Hay Festival Segovia, 19–22 September 2019, has now ended. Thanks for joining us! You can watch and listen again on Hay Player.
Leonardo da Vinci may be known as one of the most influential artists of the Italian Renaissance but in his lifetime he stood out, among other métiers, as an engineer, urban planner, scientist, inventor, musician and philosopher. Leonardo had the support of the statesman, diplomat and patron Lorenzo de’ Medici, the most influential figure in Florence. 2019 marks half a millennium since the death of the great polymath and to celebrate his achievements the descendant of his sponsor, Prince Don Lorenzo de’ Medici – author of historical novels and thrillers who has taken part in several television programmes about his family – shares the stage with Paolo Santini, Medieval and Renaissance art historian and coordinator of the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the death of the artist, expert in his legacy and advisor to the House of Vinci, the birthplace of Leonardo; and Jerónimo Saavedra, a prominent Spanish politician and connoisseur of the Medici family at the time of Florence’s splendour. The editor of El Adelantado de Segovia, Teresa Herranz, presents the event.
COORGANISED WITH URBASER. IN COLLABORATION WITH EL ADELANTADO DE SEGOVIA NEWSPAPER
James Ellroy is one of the most famous writers of contemporary crime fiction. Among his best-known works are The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential, which were turned into films with staggering success. Along with The Big Nowhere and White Jazz, they make up the acclaimed L.A. Quartet, a series that has become a classic of 20th-century noir novels. These stories are set in the 1950s and make up a journey through the dark side of Hollywood. Ellroy has just published This Storm, a sequel to Perfidia, which takes place in January 1942, when Los Angeles was reeling from the attack on Pearl Harbor. He talks to journalist and writer Guillermo Altares. Presented by the Counselor of Culture, Tourism and Sports from Junta de Castilla y León Javier Ortega Álvarez.Photo ©: Marion Ettlinger
Since she published Bandido doblemente armado (‘Two Gun Bandit’) four decades ago, Soledad Puértolas’ literary career has not stopped growing, in depth and in acclaim, for both short stories such as ‘Adiós a las novias’ (‘Farewell to brides’), ‘El fin’ (‘The End’), or ‘Chicos y chicas’ (‘Boys and Girls’), and for her novels Queda la noche (‘Night is all that´s left’), Una vida inesperada (‘An unexpected life’), La rosa de plata (‘The silver rose’). Puértolas, one of the most important figures in contemporary Spanish literature, takes a direct and committed look at women and social circumstances, which she has once again examined in her latest novel, Opera Music. She holds a chair at the RAE (Royal Academy of Letters) and talks with Angelica Tanarro, a journalist specialising in culture and a writer herself.
It is a phenomenon throughout the world, but especially in Spanish literature: the success of literature written by women whose reading public is comprised mainly of women. Two of the most popular novelists of our time, Reyes Monforte and Carmen Posadas, represent in their own right the definition of a new literature that has another way of narrating, and another way of being read. Both have set historical novels in Russia – Monforte with Una pasión rusa (‘A Russian Passion’) and Posadas with El testigo invisible (‘The Invisible Witness’). Both have garnered awards throughout their careers and are now members of literary awards juries. They are among the female authors who have relaunched the publishing industry in a new direction. What is really behind this phenomenon? Monforte and Posadas, each with hundreds of thousands of readers in Spain and in America, will speak with journalist and writer Carlos Aganzo about this phenomenon and and their latest novels: Monforte's La memoria de la lavanda (Lavender’s memory) and Posadas's La maestra de títeres (The puppetry teacher).Carlos Aganzo Photo ©: LLANTÉN K
Carmen Posadas Photo ©: EFE
World renowned Spanish philosopher, essayist and laureate of the Octavio Paz Prize, Fernando Savater, together with Joseph Cohen, French philosopher, professor at University College Dublin (Ireland) and founding member of the Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco, will discuss the emergence of a most uncanny guest in contemporary Europe: nihilism. From whence does this obscure phenomenon arise and in accordance to which forces does it progressively dismantle and disassemble the very European ideal of humanism? In what manner are we as Europeans capable of confronting the multiple threats of nihilism affecting our very political history? Fernando Savater and Joseph Cohen will philosophically diagnose the source and analyse the numerous effects of nihilism in Europe today as well as sketch possibilities from which we Europeans may perhaps overcome the perils and problems currently proliferating in our societies on the national, European and international planes. In the face of our contemporary nihilism, what can we hope for the future? Towards what kind of future are we Europeans heading?Fernando Savater Photo ©: Ricardo Martín
Joseph Cohen Photo ©: Mat Jacob
Ben Evans CBE is the Director of London Design Festival, which he co-founded with Sir John Sorrell CBE in 2003. The festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world and has inspired similar events in many international cities. It is an annual event involving 400 partner organisations and attracts almost one million individual visits.
