Hay Festival Colombia took place from 21 to 30 of January 2022, with events in the cities of Cartagena de Indias, Medellín and Jericó. You are currently browsing the digital programme of the festival.
If you want to browse the in-person events of Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias, click here.
If you want to browse the in-person events of Hay Festival Medellín, click here.
If you want to browse the in-person events of Hay Festival Jericó, click here.
Juan Manuel Restrepo talks Moisés Wasserman and Claudia Restrepo about key ways to improve educational systems, so important in the development of a country and its inhabitants. Claudia Restrepo, principal of Universidad EAFIT since 2021, has 20 years of experience in the design and management of social projects, especially those related to education, culture, citizenship and habitat. Moisés Wasserman (Colombia) has dedicated his life to science; with doctoral and postdoctoral studies in Biochemistry and Microbiology, he has a long list of published works and has won many awards. His most recent book, La educación en Colombia (2021), evaluates the educational systems and models that have been implemented in Colombia, in order to understand the best way to make progress in this vital area.
Hugo Jamioy is a poet from Putumayo, a member of the Camëntsá indigenous community and the author of several books of poetry, including No somos gente (2001) and Danzantes del viento (2010). His work has been translated into English, French, Italian and Portuguese. Jamioy, who participates in the Ministry of Culture’s National Network of Creative Writing Workshops, will talk about his work with Selnich Vivas.
Mauricio García Villegas has a PhD in Politics and is a lecturer at the National University of Colombia, at the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Legal Studies and at the University of Grenoble. He is also a researcher in the field of justice and a columnist for El Espectador. The author of several books, his latest publication is El país de las emociones tristes (2021). This extended essay, based on the ideas of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, tries to explain how in a country like Colombia, so many good ideas, so many national projects have failed, giving rise to a history of conflicts, corruption and injustice. In conversation with Juan Diego Mejía, Mauricio García Villegas addresses the cultural connections among religion, politics and the emotional.
The author of the outstanding novel Cómo maté a mi padre (2020), Sara Jaramillo Klinkert (Colombia), presents a new work, Donde cantan las ballenas, the story of Candelaria, a twelve-year-old girl who lives with a mother who talks to the stones, a brother who grows magical mushrooms and a father who sculpts whales. When her father disappears, her longing to find him will spark the plot that includes characters who are experts in poisonous plants, fearful of storms and evicted writers. The author will talk about this, her second novel, with Esteban Duperly.
Three participants share with us the experience of transforming real-life stories into narratives told through images. Our guests are Tyto Alba, an artist who has illustrated one of the masterpieces of Colombian literature: Oblivion: A Memoir, (published as El olvido que seremos, 2021); this classic fictionalized biography by Héctor Abad Faciolince looks in a heartbreaking way at the Colombian armed conflict through the personal experience of the author, who lost his father, the doctor Héctor Abad Gómez, at the hands of the paramilitaries. Anna-Lina Mattar and Gala Rocabert Navarro are the authors of En el ombligo. Diarios de guerra y paz en Colombia (2021), a graphic novel that collates the experiences of former guerrillas after the signing of the Peace Accords in 2016. Illustrator Anna-Lina Mattar uses images to narrate the work of Gala Rocabert Navarro, an anthropologist and sociologist who reports from the field on life after the agreement. In conversation with Catalina Mejía.
There is a region of the world where twenty countries and more than 400 million people share much in terms of language, history, culture, concerns and hopes. Yet we do not know this region well; what we really know are myths about it, reflections of it and certain notions these places have in common. We think of it as it was in other times. This region is called, or could be called, Ñamérica and this book by the great essayist Martín Caparrós (Argentina) aims to describe it and understand it as it is now. In conversation with Luz Marina Sierra, this internationally acclaimed writer and journalist tells us about his investigations into this great region, so diverse and complex.
