Hay Festival Medellín

In January 2018, the 6th Hay Festival Medellin took place between the 24th and 26th of the month, and featured over a dozen events that are free to all. It will take place at the Universidad EAFIT and Parque Explora venues, as well on different stages and libraries in the metropolitan and COMFAMA areas. 

More than 20 international guests and an equal number of Colombian participants were at the planned venues to take part in conversations to enrich the debate on different matters affecting the world today.

The programme featured figures from the worlds of literature, film, science, education and more.

Every event was free to all, up to capacity.

The upcoming edition of Hay Cartagena will be held between the 31st of January and the 3rd of February 2019. You can have a look at the Hay Cartagena Medellín 2018 programme here:


TUESDAY 23 JANUARY

1) 18:30 – 19:30 Auditorio Fundadores, Universidad EAFITPremio Biblioteca de Narrativa Colombiana award ceremony.With the presence of the President of the Jury, Alonso Cueto, and the three finalists.



WEDNESDAY 24 JANUARY

2) 10:00 – 11:00  Biblioteca Pública PilotoMarina Garcés with Carolina Robino

The Spanish philosopher Marina Garcés is the author of the books En las prisiones de lo posible (Bellaterra, 2002), Un mundo común (Bellaterra, 2012) and Fuera de clase (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2016)She has recently witnessed one of her commissions accomplished: that philosophy rise up from the street, by providing ways of understanding the conflict of sovereignty between Catalonia and the Spanish nation. This event is for those who do not believe it is possible to change the world.


3) 11:00 – 12:00  Biblioteca Comfama de San Ignacio. Centro de Convenciones Adolescence and visibility: literature as a solution. Nando López in conversation with Santiago Villegas

Nando López is a novelist, playwright and Doctor cum laude in Hispanic Philology. As an educator he has taught in secondary and university education, lecturing on the Master’s in Dramatic Writing at the University of Alcalá de Henares. He is the author of a number of books for children and young adults, including Los nombres del fuego and La edad de la ira

4) 15:00 – 16:00  Comfama Claustro de San Ignacio Bogotá39. The road to writing I. Gabriela Jauregui and Juan Manuel Robles with Esteban Carlos Mejía

At this event, registered participants can hear about the creative experiences of three writers included in the prestigious Bogotá39-2017 selection, receive advice on taking up artistic work and also carry out a short exercise in collective creation, writing or editing.

5) 16:00 – 17:00 Comfama Claustro de San Ignacio Bogotá39-2017. The road to writing II. Juan Esteban Constaín, Mónica Ojeda and Daniel Saldaña París in conversation with Mónica Quintero

At this event, registered participants can hear about the creative experiences of three writers included in the prestigious Bogotá39-2017 selection, receive advice on taking up artistic work and also carry out a short exercise in collective creation, writing or editing. In conversation with Mónica Quintero, journalist and writer, currently working as Culture Editor of the newspaper El Colombiano,

6) 16:30 – 17:30  Quinto Piso MAMM Bogotá39-2017. Displaced writing. Alan Mills, Mauro Javier Cárdenas and Claudia Ulloa in conversation with Claudia Arias

What is the relationship between writer’s relocations and their work? Three of Latin America’s finest writers, residents outside their countries of origin, talk about how this experience affects their literature.

7) 17:00 – 18:00  Banco de República Memorable stories. Magela Baudoin, Guillermo Martínez, Alejandro Morellón and Luis Noriega in conversation with Diego Aristizábal

Four writers who have been winners of the prestigious Gabriel García Márquez Hispano-American Short Story Prize will talk about the art of writing stories. Guillermo Martínez (Argentina), Magela Baudoin (Bolivia), Luis Noriega (Colombia) and Alejandro Morellón (Spain) are part of the Spanish-language fiction landscape and they will share their ideas and some short fiction techniques with the audience. They will converse with the journalist and Director of the Medellín Book Fair, Diego Aristizábal.