In 2016 he added a new project, the London Design Biennale, where countries, cities and territories present design installations to a theme taking over the entirety of Somerset House for three weeks. He is the Executive Director of the Biennale.
He has been a Governor of the University of the Arts London, a Board Member of the Roundhouse, and a Trustee of Artangel. Since 2017 Ben has been Chairman of the Mayor’s Cultural Leaders Board – a statutory advisory group to the London Mayor.
Ben will discuss the essence of good design and good style with Dylan Jones OBE, Editor-in-Chief, British GQ. The event will be presented by Caroline Michel, Chair of Hay Festivals.
In this new edition of My own and others’ – an out-loud reading series which celebrates its tenth edition at Hay Festival Segovia, José Antonio Municio, expert in the history of the garden, will reveal some of its secrets to us. Mark Howard, Nnamdi Ehirim, Soledad Mirón, Corisande Albert, Sofía Barroso and the masters of ceremonies Cristina Ward and Félix Valdivieso, read texts of their own work or by their favourite authors during a walk through the corners of Jardín del Romeral de San Marcos.
In the event of rain, this event will be moved to Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, at the same scheduled time.
Audience and participants are invited to record themselves in a professional recording cabin located at Plaza Mayor. See event 29 for further information. Please register beforehand by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historian, essayist, journalist and cook Vicky Hayward has devoted three decades to researching and experiencing Spanish culture and the subtleties of its society. With the persistence and determination characteristic of a graduate in history from the University of Cambridge, Hayward has been a keen promoter of popular culture, society, gastronomy and Spanish art in several international media. She has been a regular contributor to travel guides, and in particular has spread the understanding of a particularly Spanish form of art: flamenco. Her passion and academic interest in good food inspired her to publish a new edition of a classic Spanish cookbook from the 18th century, Nuevo Arte de la Cocina Española (‘New Art of Spanish Cuisine’) by Juan Altamiras. With the great taste of an expert, Hayward intertwines the original text with a new historical context and adapts the recipes to the 21st century. The Royal Academy of Gastronomy recognised this work with the national award for the best publication of 2017. Hayward reviews her achievements with writer and presenter Boris Izaguirre.Photo ©: Vicky Hayward
A look backwards and forwards, by José María Beneyto – Spanish Doctor of Law and Philosophy and Letters who has published books and articles on international law including The Government of Europe: Institutional Design of the European Union – and Renato Cisneros, Peruvian journalist and poet, notably for Algún día te mostraré el desierto (‘One day I will show you the desert’). They exchange their concerns about the advance of populism and nationalism and discuss the political reality in Europe and America with Italian writer and journalist Paola del Vecchio.
Moroccan sociologist and journalist Sanaa El Aji, renowned for her columns advocating a more secular society, and Najat El Hachmi, the Catalan writer born in Morocco, review the concept of ‘Islamic identity’, an everyday reality on both sides of the Straits of Gibraltar, which in some forms silences individual liberties, defends patriarchal rule and, above all, imposes certain behaviours and attire on women. El Aji delves into the struggle of moving forward a nation like Morocco, where the most liberal voices are stifled by a resurgence of fundamentalism, while El Hachmi (The Last Patriarch, The Foreign Daughter, Mother of Milk and Honey) reflects on the condition of life for women in ghettos of immigrant groups – where, under the guise of religious fundamentalism, the label of ‘cultural identity’ can become a prison.
