Once again, the Hay Festival officially kicks off with the inauguration of the exhibitions that are part of its visual arts programme. The tour will begin in La Alhóndiga which hosts a retrospective of one of the most famous Spanish reporters, the photographer César Lucas. The exhibition Snapshots Imprinted on the National Retina shows some of the best-known images of a photojournalist who forged his career at dailies such as Pueblo and El País, of which he was a founding member. He later worked for magazines of Grupo Z. Che Guevara’s visit to Madrid from 1959 or the mythical cover of Interviú that marked the passage of the girl Marisol to the actress Pepa Flores are some of the photographs that remain on the national consciousness of several generations of Spaniards.
The tour then moves on to Esteban Vicente Museum to open the exhibition Hágase en mi, según tu palabra by the Spanish multimedia artist Ana de Alvear, who specialized in large-format works. It is an installation that occupies the presbytery and the nave of the chapel inspired by the biblical passage of the Annunciation. A Virgin who shelters herself at the announcement of the Archangel Saint Gabriel and a choir of contemporary angels make up the installation. Ana de Alvear is also an exhibition curator and founder of the VIVA video art project that brings together artists of various nationalities and who has travelled the world from Madrid to Shanghai.
The third stop is at the church of San Juan de los Caballeros where the exhibition The Living Sea presents the images of committed conservationist Hussain Aga Khan. Underwater photographs inspire dialogue about the fragility and beauty of life in the oceans and the danger that climate change poses to species. Specializing in photographing nature, from the Amazon rain forest of Brazil to the oceans of the entire planet, Hussain Aga Khan has exhibited in the US, France, Switzerland, Kenya and his images have appeared on National Geographic blogs. An important part of his activity is channelled through projects and foundations whose mission is to improve the management of natural resources. In 2004, he founded Focused on Nature, which channels funds for the protection of endangered species.
The tour concludes at the Huerta de Félix Ortiz where the Colombian artist Alberto Baraya shows his greenhouse of flowers and plants made of cloth and plastic: Tropical “Mutisian” Greenhouse. Baraya’s exhibition explores natural conservation and a reflection on the relationship between fiction and reality. His participation in the 2006 Sao Paulo Biennial brought him international recognition. There he exhibited a two-metre-high rubber tree made with latex as a metaphor for the product obtained from said tree.
Free, but ticketed
Photography of Venice: © César Lucas, courtesy of the author
Arcangel Gabriel Altarpriece – Color pencil drawing – Size 70 x 100 cm © Ana de Alvear 2019, courtesy of the artist
Prince Hussain Aga Khan © Shari Plant Plummer
Artificial plant greenhouse – Artistic installation © Alberto Baraya, 2020, courtesy of Fernando Pradilla Gallery
The latest book by Miguel Pita, doctor in Genetics and Cell Biology, could not be more attuned to the present: A day in the life of a virus. This expert on how DNA influences our lives (his previous book was titled The DNA dictator. What genetics decides for you) brings to light certain aspects of the pandemic we are experiencing and how a small fragment of genetic material can put a whole civilization on edge in the XXI century. He talks with the journalist Jesús Calero, head of Culture at ABC newspaper.
Free, but ticketed
Photography of Miguel Pita: © Carlos Givaja
Photography of Jesús Calero: © Jeosm
It is time to highlight the importance of journalism again. At a time when fake news travels at the speed of light through social networks, it is essential to refocus on professional and responsible journalism as the basis of democracy. Ángel Ortiz Dávila, director of El Norte de Castilla – which, thanks to its editions in Valladolid, Segovia, Palencia and Salamanca, is the leading daily press outlet in Castilla y León – will talk about this topic with Enrique Cabero president of the Consejo Económico y Social (CES: Economic and Social Council) of the region.
Free, but ticketed
Carlos Rod is an independent publisher, member of the management team of the La Uña Rota, and a writer who burst onto the literary scene with El anarquista que se llamaba como yo, which was chosen as the best first novel of the year by a selection of critics. He will talk about that magical and at the same time complicated process a manuscript goes through to reach the bookstores. La Uña Rota is a publishing house that is characterized by the high cultural content of its projects and Pablo M. Sánchez can proudly say that it is the only Spanish member of the exclusive Oulipo literary club to which authors such as George Perec or Italo Calvino belonged.