Cycling, a sport that has brought great joy and pride to the country, is brilliantly portrayed in the book Colombia es pasión!, written by the British journalist Matt Rendell. The author looks at the life of Egan Bernal, the rider who in 2019 became the youngest winner of the Tour de France in 110 years, and also explores the legacy of figures such as Nairo Quintana (champion in Spain and Italy), Rigoberto Urán, Esteban Chaves, Miguel Ángel López and Fernando Gaviria. Rendell, who first visited Colombia in 1998, and who has worked for major media companies including the BBC, has written several books and covered numerous cycling tournaments in the country. This fascinating book tells the true story of overcoming social, political and economic adversity. In conversation with Jhon Jaime Osorio.
How deep do the wounds of violence seep into a society like Colombia's? Santiago Gamboa, one of the most remarkable storytellers of the current Colombian literary landscape, addresses this theme in his most recent book. Gamboa's work, which includes twelve novels, three travel books, a short story collection and multiple essays, has been critically acclaimed on an international level and has been translated to at least eighteen languages. In Colombian Psycho, Gamboa portrays the national reality with an intriguing and insightful pace, that shifts between reality and fiction. With diverse characters which include a bold prosecutor, a polyamorous indigenist professor, an argentinian mercenary and Santiago Gamboa himself, the reader enters a story of suspense that begins with the discovery of human bones in the mounts of La Calera, at the East of Bogotá. In conversation with Adriana Cooper.
The development of rural areas is key to improving the opportunities and quality of life of their inhabitants, but it is something that has to be done with an environmental, sustainable perspective. The scientist and thinker Brigitte Baptiste (Colombia), Rector of Ean University and a regular contributor to media outlets such as La República, directed the Humboldt Institute for many years and is an authority on the management and care of Colombia’s incredible biodiversity. Baptiste talks to Juliana Gutierrez about how this development can be done.
Why is so little known about Colombia’s pre-Columbian history? Carl Henrik Langebaek presents a work that challenges the limits of what we thought we knew about the Colombian territory before the arrival of the Spanish. This Colombian anthropologist and archaeologist lectures at the University of the Andes’ Department of Anthropology and is the author of more than a dozen books. His most recent title is Antes de Colombia. Los primeros 14.000 años (2021), a fascinating and unparalleled exploration of the cultures that populated what is now Colombia before the Spanish conquest. Starting with the hunter-gatherer stage of this land’s inhabitants, exploring a deep past that has so often been ignored, Langebaek travels through more than 14,000 years to give us a much more complete view of what we are today as a country. He will talk to María del Rosario Escobar.
The Colombian writer Pilar Quintana talks about her latest book, Los abismos, winner of the 2021 Alfaguara Novel Prize. Los abismos is a shocking tale in which a daughter takes on her mother’s revelations and her father’s silences to begin building her own world. The author will be in conversation with the journalist Marta Nebot.
Pablo Montoya (Colombia) is the author of six novels and several books of essays, poems and short stories. He has been awarded a number of outstanding literary awards, such as the 2015 Rómulo Gallegos Prize for his powerful Tríptico de la infamia, the 2016 José Donoso Prize and the 2017 José María Arguedas Prize for Fiction. His most recent novel is La sombra de Orión which tells the story of Pedro Cadavid, a university lecturer who returns to Medellin, disillusioned after many years in Paris, to reunite with his city just after Operation Orion, a military intervention in District 13 that left many dead and missing. Cadavid reflects in horror on the hypocrisy, indifference and cruelty of the reality around him. Montoya talks about his latest book with Karim Ganem Maloof.
A discussion covering two stimulating notions: rebellion and disobedience. This event brings into dialogue participants and their knowledge in an educational space open to multiple narratives regarding culture and the arts, in order to give voice to those who talk of different kinds of rebellion, and urgent disobedience now. With Pedro Adrián Zuluaga, Diana Carol Forero and Guillermo Correa.
