Rodrigo Cortés is a most versatile artist: director, actor, producer, screenwriter, aphorist… and novelist. His latest book, Los años extraordinarios, is a novel in the tradition of Valle-Inclán that takes us on a journey through the 20th century. The work, particularly its protagonist, Jaime Fanjul, has received praise from both critics and fellow writers. No challenge seems too great for this Salamanca artist: aged 25 he was already filming videos for Amenábar and he has not shied away from working with Hollywood stars like Robert de Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Uma Thurman (the star of Down a Dark Hall, his most recent film). Perhaps his most famous feature has been Buried, a suffocating film in which Ryan Reynolds plays a man who is trying to survive after being buried alive in a coffin. The movie won several Goyas in Spain as well as international awards. Given his career so far, this artist with the captivating smile must have something special.
Rodrigo Cortés will talk to the publisher Miguel Aguilar, who has worked with major figures in Spanish literature, such as Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio.
The literary career of Mathias Enard is closely linked to his interest in the Arab and Persian cultures, his specialist subject when he studied at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations in France, his native country. He has lived in Paris, the Middle East, Spain and Berlin, and has translated works from Persian and Lebanese Arabic. He has also promoted a range of cultural publications, such as the graphic publisher, Scrawitch, and the gallery of the same name in the 11th arrondissement of the French capital. All his novels have won awards in France or abroad, from the first, La perfection du tir, to the penultimate, Compass, which won the Prix Goncourt and which was dedicated to the Syrian people, devastated by war. Other titles by him include Street of Thieves; Tell Them of Battles, Kings and Elephants; and the last, Le banquet annuel de la confrérie des fossoyeurs. He is a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, a title awarded by the French Ministry of Culture.
Enard will talk to Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, a journalist and author of books such as Contar la música, Hotel Transición, Preludio, El encuentro and Papel, his latest.
A year ago, the Hay Festival Segovia staged a debate among journalists from Spain, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands regarding European management of the pandemic. The European Union ended up reaching a historical agreement to mobilise 750 billion Euros, but the negotiation process created strong tensions between North and South. Now Europe is facing the post-covid era with elections in Germany and France, and internal tensions in southern countries. This is the time to continue the debate, but with different actors. On this occasion we present Sandrine Morel, Spain correspondent for Le Monde; Reinhard Spiegelhauer, Chief Correspondent in Spain and Portugal of ARD (the German public radio and television corporation); and Enric Juliana, Assistant Editor of La Vanguardia in Madrid.
Moderated by Miquel Molina, also Assistant Editor of La Vanguardia, a newspaper that is celebrating its 140th year in 2021.
When Douglas Stuart began to write, in the moments not taken up by his work as a fashion designer, he was over thirty and had already lived a dramatic life. He grew up in Glasgow, in a family damaged by an absent father and his mother’s problems with alcohol. He later studied textile design, although literature was his first interest. Aged 24 he moved to New York and worked for brands such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic. With his first novel, Shuggie Bain, he won the 2020 Booker Prize, becoming only the second Scottish author to do so, and putting him on the European literary map. It is the story of a childhood like his own, unconditional love for a mother, the alcoholism she suffers, and the economic plight of post-industrial West of Scotland in the Thatcher era, characterised by unemployment and social problems.
Stuart will talk to Andrea Aguilar, Culture journalist for El País.
The current circumstances have meant that many of us have had to reconsider our future and seek new goals. Lucy Kellaway, however, did so years ago: aged 57, she decided to leave her successful career as a Financial Times columnist and start a new life teaching at a London secondary school. Kellaway has recently published a new book: Re-educated, in which she tells the story of how she changed her life. This writer and educator, co-founder of the educational charity Now Teach, which offers new strategies to teachers, returns to the Hay Festival to talk about her experiences with Santiago Íñiguez, President of the IE University, author of books such as Global Leaders and The Learning Curve and world expert on education.
