The Venezuelan fiction writer, poet and screenplay writer, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, is the author of Patria o muerte, which won the 11th Tusquets Novel Prize and which deals with Hugo Chávez’s battle against cancer, and later death. It is not the only time that he has written about the deceased President of Venezuela; together with Cristina Marcano he published Hugo Chavez: The Definitive Biography of Venezuela’s Controversial President. He has also published books, short stories and poetry, and has written screenplays for a number of soap operas, most recently Nada personal, for TV Azteca. He will share a stage with the Lima journalist and writer, Hugo Coya.
An archaeologist who specializes in South America and the Caribbean, and particularly in the historical effects of climate change on insular communities, Jago Cooper is currently the curator of the Americas Department of the British Museum. As well as his work at the museum, he has written and directed a number of programmes for BBC Four in which he disseminates his fieldwork and reveals some of the ancient mysteries of Latin America. He will talk to Gabrielle Walker, a Doctor of Chemistry from Cambridge University and the author of four books about climate change.
The writer and academic Rubén Gallo (Mexico) has a passion for the work of Marcel Proust, one of the greatest writers in the history of literature. In Search of Lost Time (1913-1927) is Proust’s best known work and in it, through great introspection, the writer offers a reflection on his life. Gallo, Professor of the Language, Literature and Civilization of Spain at Princeton University, is the author of Proust’s Latin Americans. He will talk to Guadalupe Nettel about this renowned author’s relationships with Latin Americans.
In his work, the sociologist and writer Azriel Bibliowicz has explored, especially in the novel Migas de pan, part of his family identity: his parents were Jewish migrants who escaped the Holocaust. Jorge Franco narrates his native Medellín in books such as Rosario Tijeras, El mundo de afuera and his most recent work, El cielo a tiros. Juan Carlos Méndez Guédez (Venezuela / España), is a Phd in Hispanic Literature Literature by the University of Salamanca, and is the autor of more tan 20 books including novels, short stories and essays, receiving in 2013 the Book of the Year Award in Venezuela for Arena negra. His most recent book is La ola detenida. They will be in conversation with the writer Esteban Carlos Mejía about narrating their origins.
Supported by Acción Cultural Española
The Peruvian writer, Iván Thays, shortlisted for the Herralde Prize for Un lugar llamado Oreja de Perro, is the author of several novels, including Antonio vuelve a casa. Guadalupe Nettel (Mexico) is the author of the novel Después del invierno (2014 Herralde Novel Prize) and of a number of books of short stories. They will talk to Ignasi Duarte.
Valenzuela is one of the best-known and important contemporary Argentinean writers. Because of the military dictatorship, which impeded both her journalistic and literary work, she went into exile in the United States. She stayed there for ten years and was writer-in-residence at the Center for InterAmerican Relations and at New York and Columbia universities, where she also gave writing workshops and seminars. In 1989 she returned for good to Buenos Aires, where she continues to live. Luisa Valenzuela is the author of more than 30 books, including novels, short stories, micro-fiction and essays, with titles such as La travesía, El gato eficaz, Los heréticos and Hay que sonreír, which have been translated and published in many different countries.
Four authors reflect on writing during this turbulent period, in which the media constantly talk about natural disasters, political changes, polarization and disillusionment. Valeria Luiselli (Mexico), Valentín Trujillo (Uruguay), Eduardo Plaza (Chile) and Carlos Manuel Álvarez (Cuba) will talk about writing fiction in this context.
In the speeches of politicians, in the media, in advertising, in electoral campaigns: populism is everywhere. Gerardo Bongiovanni is chair of the Fundación Libertad in Argentina, which promotes democracy and the rule of law, and has also edited the book El estallido del populismo; Jorge Quiroga is ex-president of Bolivia; and Yoani Sánchez is a Cuban blogger who has become famous for her critical look at life in Cuba under the present government. These three will talk to the journalist Claudia Gurisatti.