Co-organized with the Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia

8) 17:00 – 18:00  Parque Explora Rosemary Sullivan in conversation with Ingrid BejermanRosemary Sullivan is the author of 15 books, including five biographies, three poetry books, travel diaries, short fiction and essays. Her most recent work, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, won the Biographers International Association Award and another three Canadian prizes for non-fiction. It was also named Book of the Year by the UK’s Daily Mail. She will talk about this fascinating biography with the journalist and writer Ingrid Bejerman.
With the support of Blue Metropoli FestivalSimultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
9) 18:30 – 19:30  Auditorio 1 Parque Explora Jordi Montero in conversation with Juan Manuel Robles

For the Spanish neurologist, Jordi Montero, who in 2017 published the book Permiso para quejarse, what is behind chronic pain is emotion. We do not take into consideration our own culture when we have physical pain treated, nor do we listen to our own bodies. From a rigorous and optimistic point of view, this doctor has helped us to understand ourselves as humans and our reality, based on neurology and the relationship between the brain and pain.

With the support of Acción Cultural Española. Foco cultura España-Colombia 

10) 19:30 – 20:30  Teatro MAMM Guillermo Arriaga in conversation with Catalina Mesa

The novelist and screenplay writer, Guillermo Arriaga, the acclaimed author of the screenplays for Amores perros21 Grams and Babel, will talk about his work for film and his most recent book, El salvaje. In this novel, Arriaga tells the parallel stories of Juan Guillermo, a teenaged orphan with a desire for revenge, and Amaruq, a man obsessed with the persecution of a wolf in the frozen lands of the Yukon.

11) 20:00 – 21:00  Auditorio 1 Parque Explora On silence. Erling Kagge in conversation with María del Rosario Escobar

Traffic noise, mobile phone alerts and even the hum of our own thoughts… silence seems unachievable. Yet what is it really? Where can it be found? Why is it more important now than ever before? In his book Silence: In the Age of Noise, the Norwegian adventurer and publisher Erling Kagge explores the importance of isolating oneself from the world, based on his personal experience and the ideas of classical and modern philosophers. Because silence does not necessarily mean “absence of noise”. It is within reach of everyone, anywhere: we can experience perfect calm in the middle of a desert, but also in the shower or on the dancefloor. He will be in conversation with María del Rosario Escobar director of the Museum of Antioquia

With English to Spanish translation available



THURSDAY 25 JANUARY

12) 11:30 – 12:30 Edificio del Área Metropolitana del Valle de Aburrá The new education. César Bona

César Bona, author of La nueva educación, is one of the fifty best educators in the world according to the Global Teacher Prize, the so-called Nobel for teachers. He will talk about the questions that he has considered in his career as an education reformer: Why are textbooks no longer so important? Why does the importance of homework need to be relativized? Why should education be done with empathy? Why should education be more important that any government?

With the support of Acción Cultural Española. Foco cultura España-Colombia 


13) 16:30 – 17:30  Auditorio 1 Parque Explora The language of the gods. Andrea Marcolongo in converastion with Carolina Robino

Words, old or new, are the most important gifts for changing the world. Last year, Andrea Marcolongo published a books about the subject that engrosses her the most. La lingua geniale: 9 ragioni per amare il greco deals with the importance of the language of ancient Greece for the present day.

14) 16:30 – 17:30  Auditorio 2 Parque Explora Lee Maracle and Abadio Green in conversation with Ingrid Bejerman

Lee Maracle is one of Canada’s most prolific indigenous writers and also a respected authority on aboriginal peoples and their literature. An award-winning poet, novelist, storyteller, screenplay writer, actor and preserver of mythology and tradition in Stó:lo. Abadio Green, Doctor in Education, ethnolinguist, philosopher and theologian, he is the creator and coordinator of the Indigenous Education Programme at the University of Antioquia and promotes the recognition of indigenous cultures and languages. They will talk to Ingrid Bejerman about the place of indigenous knowledge within university programmes in the Western world.