Until 2001, Jean Paul Brigand, a biologist and economist then based in Paris, combined his work as a financier with his passion for gardens. That was the year his passion won out, and together with his wife, Anne Kenny, he started out on a dream in the Alentejo region of Portugal. At his home, the Lugar do Olhar Feliz, all the senses come to life: from the sight of the beautiful David Austin roses to the scent of orange blossom. Here he cares for 350 kinds of citrus plant, one of the finest collections in southern Europe. Many of these citruses come from Japan, and the collection includes the famous Sorrento lemon, the variety used to make limoncello. Brigand has managed to create a botanist’s dream, overcoming all the difficulties involved in maintaining a collection of this size.
Lorenzo de’ Medici, a direct descendent of the famous family of patrons, is able to tell us about a Medici family secret, one that links him to Brigand: collecting citrus plants. He has also had a long career as a writer of novels (La conjura de la reina, Las cartas robadas, La palabra perdida), historical essays (Los Médici, nuestra historia) and travel guides. He has made documentaries about his family for major European television channels, such as Arte TV.
Both will be presented by Julia Casaravilla, museologist, conservator and owner of the Romeral de San Marcos, a garden designed by her husband, Leandro Silva.
For Santiago Beruete, looking at a garden is looking at life and learning to read it differently. He also considers that goodness is an attribute of the intelligence. Starting from these bases, this anthropologist and Doctor of Philosophy, who combines his educational and research activity with gardening and writing, will teach us to reflect on the importance of our relationship with nature. He has published the essays Aprendívoros, Jardinosofía and Verdolatría. The subtitles of these books, respectively “Cultivating Curiosity”, “A Philosophical History of Gardens” and “Nature Teaches Us To Be Human” give us an idea of his goal, which is none other than to talk about the Earth on terms of equality, and not from an anthropocentric viewpoint.
He will talk to Fernanda Febres-Cordero, Publishing Coordinator at Turner.
How has the continent been affected by the trauma of Covid-19 in political, economic, cultural and social terms? What does this mean for the future? Five experts in international politics will talk about Europe after the pandemic, bearing in mind the German and French elections, the polarization of Spain, European funds and the consequences of Brexit. The guests at this event will be Arancha González Laya, Spanish Foreign Minister from January 2020 to July 2021 in Pedro Sánchez’s second government; Lucía Méndez Prada, political commentator, journalist and founder of El Mundo newspaper; Simon Kuper, Financial Times journalist and author of Barça: The Inside Story of the World’s Greatest Football Club; Ana Carbajosa, journalist and author of Angela Merkel: Crónica de una era and Daniel Dombey, the Financial Times’ Spain correspondent.
They will talk to Frederick Studemann, the literary editor of the Financial Times
The event will be introduced by Manuel Muñiz, expert in international relations and former Secretary of State of España Global.
María Dueñas brings us moments of reunion, including hers and ours with the protagonist of the unforgettable novel The Seamstress, a work that established its author as one of the most read in the Spanish language, a position that she still retains. Sira, after whom the new book is named, returns almost twelve years after the events of the story of that young and resourceful seamstress, caught up in the world of espionage. Dueñas takes her, and us, to Jerusalem, London, Madrid and Tangiers, and gives her main character the experience of motherhood. What is more, fans of the author of books such as Misión Olvido and Las hijas del capitán, can see the second adaptation of one of her books, which has been made into a television series. After the international success of the adaptation of The Seamstress, released as The Time in Between, we can now see La templanza, a story of family intrigue set in the 19th century.
María Dueñas will talk to Jesús Vigorra, producer and presenter of Las mañanas on Canal Sur Radio.
Garazi Sánchez first tried surfing aged 7, and at 14 was travelling the world to surf. At 25 he was Spanish champion and number two in Europe. A back injury almost ended his surfing, but with the recovery of his mobility he also became aware of the need to protect the marine environment; although it was a place he felt at home, it was something that had previously been unknown to him, having only been the place where he sought the perfect wave. From this experience came his involvement in the documentary, Vergüenza, which he has produced and co-directed with Iker Elorrieta, in order to draw attention to the dangers to our oceans and what will happen if we do not stop our destructive behaviour.
He will talk about his desire to go to the Olympic Games and his fight for a living ocean with Félix Jordán de Urríes, General Manager of the Deporte Joven Foundation.
Garazi Sánchez will join the event digitally.
