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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June - you can download a PDF of the programme here. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.
Click here to see a list of sold out events
Event 1 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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 9
Reformations 1: The EU
Event 43 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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.
History of a Disappearance: The Story of a Forgotten Polish Town
Event 48 • • Venue: Cube
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.
Grave New World
Event 50 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
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.
BBC Talking Books 1: This is Not a Border
Event 57 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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
Things That Matter
Event 72 • • Venue: Tata Tent
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.
It’s Happened Before
Event 78 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
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
Event 86 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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.
Where the Line is Drawn: Crossing Boundaries in Occupied Palestine
Event 90 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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.
Fictions: Tales of the City
Event 94 • • Venue: Cube
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.
On the Brink: A Dialogue
Event 98 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
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.
The Man Booker International Prize for 1988
Event 100 • • Venue: Cube
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
Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities
Event 111 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
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.
BBC Talking Books 3: The Boy Behind the Curtain
Event 112 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
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.
Governing Global Health
Event 113 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
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.
The Index Platform: Fictions
Event 128 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
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.
Reformations 4: Expertise
Event 132 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
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.
The Sorrows of Mexico
Event 143 • • Venue: Starlight Stage
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.
From Global to Local
Event 280 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
For the past 30 years or more, the global economy has been run on three big assumptions: globalisation will continue to increase, trade is the route to growth and development, and economic power is moving from West to East. But what if all these are wrong? Livesey is an engineer and a lecturer in public policy at the University of Cambridge.