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Sonia Montecino

Rapa Nui – Easter Island

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Chilean anthropologist introduces the colonial history and culture of the Polynesian island, and the islanders’ relationship with food, language and the renowned stone sculptures.

Sonia Montecino

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Alex Renton talks to Matt Stadlen

Stiff Upper Lip: Secrets, Crimes and the Schooling of a Ruling Class

Hay Festival 2017, 

Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Renton reveals a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.

Alex Renton talks to Matt Stadlen

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Raymond Tallis, Anita Donley and Julie Grigg

We Need to Talk about the NHS

Hay Festival 2016, 

Why are the ‘junior doctors’ calling an all-out strike? What do the PFI hospital contracts mean? How much of the NHS is privatised already? How could it all be better? And what can we do about that? The physician, philosopher and writer Raymond Tallis is the author of NHS SOS; Donley is Clinical Vice President, Royal College of Physicians; Grigg is a GP in the Hay Medical Centre practice.

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Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and H.J. Golakai talk to Georgina Godwin

Fictions: Africa 39

Hay Festival 2016, 

We’re delighted to celebrate two of the stars of our Africa 39 project. H J Golakai’s The Lazarus Effect sends a Cape Town journalist, Voinjama Johnson, on an investigation into missing children. In Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms, an affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-old weed dealer Reza was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative northern Nigeria. This story of love and longing – set against undercurrents of political violence – unfurls gently, revealing layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion.

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim and H.J. Golakai talk to Georgina Godwin

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Jane Ridley

Edwin Lutyens

Hay Festival 2002, 
The biographer in conversation about her study of the great English architect who moved with equal success from 'English Free School' style to magnificent classical Baroque architecture, and with Gertrud Jekyll, created many of the nation's finest country houses and gardens.

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Family History: War Stories

Hay Festival 2014, 

Sarah Ridley and Rebecca Stevens were both inspired by real stories in their families, including letters sent home from soldiers away at war. Find out how their research inspired their books, Dear Jelly and Valentine Joe.

8+ years

Family History: War Stories

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Claire Gorrara, Christopher Lewis, Anna Vivian Jones, Teresa Tinsley

Why Bother Studying Modern Languages – Everyone Speaks English

Hay Festival 2018, 

We have been repeatedly told that the UK will be looking to create new free-trade partnerships following Brexit, above all with the 'Anglosphere'. Why then do we need to study or learn other languages? Everyone speaks English. This session will unpack some of the monolingual attitudes that sit behind such views and ask participants to think about the role of languages and language learning for Britain's relationships with a brave new world post-Brexit.  #unpack

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Helen Castor

Cambridge Series 11: Elizabeth I

Hay Festival 2018, 

In the popular imagination, as in her portraits, Elizabeth is the image of monarchical power. The Virgin Queen ruled over a Golden Age: the Spanish Armada was defeated and England's enemies scattered; English explorers reached almost to the ends of the earth; a new Church of England rose from the ashes of past conflict, and the English Renaissance bloomed in the genius of Shakespeare, Spenser and Sidney. But the image is also armour. In her illuminating new account of Elizabeth’s reign, Castor shows how England’s iconic queen was shaped by profound and enduring insecurity – an insecurity which was both a matter of practical political reality and personal psychology. But, facing down her enemies with a compellingly inscrutable public persona, the last and greatest of the Tudor monarchs would become a timeless, fearless queen.

Helen Castor

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Elizabeth Buchan, William Corlett and Sue Gee talk to Phil Rickman

The Country and The City

Hay Festival 1997, 
Buchan's new novel Against Her Nature is a wonderful tale of female survival and empowerment in the financially high-rolling and morally bankrupy eightes. Corlett's Two Gentlemen Sharing is a roller coaster ride throug the sexual mores of life in a "sleepy English village" that leaves its protagonists longing for the relative calm of Carnival Day in Rio. Gee's novel The Hours of the Night is a more sober vision of a similar community on the Welsh Borders.

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John Browne

Connect: How Companies Succeed by Engaging Radically with Society

Hay Festival 2016, 

The former BP CEO of BP articulates and explores the recurring rift between big business and society, offering a practical manifesto for reconciliation. It’s a call to arms for real and effective corporate social responsibility.  Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

John Browne

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Aneirin Karadog and Martin Daws

Bilingual Poetry, Rap and Spoken Word

Hay Festival 2015, 
Aneirin Karadog and Martin Daws – Bardd Plant Cymru and Young People’s Laureate for Wales – meet in an interactive performance and discussion, taking the audience on a bilingual journey of poetry, rap and spoken word, through anecdotes and banter. Language will be no barrier to enjoyment, and beware, as you may be called upon to become a poet yourself!
9+ years
Aneirin Karadog and Martin Daws

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Ruth Scurr talks to Peter Stothard

John Aubrey: My Own Life

Hay Festival 2015, 

John Aubrey loved England. From an early age, he saw his England slipping away and, against extraordinary odds, committed himself to preserving for posterity what remained of it – in books, monuments and life stories. His Brief Lives would redefine the art of biography yet he published only one rushed, botched book in his lifetime and died fearing his name and achievements would be forgotten.