Novelist, poet and screenwriter Ahmed Saadawi has become one of the foremost literary voices in Iraq since he was included in Beirut39 (2010), a selection of 39 of the most promising Arab writers under the age of 40. His novel Frankenstein in Baghdad quickly achieved international recognition, namely the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (2014) and the Prix de L’Imaginaire (2017) as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize (2018). In the novel, Saadawi reflects on how violence has already become part of everyday life. He talks with the Spanish journalist Monica G. Prieto, an expert in the Middle East, about the reasons for and consequences of the brutality of the war.Photo ©: Safa Alwan
Writer Theodor Kallifatides was born in Greece in 1938 and emigrated to Sweden in 1964, where he began his literary career. He has published more than forty works comprising fiction, essays and poetry, which have been translated into several languages and have received multiple awards over the decades. At seventy-seven, suffering from writer’s block, he makes the difficult decision to sell his Stockholm studio and travels to his native Greece with the hope of rediscovering the easy flow of language. He gathers his observations and emotions in Another Life and explores the relationship between a meaningful life and meaningful work, and how to reconcile himself with ageing. Kallifatides exchanges impressions about life in exile and the impact on identity with translator, writer and journalist Monika Zgustova, who was born in Prague and settled in Barcelona four decades ago. Zgustova has sixty translations from Czech and Russian, for which she has received the City of Barcelona Award and the Angel Crespo Prize. She is also author of six novels, with the latest, Un revólver para salir de noche (‘A handgun to go out at night’) due to be published this autumn. Her work of fiction revolves around exile, the loss of identity and the intimate life of people in times of totalitarianism.Monika Zgustova photo ©: Antoni Sella
The Worst Part, Memories of Love by Fernando Savater is a hymn of praise to his wife Sara and also to life. The philosopher, one of the most highly regarded and best-selling authors in the Spanish language, reminisces about his life together with the companion and reader of his books, the strong woman who never gave up on anything and who always fought for everything. When she died, Savater wanted only to cry and did not think he would write again. His love for her has engendered this book and provides a new lease on life: he confesses, “And thus I appreciated life more, because she made the world more beautiful”. Savater talks to cultural journalist Jesús Vigorra.Photo ©: Florence Montmare / Bonniers
The storyteller presents the third installment of his successful series starring Galician Inspector Leo Caldas. The first two titles, Water Blue Eyes and Death on a Galician Shore catapulted Villar onto the international stage of crime writers. They were translated into 15 languages and reaped a large number of awards. Gerardo Herrero directed the film adaptation of La playa de los ahogados (‘Death on a Galician Shore’). In the latest book in the series, El último barco (‘The Final Boat’), Caldas returns to the setting of the Ría de Vigo with a new case that seems to be complicated from the very onset. A narrative brimming with intellect, incisive sarcasm and fluid prose once again couples with the complicity and empathy of characters that have been crafted by the hand of a master. The writer talks to journalist and writer Juan Cruz.Domingo Villar Photo ©: Ricardo Martín
Juan Cruz Photo ©: Lisbeth Salas
Dignity is a concept that is used without definition. However, philosopher and essayist Javier Gomá observes that it has been the most transformative and revolutionary philosophical concept of the 20th century. Since 2003, Gomá has juggled his role as Director of the Juan March Foundation with a remarkable production of essays, and in 2004 he won the National Essay Award for his first work, Imitation and Experience. He has also written plays. His most recent book is entitled Dignidad (‘Dignity’), a topic he discusses with Daniel Dombey, Bureau Chief of the Financial Times.Photo ©: Lisbeth Salas
In her book Debut, singer-songwriter Christina Rosenvinge collects more than twenty-five years of songs. She journeys through the places, the stories and the reflections that underlie her lyrics. They are testimonies of the commitment to, as well as the uncertainty that precedes, each project; reflections on love, freedom and feminine power; in short, a portrait of the moments that intersect life and which would be destined to oblivion if it were not for the electric spark of a song that keeps them alive. In this book, she reveals the literary, musical and artistic references that have influenced her work. She will be in conversation with writer and critic Bob Pop.
César Brandon burst onto the literary stage thanks to his gift for telling of complicated things with tenderness, with an understandable and intimate language laden with great doses of humour and sincerity. He thrilled both the jury and the public of Got Talent España, which he won in 2018. His new book, Toda la felicidad del universo (‘All the happiness in the universe’), makes readers dream about love, loneliness, forgetfulness, joy, happiness, life and death. Presented by Ana Gavín, Director of Editorial Relations for Grupo Planeta.Photo by Esif Fotografia
Patria (‘Homeland’) has been the greatest phenomenon of Spanish literature in recent times. Its adaptation to the screen will also make broadcasting history: it will be the first entirely Spanish series produced by the prestigious HBO for television. Fernando Aramburu, its author, and Aitor Gabilondo, scriptwriter and producer of the series, talk about the creative process in which they were both involved. With the production stage concluded and the filming over they will make their first public appearance at the Hay Festival Segovia. The novel continues to expand internationally: it has been translated into all European languages and has sold more than one and a half million copies across the world. The première of the television version is scheduled for 2020. Both will talk with the writer and journalist who has closely followed the entire process, Jesús Ruiz Mantilla.