Free, but ticketed
Photography of Carlos Rod: © Arcadio Mardomingo
The United Nations Environment Programme makes a precise description of the characteristics of the ecoeconomy or green economy, establishing as its main objective to harmonize economic development and efficient consumption of resources. We are, therefore, fully entrenched in the transition towards this new economic model. Ángel González Pieras, Managing Director of El Adelantado de Segovia, and Elena Pita, Director of the Foundation for Biodiversity that is attached to the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, will take part in this debate on how to merge the economic vision with the environmental factor, two elements that still, and despite the limitation of natural resources and the impact of some activities on the climate, seem to be at odds among some great world powers.
Free, but ticketed
It is uncommon for an essay to enter the list of the best-selling books, but such was the case with El infinito en un junco, the most recent work published by the Zaragoza-born philologist and writer Irene Vallejo. The narrative is a scholarly and at the same time enjoyable journey through thirty centuries of the history of books, something that continues to survive despite all the doomsayers who announce its extinction. The work earned the author the 2019 Ojo Crítico de Narrativa Award and in 2020 the Las Librerías Recomiendan prize for essays. She talks about the world of books with journalist Montserrat Domínguez, current director of the Sunday supplement of El País.
Free, but ticketed
In case of rain, the event will take place at the same time inside the Jardín del Torreón de Lozoya
César Lucas is an undeniably a benchmark of photojournalism in Spain, with images that are authentic icons of historical moments that date back to the dictatorship and mark the most representative scenes of the transition and the beginnings of democracy. In addition, during his long career he has ventured into other realms of photography, from portraiture to current news reporting or travel. He talks with journalist Aurelio Martín about his career and those photographs that we have been imprinted on the retina of the nation.
Free, but ticketed
Fundación Telefónica and Hay Festival join forces once again in the capital of Spain on the eve of this year’s edition in Segovia. On this occasion the guest will be the Mexican writer Guillermo Arriaga, winner of the 2020 Alfaguara novel prize for his work Salvar el fuego (Saving the Fire). The Espacio Fundación Telefónica will host the award ceremony, after which Arriaga will speak the journalist Pepa Fernández. The jury, which was chaired by the Mexican writer Juan Villoro and composed by Laura Alcoba, Antonio Lucas, Edurne Portela, Jesús Rodríguez Trueba and Pilar Reyes, highlights the author's ability “to narrate with intensity and dynamism a violent story in present day Mexico in which love and redemption are still possible”.
Guillermo Arriaga is the author of screenplays for films such as Amores perros, 21 Grams (21 gramos) or Babel for which he was nominated for the best original screenplay Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta awards. As a novelist, critics have acknowledged his ambition, originality and passion as a narrator. His career began in 1991 with the novel The Guillotine Squad (Escuadrón guillotina). He would then write A Sweet Scent of Death (Un dulce olor a muerte), The Night Buffalo (El búfalo de la noche) for which he also wrote the adapted screenplay. and El salvaje, which earned him the Mazatlán Literature Award. He has also written a book of short stories Retorno 201. Aside from the aforementioned, he has written the screenplay for Three Burials (Los tres entierros de Melquíades Estrada) – for which he received the best screenwriter award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and which was directed by Tommy Lee Jones. After making several short films, he made his debut as a director of a feature film with The Burning Plane (Lejos de la tierra quemada). He produced and co-wrote the story of From Afar (Desde allá), the first Spanish-American film to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Recently, Arriaga was selected by an international panel as one of the hundred most influential film writers in history
Photograph of Guillermo Arriaga: © Claudia Rubio, courtesy of Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial
Event in Spanish
Emilio Gil is one of the pioneers of graphic design in Spain whose awards include the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts. He offers a master class on a topic close to his heart: How to communicate a museum. As a case study he will review the communications efforts of the Prado Museum, an endeavour that his design studio has managed since 2015.
Trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at Central St. Martins in London, Gil has taught at various universities and curated outstanding exhibitions such as Signs of the Century. One Hundred Years of Graphic Design in Spain, held at the Reina Sofía in the year 2000. His studio, founded in 1980, was one of the pioneering Spanish companies in design, institutional communication, and creation and development of corporate visual identity programmes.
