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Abdel Bari Atwan talks to Nik Gowing

Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate

Hay Festival 2015, 

The Palestinian editor of Rai al-Youm offers a comprehensive review of the group’s organisational structure and leadership, strategies, tactics and diverse methods of recruitment. He traces the salafi-jihadi lineage of IS, its ideological differences with al-Qa’ida, and the deadly rivalry that has emerged between their leaders. Atwan also shows how the group’s rapid growth has been facilitated by its masterful command of social media platforms, the ‘dark web’, Hollywood ‘blockbuster’-style videos, and even jihadi computer games, producing a powerful paradox where the ambitions of the Middle Ages have re-emerged in cyber-space.

Abdel Bari Atwan talks to Nik Gowing

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Colm O’Gorman talks to Jon Snow

Beyond Belief

Hay Festival 2010, 
Abused by his priest, betrayed by his church – The Story of the Boy Who Sued the Pope. O’Gorman is currently Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ireland.
Colm O’Gorman talks to Jon Snow

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David Shukman in conversation with Andy Fryers

Reporting Live From The End of the World

Hay Festival 2011, 
The BBC’s Environment correspondent reports from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and the epicentre of the Pacific earthquake.

More about David Shukman here

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Markus Zusak talks to Stephanie Merritt

The Book Thief

Hay Festival 2009, 
‘Some important information – this novel is narrated by Death. It’s a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.’

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Power House

Hay Festival 2008, 
Robert Peston (Who Runs Britain?) and Peter Oborne (The Triumph of the Political Class) discuss the nature of power and influence in Britain, chaired by Robert Yates (Extreme Nation).

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Clive Anderson

Woodland Trust Series 2: The Oliver Rackham Memorial Lecture

Hay Festival 2015, 

Woodland Trust president Clive Anderson pays tribute to the life and legacy of prolific ecologist and author Oliver Rackham, who died in February. This inaugural memorial lecture will explore Professor Rackham’s profound influence, both on the work of the Trust and Clive’s own love of the nation’s trees and woods. 

Clive Anderson

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Philippe Sands

The Eric Hobsbawm Lecture: East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

Hay Festival 2016, 

The lawyer and writer explores how personal lives and history are interwoven. Drawing from his acclaimed new book – part historical detective story, part family history, part legal thriller – he explains the connections between his work on crimes against humanity and genocide, the events that overwhelmed his family during the Second World War, and an untold story at the heart of the Nuremberg Trial. Chaired by Helena Kennedy.

Philippe Sands

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Robin Ince

Happiness Through Science

Hay Festival 2012, 
The Uncaged Monkeys star asks if you can be happy and rational at the same time. Join him in a world of Schrödinger cats, multiverses and evolutionary conundrums as he orienteers through the craggy landscape of evolution while plumbing the depths of his own murky consciousness, all without the aid of a safety net.

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Paddy Ashdown

Game of Spies

Hay Festival 2017, 

The true story of a lethal spy triangle with three men at its centre – a brilliant, ruthless, British secret agent called Roger Landes; the Gestapo counter-espionage officer Friedrich Dohse, who was charged with finding him; and French Resistance leader André Grandclément, who was responsible for the most controversial betrayal that took place in wartime France. From 1942 until 1944 these three enemies were drawn into a lethal dance in which comrades, Allied agents and downed pilots were sold to the Germans as casually as crates of wine. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.

Paddy Ashdown

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David Grossman talks to David Aaronovitch

To the End of the Land

Hay Festival 2012, 
The great Israeli author of See Under: Love, The Zigzag Kid and The Yellow Wind discusses his masterpiece, a rich imagining of a family in love and crisis that makes for one of the great anti-war novels of our time.

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Bob Stanley and Mark Ellen talk to Bethan Elfyn

A History of Pop Music

Hay Festival 2014, 
Two of the biggest names involved in the last 40 years of pop music: Bob Stanley, journalist, producer, and founder of pop group St Etienne, is joined by Mark Ellen, TV presenter (Live Aid, Whistle Test), music journalist and bass player in Tony Blair’s first band. They talk to the BBC’s Bethan Elfyn.

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John Sutherland and John Crace

The Two Johnnies Do Dickens

Hay Festival 2012, 
The ultra-Prof and the Digested Reads satirist tell you stuff you never realised you needed to know about the bi-centenarist.

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Janne Teller talks to Marian Hens

Segovia 2011, 
Meeting with Janne Teller, Danish writer and author of the novel Nothing, a work which questions the meaning of life and the limits of tolerance that have engendered heated debates in various European countries about existential matters. The tale begins when the young Pierre Anthon leaves school when he discovers there is no point in doing anything because life has no sense.
 
Simultaneous translation will be available from English into Spanish.

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Will Hill & Richard Kurti

Total Warfare

Hay Festival 2013, 

Two epic and violent stories. Two brutal wars. Two very different worlds. Will Hill and Richard Kurti will talk about the complex worlds they have created and why they don’t flinch from violence.

Battle Lines is the third instalment in Will Hill’s Dept 19 series – a fantastic mix of sci-fi, horror and sheer action adventure, set in a complex and deeply imagined world. Dept 19 exists to hunt and kill demons and vampires. In Battle Lines, the very existence of humanity is at stake. War is unavoidable.

Monkey Wars is a challenging and unflinching look at the politics of power from screenwriter Richard Kurti. As the Langur monkeys rise to power, there is a brutal masscacre of Rhesus monkeys which drives them out of their homes. One young Langur stands up against the corrupt regime, but when monkeys turn on each other, there can be no survivors.

Find out how these writers create such believable worlds and why they embrace extremes.

13+ years

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Bronwen Maddox, Jeremy Bowen, Adam Michnik

Revolutions and Headlines

Hay Festival 2011, 
From the Velvet Revolutions to Tahrir Square and the turmoil in Libya, how does the media sensationalise, record and understand revolution? The Prospect editor is joined by the BBC Middle East Correspondent and the editor-in-chief of Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza.

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Sarah Churchwell

The London Library Lecture

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Secret History of the American Dream

Now used to describe everything from reality television to The Great Gatsby, ‘the American Dream’ is a phrase that most people assume stretches back to the founding of America. But the history of this catchphrase is much more recent – and surprising – than our casual usages suggest. Professor Churchwell traces the emergence of this cliché in the first decades of the 20th century from debates that drove it into the heart of American popular culture. At the same time, she reveals the ways in which the very idea of the ‘American Dream’ was invented to address the same troubling questions about immigration and nationalism, education and job creation, economic and cultural breakdown, individual ambition and social responsibility, that continue to define our society today.

Sarah Churchwell

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Giles Milton

Paradise Lost

Hay Festival 2008, 
Giles Milton recounts the catastrophe of Smyrna 1922: The Destruction of Islam’s City of Tolerance.

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Ed Thomas, Ed Talfan and David Wilson

Hinterland

Hay Festival 2017, 

The producers of the cult noir film thriller are joined by photographer David Wilson to talk about the silent character in the hit TV show: the landscapes of Ceredigion. Wilson has captured these landscapes for the new book Hinterland Landscapes and the panel will reflect on what the settings have brought to the show, and the impact the show has had on this quiet part of Wales. Chaired by Jon Gower.

Ed Thomas, Ed Talfan and David Wilson

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Joanne Harris talks to Ariane Koek

Runemarks

Hay Festival 2008, 
Joanne Harris talks to Ariane Koek about her move from the romantic bohemia of Chocolat to the epic fantasy of her first novel for teenagers Runemarks.

Hay Fever 12 yrs +

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Tony Campbell

Cardiff University Series 2: A Life That Sparkles

Hay Festival 2013, 

A stunning illustrated talk about how bioluminescence has revolutionised biomedical research and clinical diagnosis. It has led to major discoveries about the biggest ecosystem on the planet, and how cells switch on and off in health and disease. Quite surprisingly, it has also created several billion dollar markets – the pharmacy prof reveals all.

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Gillian Clarke

The British Council Poetry Lecture: Nothing Is Until It Has A Word

Hay Festival 2011, 
The National Poet of Wales reflects on her Laureateship, and the place of poetry in the life of the nation.
 
Read more about Gillian Clarke

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Nativel Preciado and Rosa Montero

Let’s Talk About Life

Segovia 2013, 

Nativel Preciado and Rosa Montero speak about their literary works Si yo tuviera 100.000 seguidores (Planeta) and La ridícula idea de no volver a verte (Seix Barral). Each is a profound reflection on intimacy, society, work, life and memories. Chaired by Ana Gavín.



Co-organized with Fundación Lara

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Ian Jenkins

Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art

Hay Festival 2015, 

For centuries the ancient Greeks experimented with ways of representing the human body, both as an object of beauty and a bearer of meaning. The remarkable works of art in the British Museum’s blockbuster exhibition range from the abstract simplicity of prehistoric figurines to breathtaking realism in the age of Alexander the Great. The exhibition’s curator introduces the images and sculptures, with co-curator Celeste Farge.

Ian Jenkins

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Izzeldin Abuelaish talks to Rosie Boycott

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity

Hay Festival 2011, 
The doctor’s three daughters were killed by Israeli shells on 16 January 2009, during the IDF’s incursion into the Gaza Strip. His response to this tragedy made news and won him humanitarian awards around the world.

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Michael Marriott

Roses and Rose Fragrances

Hay Festival 2008, 
What other plant potentially has a beautiful bloom, a wonderful fragrance, is easy to look after and repeat flowers? The David Austin Roses technical director Michael Marriott identifies the best roses available, and discusses their fragrances, and how to look after them.