We are pleased to announce the full programme for Hay Festival 2018.
Joining the parenting club in our thirties and beyond means that we are spinning an extraordinary amount of plates, often including a career at its peak. Most of us co-parent or fly solo in the true sense of the word, relying solely on our partners and/or friends when, more often than not, extended family are too far away to help on a regular basis. Our parents could look to their parents for the usual guidance and extra support, but our situation is new, modern and unique. We are winging it! The One Show star shares what happens when the best thing ever comes later than planned...
Norwegian journalist and author Åsne Seierstad is renowned for her accounts of day-to-day life from war zones and has written six non-fiction books. The Bookseller of Kabul (2002), based on her time living with an Afghan family following the fall of the Taliban, was an instant best-seller and has since been translated into 29 languages. Her new book Two Sisters: Into the Syrian Jihad follows two teenage girls as they travel from their home in Oslo to Syria, and the shocking consequences of their decision.
Two of the most creative innovators in Britain discuss the impacts and opportunities of new technologies. Mulgan, CEO of NESTA, is the author of Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence can Change our World, which posits that this “bigger mind” – human and machine capabilities working together – has the potential to solve the great challenges of our time. Seldon is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and the author of The Fourth Education Revolution: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Face of Learning.
Back to Black traces the long and eminent history of Black radical politics. Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, its rich past encompasses figures such as Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists of today. At its core it argues that racism is inexorably embedded in the fabric of society, and that it can never be overcome except by enacting change outside of this suffocating system. Yet this Black radical tradition has been diluted and moderated over time; wilfully misrepresented and caricatured by others; divested of its legacy, potency, inclusivity and force for global change. Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Sociology at Birmingham City University, explores the true roots of this tradition and connects the dots to today’s struggles by showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the 21st century.
Chaired by Bidisha.
These workshops will explore textiles in fresh and unexpected ways by linking contemporary practices and technology with age-old techniques. By focusing on storytelling, heritage and a respect for craft that is also sustainable, participants will experiment with natural dyes, create three-dimensional lines and threads and practise slow stitch techniques. Materials are supplied and will be sourced from outlets promoting re-use and recycling, to reduce materials going into the waste stream.
A conversation about the greatest play in the English language, with the series editors of the new Arden Shakespeare editions, Michael Dobson and Abigail Rokison-Woodall of the Shakespeare Institute and the actor Simon Russell Beale, “the greatest stage actor of his generation” – the Independent.
A conversation about the most notorious spies of the Soviet era – until today, the most high-profile example of Moscow Station intervention in the UK. Phillips is the author of a new biography, A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean. Christened ‘Orphan’ by his Russian recruiter, Maclean was the perfect spy and Britain’s most gifted traitor. But as he leaked huge amounts of top-secret intelligence, an international code-breaking operation was rapidly closing in on him. Moments before he was unmasked, Maclean vanished. Macintyre wrote A Spy Among Friends, a book about Kim Philby, probably the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. His other spy books include Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and Double Cross.
The poet and the film-maker collaborated on the BAFTA Cymru award-winning Aberfan: The Green Hollow, an hour-long film poem about the 1966 tragedy, and are now working on To Provide for All People – a new film celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS. They discuss the stories and people who feature in the new film, and the freedoms and forms of working with poetry. They preview clips of the NHS film that will be broadcast later in the summer.
Rainforests are the lungs of our planet – regulators of the Earth's temperature and weather. They are also home to 50 per cent of the world's animals and plants – which for centuries have been the source of many of our key medicines. And yet we’ve all heard of their systematic destruction; the razing of trees to make way for cattle or plantations of oil palms, the disenfranchisement of indigenous peoples, and the corruption that leads to illegal logging and pollution. But the great environmentalist tells the other, inspirational story we’ve almost never heard: what is being done, and can be done in future, to protect the forests and the 1.6 billion people who depend upon them.
From India to Turkey, from Poland to the United States, authoritarian populists have seized power. Two core components of liberal democracy, individual rights and the popular will, are at war, putting democracy itself at risk. In plain language, Yascha Mounk, Harvard lecturer on government, describes how we got here, where we need to go, and why there is little time to waste.
For almost two centuries, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights have constantly featured on lists of English literature’s most epic and affecting romances. This event brings together broadcaster Bidisha and novelist Michael Stewart to explore the real-life inspiration for the fascinating figures of Heathcliff and Rochester, examining whether they really are romantic heroes or whether the relationships in the novels show something much darker, and why, despite their flaws, they still appeal to readers today.
The former Chancellor and Prime Minister brings an extraordinary amount of experience to bear in considering the political moment, in a wide-ranging conversation about politics and hope. His memoir My Life, Our Times was published last year.
In 387BC, Celtic warriors defeated a Roman army and sacked Rome. It was the bold act of a confident superpower, one that had dominated Europe for 300 years and whose influence stretched from Britain to Turkey, from Poland to Portugal. What do we know about the warriors that humiliated Rome 1,400 years ago? The Celts did not keep written records and so much of their story and many of their achievements were forgotten. And yet, their world is not entirely lost to us. Using the latest archaeological and scientific research, Roberts tells the story of a multicultural empire, built not just on military might and migration but also through a cultural conquest of trade and influence. It was a pioneering civilization, capable of teaching Rome about weapons and infrastructure; of producing exquisite jewellery and intricate royal tombs; and of acting with callous brutality. This is the story of a European culture that changed Britain for ever.
A conversation with two masters of fiction: Tóibín, author of Brooklyn and House of Names and the American novelist André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name, the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. The film of the book has made the love story a modern classic.
Who do we rely on to be there for us? Who are the people who actually deliver the National Health Service? We need to know. Elton is a psychologist, whose book Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors asks: What does it take to confront death, disease, distress and suffering every day? To work in a healthcare system that is stretched to breaking point? To carry the responsibility of making decisions that can irrevocably change someone’s life – or possibly end it? And how do doctors cope with their own questions and fears, when they are expected to have all the answers? Watson was a nurse for 20 years. Her book The Language of Kindness: A Nurse’s Story is an astonishing account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness. They talk to doctor Julie Grigg.
This stunning long poem by Paul Henry with songs, set on a stretch of the Monmouthshire-Brecon canal, is brought to life in Brian Briggs’ clear tenor. The work breaks down the borders between the poem and the song lyric while offering a haunting elegy to the displaced. Two presences loom in the poem: Marconi, who conducted his experiments for radio on this particular part of the canal, and an old union workhouse, now converted into houses.