The arts as a competitive industry that contributes to the development of a country’s economy; literature, visual arts, music and film thought as lucrative, creative and employment-generating activities. The so-called “orange economy” has been identified as one of the areas to be developed within Colombia, a very culturally-rich country with a full calendar of activities such as festivals and art and literature fairs. Two experts in linking creativity and business talk about the orange economy and its possibilities: Eugenio García (Chile), creative director who created the legendary “No” campaign in Chile, which was pivotal in the democratic transition after the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet; and Nir Hindi (Israel), founder of The Artian, a consulting company joining creativity and business, with a training programme based on the renaissance model created for companies and cultural ventures. They will talk with the vice minister of culture David Melo
Simultaneous English to Spanish translation available
Supported by the Embassy of Israel and PROCOLOMBIA
Science has given us unprecedented knowledge about the big questions that have faced humanity. Where do we come from? What is the ultimate end of the universe? What is our physical world made up of? What is consciousness? The mathematician Marcus du Sautoy (UK), Professor of Mathematics and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford, deals with the issues that make us human in his book What We Cannot Know. He will talk about his work with the professor Carlos Arredondo.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
Although publishers seem to be convinced that there is not the same demand for short stories as for novels or self-help books, the genre often sparks the beginnings of a passion for books, and also acts as a school for most writers. From the brothers Grimm to Edgar Allan Poe, from Borges, who did not believe in the novel, to Cortázar, who said that the novel won by points but the short story was capable of a knockout, short fiction is full of gems. The Spanish writers Eloy Tizón and Pilar Adón will talk to Guido Tamayo about some of them.
Leila Guerriero (Argentina) won the CEMEX-FNPI Prize in 2010 for her report El rastro en los huesos, on the military dictatorship in her country; she has worked with media organizations in Argentina, Colombia and Chile, and is the Latin America Editor of Gatopardo magazine (Mexico). John Paul Rathbone (United Kingdom) is currently Latin America Editor of the British newspaper Financial Times, after having worked for The Wall Street Journal (USA), The Sunday Telegraph (United Kingdom), El Espectador (Colombia) and Esquire (USA). Cecilia Valenzuela (Peru) is currently Journalism Editor at the newspaper Perú21. They will talk about their extensive and rigorous work all over the continent, with the Colombian journalist from BBC Latin America, Daniel Pardo.
With the support of the Embassy of Argentina
It is common to see the viewpoint defended that the past should not be forgotten. However, what if it is painful and counterproductive? David Rieff is a journalist and writer of books on immigration, international conflicts and humanitarianism. His articles regularly appear in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, El País and other publications. In his latest book, he questions the way in which peoples tend to relate to the past.
Maylis de Kerangal (France) has worked in publishing and is the author of novels including Birth of a Bridge, translated into eight languages and winner of the Médicis, Franz Hessel and Gregor von Rezzori prizes, and Mend the Living, winner in 2015 of the Llibreter Prize awarded by Catalan booksellers. Her latest work to be published in Spanish is Lampedusa, a novel built up around the name Lampedusa, which the author hears on the radio, full of literary and geographical associations, but also of tragedy and pain because of its link to the port of Lampedusa and the massive arrival of refugees on Sicily in recent years. She will talk to Alfredo Vanini Benvenuto, cultural manager, journalist and writer.
Participating at this gala are the following writers: Ana Alonso (España), Frank Báez (Dominican Republic), Valter Hugo Mãe (Portugal), Rachel Eliza Griffiths (United States), Carlos Zanón (Spain), Darío Jaramillo (Colombia), Gloria Esquivel (Colombia), Rosemary Sullivan (Canada), Gabriela Jauregui (Mexico), Lee Maracle (Canadá), Alan Mills (Guatemala), Mónica Ojeda (Ecuador) and Daniel Saldaña (Mexico). Moderated by Juan Merino.