Scurr’s biography is an act of scholarly imagination: a diary drawn from John Aubrey’s own words, displaying his unique voice, dry wit, the irreverence and drama of a literary pioneer. Aubrey saw himself modestly as a collector of a vanishing past, a ‘scurvy antiquary’. But he was also one of the pioneers of modern writing, a journalist before the age of journalism, who witnessed the Civil War and the Great Fire of London in the company of some of the influential men and women, high and low, whose lives he would make his legacy.

Ruth Scurr talks to Peter Stothard

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Sherard Cowper-Coles talks to Nik Gowing

Ever The Diplomat

Hay Festival 2013, 

The author of Cables From Kabul unpacks his diplomatic bag and spills the beans on how the world works in his riveting memoir Confessions Of A Foreign Office Mandarin.

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Laura Spinney

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and how it Changed the World

Hay Festival 2018, 

With a death toll of 50-100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish 'flu of 1918-1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the 20th century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War One. Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pandemic, tracing it from Alaska to Brazil, from Persia to Spain, and from South Africa to Odessa. Telling the story from the point of view of those who lived through it, she shows how the pandemic was shaped by the interaction of a virus and the humans it encountered; and how this devastating natural experiment put both the ingenuity and the vulnerability of humans to the test. Chaired by Stephanie Boland of Prospect magazine.

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Hanif Kureishi talks to Rosie Boycott

Fictions: The Nothing

Hay Festival 2017, 

A new tale of ageing, lust, helplessness and deception told with the trademark black humour of one of the great British novelists whose films and books include The Buddha of Suburbia, Venus, The Mother and My Beautiful Launderette. Kureishi is one of the wisest and most humane writers with an acute eye for vulnerabilities and quiet desperation.

Hanif Kureishi talks to Rosie Boycott

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Catherine Merridale

The British Academy Lecture 1: Lenin on the Train

Hay Festival 2017, 

In April 1917, the exiled leader of the Bolsheviks, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, travelled back to Russia by train.  His country was at war and his route would take him through enemy territory; the plan was controversial from the start.  The destination was the Finland Station and the first steps on the road to Soviet power.  Merridale, the great Russia scholar, follows in the leader's tracks, creating a gripping account of events in Russia and Europe at one of the tensest moments of the First World War. Chaired by Peter Hennessy.

Catherine Merridale

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M.G. Leonard, Sarah Beynon and Andy Holcroft

Beetle Queen

Hay Festival 2017, 

Would you eat an insect? Try it out for yourself at an amazing event with M.G. Leonard, author of Beetle Boy, discussing the inspiration for the book including entomophagy – the practice of eating insects – which features in it. Entomologist Dr Sarah Beynon of The Bug Farm will explain why eating and farming insects could be the future of food, whilst Andy Holcroft of Grub Kitchen cooks up yummy insect bites live on stage for Leonard to eat.

9+

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Nigel Shadbolt

The Digital Ape: How to Live (in Peace) With Smart Machines

Hay Festival 2018, 

The smart-machines revolution is re-shaping our lives and our societies. Shadbolt dispels terror, confusion and misconception. We are not about to be elbowed aside by a rebel army of super-intelligent robots of our own creation. We were using tools before we became homo sapiens, and will continue to control them. How we exercise that control – in our private lives, in employment, in politics – and make the best of the wonderful opportunities, will determine our collective future well-being. Shadbolt is one of the UK’s foremost computer scientists. He is a leading researcher in artificial intelligence, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, and chairman of the Open Data Institute, which he co-founded with Tim Berners-Lee.

Nigel Shadbolt

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Emer Stamp

Pig

Hay Festival 2015, 
Meet famous diarist Pig – like Samuel Pepys, only smellier – as he invites you to read The Super Amazing Adventures of Me, Pig. Emer will take you around the farmyard, introducing you to his pal Duck and those evil chickens, as well as Kitty who is oh so lovely…or is she? Emer’s event is packed with fun and drawing – not to be missed!
6+ years
Emer Stamp

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Safia Minney talks to Dilys Williams

Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics

Hay Festival 2016, 

Slow Fashion offers creatives, entrepreneurs and ethical consumers a glimpse into the innovative world of the eco-concept store movement. It focuses on sustainable design and businesses that makes people, livelihoods and sustainability central to everything they do. Minney is founder and CEO of fairtrade and sustainable fashion label People Tree. Williams is Director of The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion.

Safia Minney talks to Dilys Williams

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Margaret Atwood talks to David Aaronovitch

Hay Festival 2003, 
The great Canadian novelist and poet discusses her ingenious and savage biotech fantasy Oryx and Crake with David Aaronvitch

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Bob Geldof talks to Peter Florence

Budapest 2012, 
A conversation with the singer and activist about Africa, music and love.
 
English with simultaneous translation into Hungarian

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Liz Calder and Jorge Herralde

Life in Books

Hay Festival 2007, 
The two outstanding international publishers discuss their adventures in the book world. Calder co-founded Bloomsbury and the Brazilian lifest FLIP. Herralde at Anagrama is the most admired independent publisher in the Spanish-speaking world. They talk to Peter Florence.

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PetroPower and Geopolitics

Hay Festival 2008, 
Vijay Vaitheeswaran (Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future) and Parag Khanna (The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order) challenge assumptions about energy with climate change thinker Nick Butler.

Hay Player

The Tale Of The Gingerbread Man

Hay Festival 2013, 

An imaginative interactive telling of a much-loved classic story, which parents will enjoy as much as their children.

Duration 30 mins.

3–7 years