Coorganised With Tau Design. With the Collaboration of Castilla y León Government And Segovia Public Library
By the time Almudena Grandes published Inés y la alegría in 2010, she was already a well-established and renowned author, and probably did not suspect that the series in which she portrays the life of Spanish postwar society and the hardest times of Franco's regime would flourish as it did. Her latest novel, La madre de Frankenstein, is the fifth of the Episodios de una Guerra Interminable (Episodes of a Never-ending War) series for which she received the National Prize for Narrative for the preceding instalment Los pacientes del señor García (The Patients of Mr García). In this latest episode, Grandes revisits the insane asylums of the Fifties in Spain setting the story in the mental sanatorium of Ciempozuelos. She delves into the life of Aurora Rodríguez – a strange character who raised her daughter to become a superwoman and when she was about to make it, she killed her. Spaniards learned about the case in Fernando Fernán Gómez’s film ‘Mi hija Hildegart’, but the author focuses on the mother’s strange personality in a narrative that also looks into the difficult relationship of a couple in the midst of NationalCatholicism. Grandes has written 13 novels, seven of which have been adapted for the screen. Her work has been translated into more that 20 languages and she has garnered multiple awards, among them the Elena Poniatowska Spanish-American Novel Prize and the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. She has a regular column in El País.
She speaks with Ana Gavín, Director of Editorial Affairs for Grupo Planeta.
Photography of Ana Gavín: © Ricardo Martín, courtesy of Grupo Planeta
Coorganised with Grupo Planeta and Banco Sabadell Foundation. With the collaboration of Teatro Juan Bravo and Provincial Government of Segovia
In times of crisis such as the world is facing, the issue of leadership is of vital importance. Training leaders able to carry out projects that improve the conditions of life in society is more vital than ever. What should the bases of leadership be and who should train the future leaders are matters that universities and business schools question. Marta Williams introduced coaching in Spain and is an expert in leadership. She states that “a leader is not born, but is made” and has more than quarter of a century of experience helping young professionals reach their true potential. Although she started out in journalism as the correspondent for ABC News, she became interested in the potential of a discipline that hitherto had scarcely been developed in Spain. She teaches in various executive advisory programmes.
Marta Williams speaks with Benjamín Rosado, journalist from El Mundo, and collaborator of magazines such as Esquire, Harper’s Bazzar and Scherzo.
The Vienna in which Paul Celan arrived in December 1947 was a black-and-white city. It was the beginning of the Cold War, when goods and people were being smuggled and personalities of political interest for the Soviets were being kidnapped. A city which is best illustrated by a classic in the film noir: The third man, written by Graham Greene and performed by Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. Although Celan stayed in the Austrian capital for a short time, this period was a turning point in his life and the subsequent work of the author of Escape of death, probably the most translated and commented German-written poem in history. In Vienna Celan was successful with his literary work for the first time; there he met Ingeborg Bachmann and some other friends who were vital to the dissemination of his work. His complex and fascinating personality made him very soon a character in two novels written by Austrian authors. Vienna was the German-speaking city where he spent the most time and where he was confronted with issues which would profoundly mark his poetry: a latent or clear antisemitism, relative hypocrisy towards the crimes committed by the National Socialists, mediocracy and opportunism in the literary world.
The translator and writer José Aníbal Campos will present from Vienna and by videoconference the book Los meses vieneses de Paul Celan (which will soon be published by the editorial La Moderna at the initiative of the Austrian Cultural Forum), where he collects important accounts on Celan´s stay in the Austrian capital and provides clues about the reasons why the Rumanian poet decided to continue his journey to Paris despite the tacit promise of a successful literary career.
Iona Zlotescu, Hispanicist and translator, director of the Cervantes Institute in Bucharest (2000-2006) will evoke the Bucharest period (1945-1947) of Paul Celan, relying on the book by Petre Solomon – one of the poet’s great Romanian friends – entitled, in the Spanish translation by Xavier Montoliu Pauli “Paul Celan y Rumaní: la adolescencia de un adios”. It is in Bucharest that Paul Antschel, turned into Paul Celan, will publish his first text, the famous Todesfugue (“Death Fugue”) translated from German into Romanian by Petre Solomon. And it is in the Romanian capital where Paul Celan will be aware of its poetic value and it will further open his literary horizons.
This session will be streamed live at youtube.com/user/IEUniversity
Photographies: “The Viennese” and Paul’s arrival document to Vienna © DLA Marbach; Paul Celan and Ingeborg Bachmann © Heirs of Ingeborg Bachmann
Photographies of Iona Zlotescu and María Pop: courtesy of Instituto Cultural Rumano
Event in Spanish
The project Disappearing Wall is an interactive installation designed for public spaces whose objective is to celebrate Germany’s presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of 2020. This travelling installation will be inaugurated at the Hay Festival Segovia and will then be taken to the other participating countries in Europe. The objective is to symbolize the fading of the borders between countries through the exchange of their cultures. The installation stems from an idea by Marina Jablonina and executed by the engineer Werner Sobek at the request of the Goethe-Institut. The project consists of a methacrylate structure filled with approximately 6,000 wooden blocks, each with an engraved quote, either a thought from Hannah Arendt, part of a lyric from a Beatles song, a quotation from the movie Amélie or a citation from the Hungarian Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész. Residents of the European Union were invited to participate by selecting their favourite quote, from which a jury selected the best ones. The public is invited to participate, taking as a souvenir one of the wooden blocks that make up the wall, so that the image will transform as passers-by see the “wall” become more and more transparent. The wall will gradually “disappear” and the phrases will "reappear" in the houses of those who took part in the project.
