Welcome to our Early Bird programme. The full programme will be released at the end of March.
For this year’s Forum we bring you inspirational entrepreneurs who have found, and are developing, innovative ways of growing food, using waste, transporting goods and people.
Full Day ticket allows entry to all five sessions. Events: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8
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.
Lying at the crucible of Central Europe, the Silesian village of Kupferberg suffered the violence of the Thirty Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, and World War I. After Stalin’s post-World War II redrawing of Poland’s borders, Kupferberg became Miedzianka, a town settled by displaced persons from all over Poland and a new centre of the Eastern Bloc’s uranium-mining industry. Decades of neglect and environmental degradation led to the town being declared uninhabitable, and the population was evacuated. Today, it exists only in ruins, with barely a hundred people living on the unstable ground above its collapsing mines. The journalist and photographer tells its story.
The economist offers a controversial look at the end of globalisation and what it means for prosperity, peace, and the global economic order. King is HSBC’s Chief Economic Adviser and a Special Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee. He talks to the BBC’s Rajan Datar.
The Egyptian novelist discusses her writing and her heroic Palfest festival, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year with an anthology This Is Not a Border: Reportage and Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature. Soueif’s fiction includes In The Eye of the Sun and The Map of Love. Her non-fiction work includes Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed.
This event will be recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books
The Australian writer and thinker is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, Famine, Affluence and Morality, and most recently Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter. He talks to the Festival president.
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
Min Jin Lee’s novel Pachinko is an epic tale of identity and survival and love, set across four generations of a Korean family in Japan. Julianne Pachico’s stories collected as The Lucky Ones explore the riveting lives and stories of a huge range of people caught up in the violence of Colombia’s guerrilla insurgencies. They talk to Lena de Casparis of Elle magazine.
Drawing on his work over the past 40 years, the historian considers the context of contemporary Europe’s political upheavals, its challenges and its opportunities. Schama’s books include Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, A History of Britain, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age, Landscape and Memory and The Story of the Jews.
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.
Thrilling and terrifying, The Things We Lost in the Fire takes the reader into Enriquez’s world of Argentine Gothic: of sharp-toothed children, of women racked by desire, of demons who lurk beneath the river, of stolen skulls and secrets half-buried under Argentina’s terrible dictatorship. McInerney follows her Baileys Prize-winning debut The Glorious Heresies with The Blood Miracles. The novel is set again in Cork with her vital, brilliant language and storytelling playing out the life and misdemeanours of Ryan Cusack.
The writer and tech-geek reimagines Tim Berners-Lee’s invention and asks how the mantra 'This is for Everyone' can play now in a digital sphere of social media, hacking and global connectivity. With BBC Click's Spencer Kelly.
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.
A jury of Man Booker alumni judge who might have won a version of their new prize in the first year of the Hay Festival. It was really an exceptionally good year for translated fiction that could have shortlisted Haruki Murakami: Hear the Wind Sing; Isabel Allende: Eva Luna; Gabriel García Márquez: Love in the Time of Cholera; Primo Levi: The Wrench; Ismail Kadare: Chronicle in Stone; José Saramago: Baltasar and Blimunda. #nopressurethen2017
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.
The historian tells the story of the three-in-one great cities of Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul, which has long been the gateway between East and West. Archaeologists have measured 42 layers of human inhabitation here on the Bosphorus over the past 6,000 years. It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires and, for many years, was known simply as The City.
The great novelist, author of Dirt Music and Cloudstreet, is publishing two non-fiction books. Charged with love for the huge, besieging force of Australia’s wild spaces, Island Home: A Landscape Memoir is a passionate call for their conservation. His deeply personal The Boy Behind the Curtain: Notes from an Australian Life shows how moments from his childhood and life growing up have shaped his views on class, faith, fundamentalism, the environment, and literature.
Governments, NGOs and corporations collaborate across the world on campaigns to respond to global health issues such as AIDS, Ebola, SARS and malaria. But how do you regulate these PPPs (private-public partnerships)? The Edinburgh academic and her co-author, Chelsea Clinton, analyse the accountability, effectiveness and sustainability of the biggest campaigns. Chaired by Oscar Guardiola-Rivera.
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.
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.
Veering between carnival and apocalypse, Mexico has in the past ten years become the epicentre of the international drug trade. The so-called war on drugs has been a brutal and chaotic failure: more than 160,000 lives have been lost. The drug cartels and the forces of law and order are often in collusion; corruption is everywhere. Life is cheap, and inconvenient people – the poor, the unlucky, the honest or the inquisitive – become the ‘disappeared’, leaving not a trace behind. In September 2015, more than 26,798 were officially registered as ‘not located’. Yet people in all walks of life have refused to give up. Hernandez gives a chilling account of the ‘disappearance'” of 43 students. Cacho describes what it’s like to live every day as a journalist under threat of death.
The founder of the Mexican street food cantina Wahaca introduces her most-loved recipes; recipes that she has fed her friends and family at her always busy kitchen table, recipes made up of family classics or food inspired by her travels and her favourite food-writers and chefs.
Who actually holds power in Britain? As the Prime Minister invokes Article 50 with parliamentary approval, what are we giving up and taking back? A free-ranging conversation with Gina Miller, who successfully led the legal challenge to the government over parliamentary prerogative and Henry Porter, host of the Convention on Brexit and the Political Crash.
Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women’s rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is – or is not. Here’s an introduction to the basics from the Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
In 1609, the entire Muslim population of Spain was given three days to leave Spanish territory or be killed. In a brutal and traumatic exodus, entire families were forced to abandon the homes and villages where they had lived for generations. An estimated 300,000 Muslims had been removed from Spanish territory, making it – then – the largest act of ethnic cleansing in European history. Chaired by Abdul-Rehman Malik.
Where do we belong? What passport and what papers do we carry? The international human rights lawyer proposes a new form of internationalist identity, and the adoption of the Tobin Tax that would help fund a universally available Citizenship of the World. Chaired by Guto Harri.
A rare interview with the great Polish novelist, who discusses her multi-award-winning fiction Flights. Perfectly intertwining travel narratives and reflections on travel with observations on the body and on life and death, Tokarczuk guides the reader beyond the surface layer of modernity and deeper and deeper towards the core of the very nature of humankind. From the C17th, we have the story of the real Dutch anatomist Philip Verheyen, who dissected and drew pictures of his own amputated leg, discovering in so doing the Achilles tendon. From the present we have the trials and tribulations of a wife accompanying her much older professor husband as he teaches a course on a cruise ship in the Greek islands, or the quest of a Polish woman who immigrated to New Zealand as a teen but must now return in order to poison her terminally ill high school sweetheart…
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.
Baroness Warsi’s book The Enemy Within identifies British Muslims as the latest in a long line of ‘others’ to be feared and demonised. The UK’s first Muslim cabinet minister explores questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of ‘British values’ with Helena Kennedy. She proffers necessary and inconvenient truths and proposes new ways forward for British Muslims, politicians and society.