With English to Spanish translation

15) 16:30 – 17:30  Comfama Claustro de San Ignacio Bogotá39-2017. On violence. Daniel Ferreira and Emiliano Monge in conversation Adriana Valderrama

The levels of economic, gender, police and organized criminal violence in Latin America are among the highest in the world. Literature is one of the few ways of fleeing from it or responding to it without perpetuating its vicious circle. In this discussion, two of Latin American’s finest writers will talk about the degree to which the writings of the region’s authors are permeated in this violence.

16) 16:30 – 17:30  Biblioteca Pública Piloto The creative spark. Agustín Fuentes

Agustín Fuentes is a zoologist and anthropologist with a Master’s and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley and is a National Geographic Explorer. Fuentes examines human evolution from a number of perspectives and throws light on some mistaken notions about human nature, particularly in the areas of race, sex and aggression. He will talk about his latest book, The Creative Spark, which traces the origins of creativity and collaboration in order to explain human nature.

17) 16:30 – 17:30  Quinto Piso MAMM The new education. César Bona in conversation with Claudia Restrepo

César Bona, author of La nueva educación, is one of the fifty best educators in the world according to the Global Teacher Prize, the so-called Nobel for teachers. He will talk about the questions that he has considered in his career as an education reformer: Why are textbooks no longer so important? Why does the importance of homework need to be relativized? Why should education be done with empathy? Why should education be more important that any government?

With the support of Acción Cultural Española. Foco cultura España-Colombia 

18) 18:00 – 19:00  Parque Explora In praise of forgetting. David Rieff in conversation with Diego Aristizábal

Saying that the past should not be forgotten has become a mantra, especially in contexts of political transition. However, if it is painful and counterproductive, should we still hold on to the past? In his latest book, In Praise of Forgetting, the writer and journalist David Rieff questions the way in which peoples tend to relate to the past. The articles of Rieff, an expert on immigration, international conflicts and humanitarianism, appear in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, El País and other publications. He will talk to the journalist and Director of the Medellin Book Festival, Diego Aristizábal.

19) 18:00 – 19:30  Quinto Piso MAMM Against hate. Carolin Emcke in conversation with Ana Cristina Restrepo

Carolin Emcke is a philosopher, educator, journalist and writer who has received various awards for her work, including the Theodor Wolff Prize. In her emphatic and brilliant non-fiction work, Gegen den Hass, she reflects on the big questions of our time: fanaticism, racism and the growing mistrust with, if not outright hostility to, democracy. A plea in defence of plurality of thought, tolerance and freedom.


21) 19:30 – 20:30  Auditori 1 Parque ExploraPolitics of climate change. Gabrielle Walker

Dr. Gabrielle Walker is an expert on sustainability, clean energies and climate change and has written extensively for The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, offering different perspectives on the climate issue. She proposes a change in how we face the "climate war" by posing an optimistic approach toward the problem. She will be in conversation with Andrés Roldán, Executive Director of Parque Explora.

With English to Spanish translation 

22) 20:00 – 21:00  Quinto Piso MAMMActivism to change the world. Nadya Tolokno in conversation with Juan Mosquera

Nadya Tolokno, a member of the punk group Pussy Riot, was arrested together with her partners in 2012 because of a performance in Moscow Cathedral. Tolokno was sentenced for crimes of religious hatred and spent two years in jail, a sentence that became a symbol around the world for the Vladimir Putin government’s attitude to freedom of expression. She currently lives in Canada, where she continues to work as a human rights activist. She will talk to the reporter and columnist Juan Mosquera, who has led the struggle for various causes and social projects in defence of life and human rights.

FRIDAY 26 JANUARY

23) 20:00 – 21:00  Plazoleta al Aire Libre MAMM Closing concert: The Suffers

The band-members of The Suffers (Texas, United States) create their music with a blend of soul and rock, sure to get the audience going. Leading the nine instrumental musicians is the voice of a woman who loves sandwiches and whisky, Kam Franklin. She and the other Suffers put high energy into a genre that some had thought forgotten: Gulf Coast Soul.

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