To inaugurate the installation, which will be broadcast simultaneously to all of the participating European countries, the Mayoress of Segovia Clara Luquero will remove the first wooden block and read the phrase inscribed. She will be followed by Wolfgang Hermann Dold, Ambassador of Germany to Spain, Reinhard Maiworm, Director of the Goethe-Institut Madrid, and Emilio Gilolmo, Vice-president and Secretary of the Association Hay Festival de España. Friends of the festival will follow: Carolina Barco, Santiago Íñiguez, José Ramón González, Ana Gavin, Pablo Pérez, Gina Aguiar, Emilio Gil, Isabel Fuentes, Beltrán Gambier, Rebeca Castellano, Mark Howard, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Andy Mackay, José María Beneyto, Laura Ventura, Alberto Reguera, Koula Sophianou, Vera Reisner, María Floarea Pop, Isabel Pérez, Agustín García Mantilla and Juan Carlos Galindo, among others, will remove a wooden block and read the phrase.
Photographs: © Felix Rettberg and Natalia Cheban, courtesy of Goethe Institut
Although feminism is experiencing moments of great vitality, and female leadership is perhaps more visible than ever, the conquest of certain relevant positions both in the world of politics and in the world of economy or culture is a slow road not without difficulties for women. However, more and more women are occupying relevant positions, as is the case of the three ambassadors who share the stage in this event that addresses the adversities that women still have to overcome to reach positions of responsibility, and the way in which they exercise the diplomatic representation of their respective countries.
They are Carolina Barco, Colombian ambassador to Spain. Prior to joining the diplomatic corps, she worked on urban planning projects. Between 2002 and 2006 she was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia and between 2006 and 2010, ambassador to the United States.
Sile Maguire, Ireland's ambassador to Spain, presented her credentials to the Head of State in 2017. She has also been head of Protocol at the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Karima Benyaich is the first woman to hold the top role at the Moroccan Embassy in Spain. She was previously her country's ambassador to Portugal and has also held relevant positions in the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Book fairs cancelled, bookstores closed, book launches postponed … these are but some of the consequences suffered by the publishing sector during the coronavirus pandemic and which have had a direct impact on writers. On the other hand, writers usually favour working in isolation. Three well known Spanish writers review how they have faced this period of confinement to continue carrying out their work and what the outlook facing the world of creation is.
They are Carme Riera, writer and academician at the RAE (Spanish Royal Academy), with a long history as an essayist, short story writer and novelist whether in literary fiction or in historical or detective genres. She has garnered numerous awards such as the Nacional de las Letras in 2015. A bilingual writer in Catalan and Spanish, she translates her own work, among them Naturaleza casi muerta, Tiempo de inocencia (autobiographical), La voz de la sirena or Vengaré tu muerte, the most recently published.
Julia Navarro is a journalist and writer. She came to the fore in literature with La hermandad de la Sábana Santa which was published in 30 countries and swiftly became a best seller. The success of her books, which became regular in the best seller lists, drove her to set aside her very successful career in journalism. Among her novels are Dime quién soy, Dispara, yo ya estoy muerto or the most recent, Tú no matarás.
Care Santos is a writer and literary critic, who won the Nadal prize in 2017 for her novel Media vida. She has garnered awards and distinctions for both her work as a writer of adult fiction as well as children and youth. Habitaciones cerradas (which was adapted for television), La muerte de Venus or El aire que respiras are some of her work. Todo el bien y todo el mal is her most recent novel.
Daniel Fernández, Publisher and President of CEDRO, moderates the debate.
