All cultures are a response to the same question: what does it mean to be human and alive? The anthropologist and National Geographic Society resident explorer, Wade Davis, winner of a Samuel Johnson Prize, celebrates the wisdom of indigenous cultures in his latest book, The Wayfinders. From the sailors who settled in the Pacific ten centuries before Christ, to Borneo, where a nomadic way of life survived. In this way, the author encourages appreciation of cultural diversity.
The historian presents a lavish introduction to the Elizabethan aesthetic. Beginning with the great portrait of the Queen in grand procession with her Garter Knights, Strong explores chivalry, the changing structure of society, the complexities of imagery and heraldic symbols, and the richness of the Elizabethan imagination. Significantly, these paintings were personal commissions by private individuals and not for public viewing, so they speak volumes about the people who commissioned, painted and saw them. Strong was Director of the National Portrait Gallery 1967–1973 and of the Victoria & Albert Museum 1974–1984.
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 present new reforms on matters that are relevant today. Gabrielle Walker, a Doctor of Chemistry from Cambridge University and presenter of the BBC programme Planet Earth Under Threat, proposes a change of approach to the “climate war”, considering a positive perspective for tackling the problem.
Sutherland, who holds the Miriam Rothschild Chair in Conservation Biology at the Department of Zoology, Cambridge University, will describe attempts to make global evidence available to all, to improve the effectiveness of experts and to change attitudes toward the use of evidence.
The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro produced a document called Agenda 21, a blueprint for saving Planet Earth. For the next two years, thousands of children and young people from almost 100 countries worked together in an extraordinary effort to design, write and illustrate a youth version of Agenda 21, called Rescue Mission Planet Earth. Twenty-five years later, we discuss the impacts, legacy and future of the actions undertaken and the key people involved. Rescue Mission editor Danijela Zunec Brandt, Global Optimism’s Marina Mansilla, local school strike organiser, Rosa Lynas and Peace Child International’s David Woollcombe talk to Andy Fryers.
The novelist and screenwriter, Guillermo Arriaga, renowned for his work on the scripts for Amores perros, 21 Grams and Babel, presents his latest novel, El salvaje, which tells the parallel stories of Juan Guillermo, a teenage orphan with a desire for revenge, and Amaruq, a man obsessed with the persecution of a wolf in the icy lands of the Yukon. In conversation with Laura Revuelta.
Music and literature go together in the work of Joselo Rangel (Mexico), member of and guitarist with the legendary rock group Café Tacuba, whose songs are in Spanish. Author of the book of short stories One Hit Wonder (2015) and an astute journalist, Joselo will talk to Rulo about his double life as a rock star and writer.
Fiona Mozley is an Irish author finalist for the ManBooker Prize with her debut novel Elmet. Lisa McInerney is an Irish writer, author of Glorious Heresies and The Blood Miracles, and winner of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. They will talk about their work with Peter Florence, founder of the Hay Festival.
What is the potential of complex, ambiguous, wordless picture books and short films as springboards for children’s critical and creative discussions about the world and how we live together in it? Fiona Maine is a lecturer in literacy education at Cambridge University.