In a year of recovery, new horizons and the need to look at the long-term future, the questions of the economy and political leadership play a crucial role. The Hay Festival has invited four international experts to debate these matters: Javier Maroto, Spanish politician, economist and Popular Party senator; Elcin Poyrazlar, Turkish writer and columnist whose reporting from London, Brussels, Istanbul and Washington has been published by media outlets including the BBC and HuffPost; Gonzalo Garland, Peruvian economist and lecturer and Executive Vice-president of the IE Foundation; and Pallavi Aiyar, Indian journalist, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the digital newspaper The Globalist and author of numerous books.
They will talk to the historian and Guardian journalist, Giles Tremlett.
Manuel Jabois once said “I write so that I won’t have to talk about what I write.” He will have to overcome his shyness here to talk about his latest book, the successful novel Miss Marte. The book is a thriller, a story of teenage love, a journalist’s investigation into the disappearance of a girl –inspired by the case of Madeleine McCann–, all set in the author’s native Galicia. The name of Jabois first became known with his writing for El Mundo and later El País and his work as a journalist has been recognized with awards such as the Julio Camba. After Malaherba, his previous publication, his latest book confirms the author’s storytelling powers with a portrait of a fascinating character.
Karina Sainz Borgo is the other pole of this event. She shares with Jabois a career in journalism, and the two will focus their conversation on these two sides of a single profession: writing. The Venezuelan writer’s first novel, La hija de la española, made a considerable impact in the world of literature, receiving the French Madame Figaro Grand Prix de l’Héroїne, and she has talked about her second novel as a book about the need for compassion. El tercer país is about an illicit cemetery located in a frontier land, where life and death meet; this story, which has aspects of magic realism about it, is about two strong women learning to survive.
Eva Hache is an actor, presenter and comedian in the most genuine and traditional meaning of the word, but she is also one of those people who, from her first appearances, has been taken up warmly by the public. Now she has put this to good use, working for teenagers and young people to help them with their problems through the podcast Tú no me conoces, broadcast by Podimo. In it, Generation Z can talk, without censorship or filters, about matters such as sexual identity, physical image, the use of social media, spirituality, pornography… conversations that are often difficult to have with parents, teachers and even peers.
Eva Hache will talk to Javier Celaya, General Manager of Podimo in Spain. Celaya is an expert in helping cultural enterprises make a profit in the digital era. Using platforms such as Dosdoce.com, it has supported publishing companies, museums, libraries and foundations in positioning themselves on the Internet.
Aligning the promotion and enjoyment of contemporary art with education, nature and sustainable and local production is an approach that galleries and museums from around the world are gradually taking up, and it is a philosophy that is being put into practice by the prestigious international art gallery Hauser & Wirth, which has outlets in Zurich, New York, London and Hong Kong. Its latest project is located in Spain, specifically on the Isla del Rey island in the Port of Mahon (Menorca). Here, a respectful restoration of historical buildings is united with the goal of bringing them back into use. The project has involved the famous landscape designer Piet Oudolf and the well-known Spanish garden designer Álvaro de la Rosa. De la Rosa was trained at the Academia de San Fernando, but soon turned his attention to plants. He has worked in Madrid, the Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands.
At this event he will be accompanied by Mireia Massagué, director of Chilllida-Leku in Hernani, San Sebastián (Spain) managed by Hauser & Wirth, and Mikel Chillida grandson of Eduardo Chillida and Developent Manager of Chillida Leku and the conversation will be moderated by Sofía Barroso, a cultural manager who specializes in art and gardens.
Mererid Hopwood and Antonio Colinas are two poets whose work involves a strong commitment to time. Both are involved in bringing new words to restore a wounded Earth. Hopwood is one of Wales’ most acclaimed poets, and has been appointed Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival / Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellow 2020-2021, giving her a presence at the festival’s different events around the world. Her publications include Singing in Chains, O Ran and Nes Draw.
Antonio Colinas has been a major figure in Spanish poetry since the second half of the 20th century, when the Novísimos Generation came to prominence. He is also a well-known essayist, and has written around a hundred publications in the two genres. Titles such as Sepulcro en Tarquinia, Tiempo y abismo and El río de sombra have won prestigious awards, including the National Poetry Award, and the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry.