With the support of University of Antioquia
The sports journalist Matt Rendell’s relationship with Colombia began in 1998 when he was working on his book Kings of the Mountains, which was later made into the documentary of the same name for Channel 4 (United Kingdom). Rendell, who has won various awards for his sports journalism, will present Colombia es pasión!, a book about the achievements of the cyclist Egan Bernal who, when he won the 2019 Tour de France, became the youngest champion in the 110-year history of the race. The work talks about the lives and dreams of Colombian cyclists, telling inspirational stories of success and how the titles that this new generation of cyclists has brought to Colombia have changed the country’s image in the world. In conversation with Antioquia journalist Pablo Arbeláez Restrepo, linked to cycling for more than 30 years.
With the support of RCN and Postobón
The signing of the FARC Peace Accords in 2016 represented a watershed in the recent history of Colombia: a moment of triumph for many, and one of controversy for many others. Behind the headlines, what has happened to the people who were caught up in the war? The illustrator Anna-Lina Mattar (Germany-Spain) and the anthropologist and sociologist Gala Rocabert Navarro won the Fnac-Salamandra Graphic International Graphic Novel Prize for En el ombligo. Diarios de guerra y paz en Colombia (2021), a work that collates the experiences of former guerrilla fighters after the signing of the peace agreement in 2016. The illustrator Anna-Lina Mattar has created images to tell the story of Gala, who reports from the countryside about life after the agreement. They will talk to Catalina Mejía about the book.
The renowned Argentinean writer, journalist and thinker Martín Caparrós is the author of over a dozen novels and several books of non-fiction and essays, including El hambre, an extraordinary book in which the author tells of his travels around the world examining the causes, consequences and social conditions in the countries that face systemic problems with malnutrition and hunger, as against more prosperous societies who live other realities. The author presents Ñamérica, an impressive study of Latin America, home to 400 million people with much in common in terms of their historical, cultural, linguistic and social roots, and also one of the most corrupt and unequal regions on the planet. Caparrós will talk to Patricia Nieto.
With the support of SURA, Bancolombia and Protección
Oblivion: A Memoir is the landmark novel, first published in 2006, by Héctor Abad Faciolince. It has been through 40 editions, has been made into a film by the Spanish director Fernando Trueba and is now being published as a graphic novel, illustrated by the Spanish graphic artist Tyto Alba. This contemporary classic of Spanish-language literature is now told through drawings and watercolours which give life to the unforgettable characters of the book, particularly the wonderful Héctor Abad Gómez, the story’s central figure, and his son, the book’s author.
With the support of Acción Cultural Española, AC/E
This event brings us a conversation with a writer whose thinking is based on a gender perspective, intellectual curiosity and interdisciplinary research. Vanessa Rosales studied History at the University of the Andes, took a Master’s in Journalism at the Argentinean newspaper La Nación and a Master’s in Fashion Studies at the New School for Design in New York. She is the author of the book Mujeres vestidas: Moda consciente (2017), a work about the history of fashion and its relationship to the changing ways in which the feminine, identity, liberty and struggle have been imagined. She is the author of the book Mujer incómoda (2021), a collection of personal essays about themes that matter to her as a woman: feminism, aesthetics, love, religion, her native land, intimacy... Rosales will talk to Marta Nebot.
2020 was the year of the pandemic, and also the year of social protest in Colombia. It could be said that the pandemic carried to the extreme situations that were already hard to bear, resulting in mass demonstrations and, unfortunately, in the loss of lives. Ali A.KA Mind is a an independent rapper, MC and producer from Bogotá. Leonard Rentería is a social leader and student of Psychology from Buenaventura who actively works towards reducing the complex climate of violence that his city is experiencing. These two guests will give us their own interpretation of what is happening in terms of social discontent in the country, in conversation with María Camila Moreno.
With the support of ICTJ - Centro Internacional para la Justicia Transicional
Law and legislation, politics and emotions, how does it work at the level of the civic society for a country, and how does these impact the legal and political fields? In conversation, Jaime Bermúdez Merizalde (Colombia), author of ¿Por qué incumplimos la ley? and Mauricio García Villegas (Colombia), author of El país de las emociones tristes. In conversation with Jorge Giraldo.