With the support of Acción Cultural Española. Foco Cultura España-Colombia
With the support of the Mexican Embassy
Unlike prose, where there is more anecdotal development, in poetry, ideas enter the reader’s consciousness, verse after verse, disguised as images. A poem has emotion, feeling and thought, and is also a way of understanding the world. Darío Jaramillo, winner of the 2017 National Poetry Prize with El cuerpo y otra cosa, will talk about poetry with the writer Gloria Esquivel, author of the poetry book El lado salvaje and the novel Animales del fin del mundo.
The novelist and essayist Sergio del Molino has recently published the work of literary non-fiction La España vacía and the novel La mirada de los peces. Sara Mesa is an award-winning author of short stories and novels. Her work Cuatro por cuatro was shortlisted for the Herralde Novel Prize and Cicatriz was chosen as one of El País’s books of the year. These two Spanish writers, much acclaimed for their unique viewpoints and styles, will talk to Margarita Valencia about writing.
Renato Cisneros is a journalist, poet and fiction writer. La distancia que nos separa, a book that also gave rise to his latest novel, Dejarás la tierra, is based on the search for the man who was Cisneros’ own father before he was born. As the author says, “it is the story of a son who is searching for his place in the world by remembering his father”, General “Gaucho” Cisneros. The philosopher Javier Gomá is the author of the Tetralogía de la ejemplaridad and the monologue Inconsolable, about the unexpected desolation he suffered after the death of his father. The text, which has also been adapted into a play, is the interpretation of a number of situations in which the author experienced mortality and death. The two will talk to the writer Margarita Valencia.
Geoff Dyer is one of the most outstanding contemporary English writers. A regular contributor to publications such as Esquire, The Guardian and The New York Times, he is also the author of titles such as But Beautiful and Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It. He will talk to the writer and publisher Jerónimo Pimentel about his latest book, White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World, a work about the power of memory, a beautiful homage to art and literature.
Eight writers from different parts of the world will talk about the books, whether classic or contemporary from female authors, that have most left their mark. This event promises to be a kind of group tour through the best and newest in world literature.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
Music can be understood as an ephemeral art and politics as a transitory mood. If this is so, what is the relationship between the two? Carmen Pardo lectures on Barcelona University’s Master’s in Sound Art. She has extensively researched the soundscape of contemporary music and has published some of her findings in two important works: En el silencio de la cultura and La escucha oblicua: una invitación a John Cage. Valter Hugo Mãe is the author of books for children and adults, as well as a publisher, fine artist and singer. They will talk to the literary critic and columnist Camilo Hoyos about music as a political expression.
Economic and political protectionism is gaining ground around the world. The changes that have happened in Russia, the United States and Europe have altered the idea of a global citizenship. In their books David Rieff, Sergio del Molino and Carmen Boullosa have explored in detail and in very original ways the consequences of these political transformations for individuals. The three writers will talk to the journalist María Elvira Samper.
Luke Harding, the award-winning British journalist, will talk about his newest book Conspiration, where he recounts the convulsed story that reveals the close coonections between Trump´s government and Moscow and the political game set by Russia decades ago in order to unsettle the American democracy. The Specuial Prosecutor Robert Mueller has already submmited an accusation against some of the protagonists in this alleged conspiracy, including Trump´s campaigns manager Paul Manafort. It is higly probable that many more will follow as the crisis within the president´s Executive Office aggravates.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
In the 1980s, under the influence of Spanish punk, many of the young people of Peru expressed their anger. Some of their reactions involved drugs, music and violent action. Martín Roldán, who wrote Este amor no es para cobardes (2015), writes about a Lima of repression, scarcity and power cuts. He and Edurne Portela, who last year published El eco de los disparos, a book about the end of ETA’s armed struggle and which maintains a commitment to engaging with the past, will talk to the writer Alonso Rabí.
With more than thirty million books sold and translations into over forty languages, Marc Levy is the most read French author. Many of his titles have been translated into English, including P.S. from Paris, All Those Things We Never Read and If Only It Were True. This last novel has been made into a film entitled Just Like Heaven, starring Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. Levy, who decided to write novels after time in the French Red Cross and running an architecture firm, will talk to the writer Felipe Restrepo Pombo about his extensive and exciting bibliography.