Hopwood and Colinas will talk to another outstanding poet, Carlos Aganzo, author of books such as Las flautas de los bárbaros, En la región de Nod and Jardín con biblioteca.
Meredid Hopwood will contribute digitally.
The second Propios y Ajenos event of the 2021 Hay Festival Segovia presents the princes Lorenzo de’ Medici and Hussain Aga Khan and his wife Princess Fareen Aga Khan; the British ambassador, Hugh Elliott and his wife, Toñi Elliott, the Italian ambassador Riccardo Guariglia and his wife, Elena Persichetti and Caroline Michel, chair of the Hay Festival, who will read from their favourite poets on a trail that includes some of the most beautiful spots in the Romeral de San Marcos Garden.
Readings in Spanish, Italian, French and English.
In case of rain, the event will take place in the Alhóndiga at the same time.
When it comes to changing the world, designers are more important than scientists. This, at least, is the opinion of Babette Porcelijn, a designer and environmental expert. In her view, designers are better equipped than other professionals to offer solutions to crucial matters such as pollution, climate change and resource depletion. She specializes in what she calls “hidden impact”, in how our everyday actions affect the environment, not only locally, through the consumption of fuels, but globally, through, for example, the transportation of goods. Her book De verborgen impact, aimed at a non-specialist readership and in which she proposes simple solutions for the future, has been very successful in the Netherlands, the author’s native country, and other European countries. It will shortly be published in Spain.
Porcelijn will talk to the Germany-based Asturian journalist, Begoña Quesada, author of books such as Alemania, el país imprescindible and Nacidos después de muertos.
The success of her first novel, La hermandad de la Sábana Santa, the bestseller that has been published in thirty countries, motivated her to leave her career as a journalist and essayist (Señora presidenta, El nuevo socialismo: la visión de José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero) and focus on literature. Her novels, Dime quién soy, Dispara, yo ya estoy muerto, Historia de un canalla and Tú no matarás made inroads on the bestseller lists. Julia Navarro creates characters and places them in different historical moments, always with a rigorous style. One of her novels, Dime quién soy, has been made into a series starring Irene Escolar. Her latest novel, De ninguna parte, tells of a journey made by two men in search of their identities, against a backdrop of religious fundamentalism. It is due to be published very soon in Spain, Latin America and the United States.
Navarro will talk to José Manuel Lorenzo, the producer of the series Dime quién soy, President and founder of the film and television production company DLO Producciones and President of PATE (Associate Producers of Television in Spain).
“You never write from the heart more than when you write what you remember.” This was said by Luis Landero about El huerto de Emerson, his latest work. The book is an anthology of fragments of what he has lived and what he has read; written with 75 percent narrative, 15 percent essay and the remainder made up with poetry, according to the writer’s formula. Landero is the author of memorable titles such as Juegos de la edad tardía and Lluvia fina, and has not left behind the child he once was in Alburquerque, the Extremaduran town where he was born and raised, or the young guitarist who stopped playing, as he recounts with a touch of humour, when the genius Paco de Lucía appeared. Perhaps for this reason, his autobiographies, and this book, a kind of continuation of El balcón en invierno, are actually a body of work where a whole generation can be found. Its title refers to that personal, untransferable garden which, according to the US philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, we all have, and have to tend in order to live.
Luis Landero will talk to Ana Gavin, the Planeta Group’s Publishing Relations Manager and a publisher with considerable experience with some of the great names of Spanish literature.
“The biggest change in 50 million years.” This is how the environmental writer and activist Andri Snaer Magnason replied when asked about the future effects of climate change. It is something of such massive dimensions that we lack words to express it, although for many the climate conversation has been nothing more than hot air. But this is changing, and books such as On Time and Water are looking at the crisis through science, poetry, history and mythology. Magnason is an environmental activist who looks at the dangers of not caring for our planet and nature from his different facets as an artist: he is a writer, actor and director, both of feature and documentary film. As a writer, he has published novels, short stories, narrative essay and plays. His titles include Dreamland, The Story of the Blue Planet for which he won the Iceland Literary Prize, and Eternal Happiness. In 2016 he ran for the presidency of his country, Iceland.
Magnason will talk to Irene Hernández Velasco, journalist at El Mundo, with which she was a correspondent in Rome.