Photography of Carme Riera: © F.Moreno
Photography of Julia Navarro: © Juan Manuel Fernández, courtesy of Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial
Photography of Care Santos: © Joan Cortadellas Huguet
Photography of Daniel Fernández: © P. Moreno
One of the current great debates in Sustainability is how it goes beyond borders, needing global answers and collective collaboration from citizens, cities and countries. Jocelyn Blériot, Executive Officer and Head of International Institutions & Governments at Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Juan López de Uralde, Activist, former Director of Greenpeace Spain, Congressman of Unidas Podemos for Álava and Chairman of the Commission of Ecological Transition of the Congress, will discuss with Isabela del Alcázar, Doctor in Biology and Head of Sustainability at IE University, the opportunities generated by circular economy and the commitment of new generations with a more sustainable society.
Jocelyn Blériot will participate via video link, while Juan López de Uralde and Isabela del Alcázar will be on stage.
Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish and from Spanish into English
The integration of nature in today's urban environments brings new challenges to architects and landscapers. French architect Stephanie Chaltiel works with innovative techniques and natural materials that meet sustainability criteria. She began her career in Mexico and French Guyana building houses by hand with local inhabitants. After working for Bernard Tschumi in New York, OMA and Zaha Hadid, she founded her own studio MuDD Architects. Her award-winning projects combine cutting-edge technology and raw materials and have been presented and exhibited worldwide. She will speak with Martha Thorne, Dean of IE School of Architecture and Director of the Pritzker Prize, about her vision of architecture and one of her latest projects on vertical gardens (in collaboration with Svenja Keune and gardeners of “un jardin sur le toit”) which integrate fabrics in three dimensions.
Photography projects: MuDD Architects, Svenja Keune & Un jardin sur le toit
Photography of Marta Thorne: © IE University
In 1605, the kingdoms of Spain and England signed a peace treaty. Two delegations were set up to travel to each country. William Shakespeare was included in the English delegation, which could have stopped in Valladolid, where Cervantes lived at the time. What might have happened if the two geniuses of the two languages with the greatest global reach had met? What would they have talked about? How would they have liked one another? This is what Jesús Ruiz Mantilla explores in his latest book: El encuentro ¿Y si Cervantes y Shakespeare se hubieran conocido? (The Encounter: What if Cervantes and Shakespeare had met?) He talks about this with the journalist, television presenter and writer Lara Siscar.
Elvira Lindo has turned her parents into literary characters in her latest book, A corazón abierto, a tribute to the generation of children who lived through the civil war and withstood hardship during the post war. This fictional portrayal of her parents’ love story is for many her best work yet. She acknowledges that the book has been therapeutic. Once again, she deftly manages to present the story from different perspectives, be it as an essay, novel or screenplay. Lindo will always be remembered as the literary mother of Manolito Gafotas, who is more than a character of children’s fiction, he’s a member of the family for many readers. A regular contributor in press and radio, her fictional output, aside from the Manolito Gafotas collection, includes novels such as El otro barrio, Una palabra tuya (One word from you--Biblioteca Breve award) and Lo que me queda por vivir. Last year she published an insightful essay, 30 maneras de quitarse el sombrero (30 ways to take off one’s hat), in which she pays homage to 30 indomitable women, from Maruja Mallo to Mary Beard, who were forced to defy the establishment to make their mark in the world. Some of her novels have been turned into film.
Elvira Lindo will talk with the journalist and writer Inés Martín Rodrigo, author of Azules son las horas.
Elvira Lindo’s photography © Ricardo Martín, courtesy of Grupo Planeta
Inés Martín Rodrigo’s photography: © Isabel Permuy, courtesy of Grupo Planeta
“Landscape is everything around you” with this phrase one can begin to understand the work of Kathryn Gustafson, a renowned North American landscape architect. With more than 35 years of experience, Kathryn is renowned for creating distinctive sculptural landscapes which engage all the human senses. Her work includes the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain (London), the recently completed Parque Central in Valencia, the Site Tour Eiffel in Paris, the Old Market Square in Nottingham, UK, the Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam and the landscape design of the National Museum of African American History of Washington DC, among others. Kathryn is a founding partner of Gustafson Porter + Bowman, based in London and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol in Seattle US.
Kathryn Guftason shares her vision of sustainable landscape architecture and design and its transformative power with Martha Thorne, Dean of IE School of Architecture and Design and Executive Director of the Pritzker Prize of Architecture.
This session will be streamed live at YouTube
Photography of Kathryn Gustafson: © John Keatley
Photography of Marta Thorne: © IE University
Projects: Parque central © Richard Bloom; Old Market Square © Dom Henry Photography; Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain © Jason Hawkes; Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek © Thomas Schlijper; Site Tour Eiffel © MIR
Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish