The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in Hay.
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In this first of the Festival's flagship 30th anniversary project sessions, the Spanish international trade lawyer re-imagines the European Union. González Durántez was previously the Middle East Adviser to the External Relations Commissioner in the European Union, having started her career as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organisation. Chaired by Matthew d’Ancona.
In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of advertising enticements, branding efforts, sponsored social media, commercials and other efforts to harvest our attention. The lawyer and Columbia professor analyses who’s monetising us in the digital realm, and how to resist.
Kizilhan is a psychologist who persuaded the state of Baden-Württemberg to spend €95m to rescue back to Germany 1,100 Yazidi women between the ages of 55 and eight, who had been enslaved, repeatedly raped, and tortured by IS in Iraq. He tells the stories of his patients and their desire for truth and justice in the face of genocide.
We recommend reading this article about Jan Kizilhan by Philippe Sands - https://www.ft.com/content/2ce55dee-01c7-11e6-ac98-3c15a1aa2e62
Brave, intelligent and deeply controversial, the award-winning author of A Rift in Time, Occupation Diaries, Language of War ~ Language of Peace and Palestinian Walks: Notes on a Vanishing Landscape explores the devastating effect of Occupation on even the most intimate aspects of life. Looking back over decades of political turmoil, Shehadeh traces the impact on the fragile bonds of friendship across the Israel-Palestine border, and asks whether those considered bitter enemies can come together to forge a common future.
In d’Ancona’s book Post-Truth: The New War on Truth and How to Fight Back he examines how the art of the lie is shaking the very foundations of democracy and the world as we know it. Brexit, Trump, the rejection of climate change science, and the vilification of immigrants have all have been based on the power to evoke feelings and not facts. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society’s economic losers, and complacency about our system’s durability. Our faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different.
An interview with the musician and activist, who was arrested after her punk band’s 2012 performance in a Moscow cathedral. She was convicted of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred' and sentenced to two years penal servitude. Nadya Tolokno now has permanent residency in Canada, from where she continues to protest human rights abuses. Introduced by Rachael Jolley.
Sands’s inquiry into the origins of 'genocide' and 'crimes against humanity' is also a personal quest for his family in the Ukrainian city of Lviv. It won this year’s Baillie Gifford Prize. Hay Festival-goers will have heard Sands explore many of the themes of the story here over the past decade. We revisit East West Street this year to honour one of the greatest works of literature of the festival’s lifetime; a book that might be read around Europe and around the world to inform the way contemporary history is developing.
Bellaigue tells the forgotten stories of key figures and reformers of Islam’s past 200 years in The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason; from Egypt’s visionary ruler Muhammad Ali to brave radicals such as Iran’s first feminist Qurrat al-Ayn. Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West by Gilles Kepel is the explosive account of the radicalisation of a segment of Muslim youth that led to the 2016 atrocities at Bataclan and in Nice, and of the failure of governments in France and across Europe to address it.
The Economist Platform
The British-American economist examines the formation of policy in the post-truth world, and reconfigures how expertise is mediated and how we manage the boundaries between advisors and politicians. Shafik was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and is the incoming Director of the London School of Economics. Chaired by Zanny Minton Beddoes.
A conversation with the Canadian novelist whose Do Not Say We Have Nothing was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker, and who is now publishing her early novel Certainty. Her humane and exacting writing often explores the Asian diaspora. She has won many awards including the Governor General’s Award and The Giller Prize. She talks to the deputy editor of Index on Censorship who has reported from and written extensively on China.
Everyone has experience, and the deeper your experience of a given subject or area, the greater your expertise. In a culture that trumpets anti-intellectualism, how might we reconcile and re-present academic expertise and practical experience? Churchwell is professorial fellow in American literature and chair of public understanding of the humanities at the School of Advanced Study, University of London.
Wall Street and The City like to operate under the flag of Adam Smith; his free market economic ideas are often considered to be a defining bedrock of capitalism. In reality, those financial capitalists today have completely forgotten the core essence of his ideas; indeed, their vision of capitalism and the modern company totally perverts them. Tett’s reformation is a call to arms for all devotees of Adam Smith – to return to his original ideas about market forces and reform that idea of capitalism in a fundamental manner. Tett is US Managing Editor of the FT and the author of The Silo Effect, Fool’s Gold and Saving the Sun. Chaired by Oliver Bullough.
The geographer explores Europe’s society, culture, economy, politics and environment using state-of-the-art mapping techniques. With maps ranging from life expectancy, greenhouse gas emissions, GDP to Eurovision voting, Dorling addresses fundamental questions around social cohesion and sustainable growth as Europe negotiates the UK’s exit while continuing through the economic crisis. His other books that have been featured at Hay include Inequality and the 1%, Population 10 Billion, All That Is Solid and Injustice.
In the wake of Colombia’s 2016 Peace Agreement, which put an end to more than 60 years of civil war, the philosopher and law professor reimagines our understanding of conflict, of truth, reconciliation and justice. Guardiola-Rivera is the author of What if Latin America Ruled the World?, Story of a Death Foretold and the forthcoming A New Art of War. Chaired by Helena Kennedy.
A fascinating account of an exemplary Parliamentary and political career from an insider committed to progressing gender equality. There’s a great quote about her in The Times: “Countless blows have tempered Harman into something fearless and indestructible”. She talks to the founder of the Everyday Sexism project.
As Greek finance minister, Varoufakis confronted the EU head-on over debt. He tells a tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal, and he issues an urgent call to renew European democracy.
A medieval centre of learning, Hay’s twin-town was home to tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology to astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding. This is their story. Chaired by Francine Stock.
Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz is a Professor of Mammalian Development and Stem Cell Biology. Her passion lies in understanding how cells decide their fate for the very first time and how embryos build their architecture. This passion allowed her and her team to reveal the remarkable self-organising properties of human embryos, pioneering the way for future studies of human and mouse embryogenesis. She created a technique that almost doubles the time scientists can culture human embryos in the lab so they can study the beginnings of human life. It raises ethical issues about research on embryos and when an embryo becomes a human. Chaired by Dan Davis.
Judges have blocked Presidential executive orders in the US and corrected the legality of the Prime Minister’s parliamentary Article 50 procedures in the UK. What should the constitutional role of the courts be in maintaining a proper balance of power in a modern democracy? Professor Penny Darbysh
Why does public debate and policy treat the application of genetic technology differently when we are discussing medicine and food? Why is our concept of what is ‘natural’ so controversial and the idea of GM food so alarming? Scientists and sociologists come together with Daniel Davis to discuss what’s being ventured and how it is perceived.
We are all familiar with an array of certificates found on our food: Rainforest Alliance, Marine Stewardship Council, Fairtrade, Organic etc. This certification is meant to reassure us that food is produced in a more ecologically friendly way or improves animal welfare. But does it? Come and join an interactive session that will help formulate better understanding and communication. Sanderson-Bellamy is a Research Associate at the Sustainable Places Research Institute.
The EU legal expert, Professor Catherine Barnard, explains the complexity of the Brexit negotiations and how they might work.
The tree experts introduce the ancient yew at Runnymede, which may have been 1,700 years old when King John signed the Magna Carta under its branches in 1215; the existing Isaac Newton apple tree and other wonderful ancient trees from around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Power is head gardener at Stourhead. Muelaner is co-author of Ancient Trees of the National Trust.
Do you have a tree you need identifying? Bring us a leaf or a photo and we’ll ask our experts Brian and Alan and The Woodland Trust’s tree guru Jill Butler. They’ll be at the Woodland Trust stall onsite during the day.
Who were these Supreme Court judges who might thwart ‘the will of the people’? What were their backgrounds, their politics? In response, there came a reassuring message: the job of judges is simply to apply the law made by our elected Parliament. But this reassurance is based on an understanding of judging that is at best only half true; it does sometimes matter who our judges are. Rackley is Professor of Law at University of Birmingham.
This small country, tucked in the northwestern corner of the Horn of Africa, is a template for what is achievable on the continent. And it’s an antidote to the constant cycle of pessimism about Africa that dominates the Western thought on the current state of the continent. How did the country move from famine, poverty and war to a thriving and prosperous multi-party democracy? Harper is Africa Editor at the BBC World Service and author of Getting Somalia Wrong; Mire is a Swedish-Somali archaeologist.
The award-winning investigative journalist takes aim at the official versions of UK history and the British establishment’s culture of secrecy. He examines key episodes – including the long denial of the existence of Bletchley Park, the time of talking to terrorists and the modern surveillance state and the convenient loopholes in the Freedom of Information Act.
The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 came into full force in April 2016. It puts a legal responsibility on the Welsh public sector, including the Welsh Government, to consider sustainability in all of its actions. The potential for this to change the private sector too is huge but how much progress has been made during the first year of implementation? Environment Minister, Davidson was the original architect of this Act. Howe is the Commissioner currently responsible for delivery.
The inspirational teacher, Phil Forder, brings the two writers in residence and the Director of HM Parc Prison, Bridgend to discuss the literary programme he’s pioneered and our sister Festival there that’s now in its ninth year. They discuss the impact of education and empathy, literacy and literature, and offer a vision of a successful reformation of prison experience. They talk to Peter Florence.
The deep story of wire-tapping and interception by the NSA and GCHQ. Who ordered it? How it was done? How it’s done now. Jeffreys-Jones is one of the world’s most distinguished espionage and security experts.
An all-star cast will take questions from anyone on any topic in or out of the news. Shafak is a Turkish novelist and public intellectual, Rothschild is chair of the National Gallery, Walker is a climate scientist and broadcaster, Mahfouz is an award-winning poet and playwright and Gordon writes for the Telegraph and is a mental health campaigner.