze from Senegal.
Our systems are failing. Old models for education, healthcare, government, food production and energy supply are no longer fit for purpose. As the world’s population heads towards eight billion, it’s clear that we need new approaches. Futurist Mark Stevenson sets out across four continents to find them. From Brazilian favelas to high- tech Boston, and from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, We Do Things Differently travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future.
General Sir Richard Shirreff, one of Britain’s highest-ranking soldiers and until recently Deputy Head of NATO, was threatened with court martial when he dared to criticise David Cameron’s defence policy. What he says here goes much further. He brings an urgent warning: We are sleepwalking our way into war with Russia and we need to act now, with resolution, to avoid it.
The curators of the two landmark exhibitions of the 400th anniversary celebrations share their treasures at Hay – from First Folios and the now famous handwritten plea for refugees, to Vivien Leigh’s Titania costume and some of the richest theatrical memorabilia of the last 400 years.
What skills and approaches are transferable when building a start-up into a FTSE 100 company, and turning around an elite sports team? Buttress is the co-founder of Just Eat. He started the business in his basement London flat, turned over £36 in the first month and stood down as chief executive in 2017 when the company had a market capitalisation of £5bn, in order to take on a struggling Welsh rugby union team. He tells the story of Just Eat and the evolving story of the Dragons.
If the political decision is difficult, what will the practical delivery be like? How can it be done? By whom? And when? Maddox is the Director of the Institute for Government; Lord Burns was Permanent Secretary to the Treasury in the 1990s; Pryce was joint head of the Government’s Economic Service until 2010, and is the author of Greekonomics; Allen Green writes the Jack of Kent blog and is the author of Brexit: What Everyone Needs to Know.
Also drawing upon an epic poem and an intimate portrait of a serving Swansea soldier, Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero brings the stories of war to life but counterpoints the tragic telling with hope. At its heart is a site specific Requiem, realised from a collaboration between the late Oscar-nominated Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhansson and Owen Morgan Roberts; with a libretto by BAFTA nominated writer Owen Sheers. Artist Owen Griffiths (Arts Council of Wales Creative Ambassador) will also join the conversation to discuss his contribution to the project – the creation of an edible landscape and harvest gathering, as featured in Brangwyn's paintings.
Rees introduces the concepts of Nawr Yr Arwr \ Now The Hero and discusses Sheers’ response to the ancient Celtic poem Y Gododdin; Roberts’ interpretation of this in musical form in a specific setting; and Griffiths unique interpretation of paintings as war memorials in contemporary landscape.
Chaired by Jasper Rees.
Now The Hero is the highlight in Wales for the final year of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.
The winning author and translator of Celestial Bodies join us for a conversation with the chair of the jury. Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present.
Bettany Hughes says: “Through the different tentacles of people’s lives and loves and losses we come to learn about this society – all its degrees, from the very poorest of the slave families working there to those making money through the advent of a new wealth in Oman and Muscat. It starts in a room and ends in a world. We felt we were getting access to ideas and thoughts and experiences you aren’t normally given in English. It avoids every stereotype you might expect in its analysis of gender and race and social distinction and slavery. There are surprises throughout. We fell in love with it.”
Escape to the magical world of the Moomins and their friends as it is explored in this beautiful book, The World of Moominvalley. Join the author as he delves into the background to the classic Moomin stories and reveals the richly creative life of their author Tove Jansson. Moomin fans old and new will be entranced by the wealth of knowledge that this book adds to the familiar stories.
Introduced by Nat Jansz
In association with Oxfam
A lights-down-and-listen session and Q&A with writer Glyn Maxwell and BBC Radio Drama producer Nadia Molinari. Love is put through the toughest Q&A in Glyn Maxwell’s comedy of festival manners. Come and listen to this 45-minute original drama recorded on location at this year’s Hay Festival, followed by a discussion about how it was created.
This session is not for broadcast, but the original recording of Time for One More Question will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 29 May at 2.15pm.
Jacek Dehnel is a poet, novelist, painter and translator. In 2005 he was one of the youngest ever winners of Poland’s Koscielski Prize for promising writers and was also awarded the prestigious Paszport Polityki prize. He talks to RTE's Zbyszek Zalinski.
The Gallagher’s Boxty House chef looks at the introduction and assimilation of the potato into Irish culture and cuisine, from its late 16th-century arrival to its role in NASA’s exploration of Mars. He talks to Kevin Sheridan of Sheridan’s Cheesemongers.
No city in the world has quite the exotic allure of Tangier. From the C17th, it has been a place on the edge, beyond the normal disciplines of government, a city of refuge and excitements where sex is cheap, drugs are plentiful and where the outcasts of the world can breathe easily. The golden years of Tangier began after World War I and barely survived World War II. Among those who sought sanctuary in or inspiration from this legendary city were Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Paul and Jane Bowles, Ronnie Kray, Tennessee Williams, Joe Orton, Cecil Beaton and Truman Capote. It is this ‘last resort of the living dead, alive but not madly kicking’ that Finlayson explores in his witty, enthralling study.