We are thrilled to announce the 2020 programme for Hay Festival Segovia. This year, our events taking place in the IE University will be streamed live. Please see individual events for more details on how to tune in.
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Celibidache, Bernstein and Ferrara have been some of those who have taught the art of conducting to Xavier Güell, who led prestigious orchestras including the Los prisioneros del paraíso and La música de la memoria. He has recently published Si no puedes, yo respiraré por ti, the first instalment in a tetralogy about a group of musicians who aim to survive and work in a Europe dominated by totalitarianisms. This first part of the War Quartet is dedicated to the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók.
Jacinta Cremades is a journalist, translator and lecturer in Language and Literature. He has recently published his first novel, Regreso a París, which reflects historical events such as May ’68 and women’s emancipation, told through the stories of three women.
Güell and Cremades will talk to the lecturer, lawyer and writer José María Beneyto, whose books include Los elementos del mundo, El espía que engañó a Hitler and Tragedia y razón. Europa en el pensamiento español del siglo XX.
The name of Vicente Todolí will live in the collective memory thanks to his extensive experience as an art expert. His CV features important positions including Artistic Director at the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, Director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, and Director of London’s Tate Modern. In recent years, Todolí’s focus has turned from art to citrus plants, and as the US thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson advised, he has been cultivating his own garden in Palmera (Valencia), where he has assembled the world’s largest private collection of citrus plants: around 400 varieties, some of them in danger of extinction. His conservation project, managed by the Fundació Todolí Citrus, has also acted as a bulwark against development plans that have threatened the landscape in the area.
Todolí will talk to Prince Lorenzo de’ Medici who, at this event, will reconnect with an old family tradition: the Medici family once practiced bringing art and nature together, and in Renaissance Florence they not only patronized artists and collected art, but also put together a magnificent collection of citrus plants.
The very personal style of the writer Gonçalo Tavares has captured the attention of critics and readers, and he has become one of the most acclaimed writers on the Portuguese literary scene. A fiction writer, dramatist and poet, books such as O senhor Valéry, Jerusalem and Klaus Klump: A Man have brought him awards including the José Saramago Prize. The Portuguese Nobel laureate commented that Tavares was also worthy of the famous prize. During the pandemic, the author of A máquina de Joseph Walser wrote a diary during 90 days of the first wave of the virus, and this was published in fifteen countries in the Americas and Europe as part of a cooperative editorial venture. Finally, these texts have been published in Spanish as Diario de la peste by InterZona, an independent publishing housing in Buenos Aires.
He will talk about all this, his career and his projects with Luis Alemany, an El Mundo journalist.
Jesús Carrasco returns to the Hay Festival Segovia, this time together with the Leon writer Noemí Sabugal. Empty Spain, small towns without a future, and respect for nature: these are all themes to be found in both the novels and essays of Miguel Delibes, and are the topics for discussion by two writers who will take Delibes’ legacy as a starting point. Carrasco is the author of the unforgettable Intemperie, which was followed by La tierra que pisamos. His latest work is Llévame a casa, which tells the story of one of those small towns that will have to choose between change and disappearance, and also deals with the issue of caring for an older generation.
In Los hijos del carbón, her latest work, Sabugal covers the end of the Spanish mining industry, something she knows at first hand, having grown up in a family whose men earned a living below ground. In the tradition of narrative journalism, Sabugal travels to the areas affected by a disappearing industry. Even before publishing this book, shortlisted for the Castile and Leon Critics’ Prize, the Leon writer had published the novels Al acecho and Una chica sin suerte.
The poet Ana Blandiana and the artist Luis Moro will build a bridge between the literary and artistic cultures of Spain and Romania at this event, on the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Blandiana is currently one of Romania’s most important writers. This essayist and poet writes works of great humanistic commitment, unafraid to criticise political power. She was persecuted during the Ceausescu dictatorship. Her poetry books Cosecha de ángeles, Mi patria A4 and El sol del más allá y el reflujo de los sentidos have been published in Spain, as have her short story collections Las cuatro estaciones and Proyectos del pasado.
Moro, a Spanish artist who is based in Mexico, has exhibited work at major art centres in Spain and Latin America, and has taken part in the main European art fairs. He has worked with poets such as Antonio Gamoneda and Elena Poniatowska and is currently working on the Yo Creo en Las Nubes project, based on the work of the Romanian poet.
The two will talk to the poet, novelist and Philosophy lecturer Marifé Santiago, author of books such as Teoría de los matices and Las constelaciones del Capitán.
Based on the novel Oblivion: A Memoir by Héctor Abad Faciolince, Fernando Trueba’s latest film tells the story of the writer’s father, Héctor Abad Gómez, a doctor who dedicated the last years of his life to the defence of human rights, and who was murdered by a contract killer in central Medellin on 25 August, 1987. Javier Cámara plays a tender character “who loved life” in the words of the film director, “who was an advocate of public and preventive medicine” and who during the 1960s supervised the first mass vaccination against polio in the country. Trueba worked with his brother David on the screenplay of the film, which was selected for the 2020 Cannes Festival that was cancelled because of the pandemic. The film, a moving portrait of the man and his family relationships, was chosen to close last year’s San Sebastian International Film Festival.
Alex Fidalgo is one of the most high-profile podcasters on the Internet, known for his personal conversation style. He has interviewed Andreu Buenafuente, Pedro Duque, Sonsoles Ónega, Ismael Serrano, Manuela Carmena, Marc Gasol and others. He is the creator of one of Spain’s most popular podcasts: Lo que tú digas. Over the course of the four years it has been running, Fidalgo has put his programme among the highest ranked podcasts in the country, with millions of downloads and many thousands of subscribers.
Xavi Martínez is a journalist and presenter, whose career has included time with 40 Principales and Europa FM. He has also been a judge on the Telecinco music programme Factor X España. In his work as a creator of content and formats, since October 2020 he has been producing and presenting the podcast Seven, interviewing major figures from different areas of life, using the seven deadly sins as a recurring motif. Laura Pausini, Juan Luis Cebrián and Iñaki Gabilondo are some of those who featured during the first series. With over 238,000 followers on social media, Xavi Martínez knows how to conduct a conversation that we can all connect with.
Sixteen authors from different areas of culture, politics and diplomacy have come together for a series of personal expressions related to Portugal for Intramuros magazine. Ana Luísa Amaral, Daniel Blaufuks, Nuno Cardoso, Alexandre Farto (Vhils), Elisa Ferreira, Rui Horta, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, Regina Pessoa, Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Cristina Rodrigues, Tiago Rodrigues, Marta Santos, Leonor Silveira, Martim Souza, Gonçalo Tavares and Joana Vasconcelos will contribute their experience.
To talk about this autobiographical Portugal, the writers Gonçalo Tavares and José Luis Peixoto; the Portuguese Ambassador, Joäo Mira-Gomes; the Educational Attaché, Filipa Soares; and Editor of Intramuros, Beltrán Gambier, meet here to read texts and talk about the publication, on the occasion of Portugal taking up the presidency of the European Union.
The name of José Luis Peixoto, one of Portugal’s most read and acclaimed writers, is closely linked to that of José Saramago. Peixoto won the Saramago Prize with his first novel, Blank Gaze, when he was completely unknown. Subsequently, the Nobel laureate pointed him out as a very interesting new writer. So a successful career began, with awards coming from within Portugal and abroad, including the Cálamo Prize for The Piano Cemetery and the Océanos Prize for Galveias, as Best Portuguese-language Novel of 2015. Once again his name is linked with that of his mentor with the publication of Autobiografía, which makes the author of Blindness into a protagonist. According to Peixoto, the novel is a homage, not a hagiography, and does not avoid some controversial aspects of the great writer. Peixoto’s books have been translated into 26 languages.
The Portuguese author will talk to Marta del Riego Anta, a journalist who has worked with various news outlets. As a novelist she has published Solo los tontos creen en el amor, Sendero de frio y amor, Mi nombre es Sena and Pájaros del Noroeste.
Spain's Civil War in the 1930s was much more than a Spanish war, attracting the world's gaze and seen by many historians as the opening battle of World War 2. Prize-winning historian and Hispanist Giles Tremlett (author of Ghosts of Spain and biographies of Isabella of Castile & Catherine of Aragon) has studied the international side of the war through an emblematic and controversial volunteer force of 35,000 men and women from more than 80 of today's countries who came to the Republic's aid as a part of a unique transnational army known as The International Brigades. This extraordinary force, admired by Hemingway, Orwell, Gellhorn, Capa and other observers, helped shape the international view of the war and was a breeding ground for left-wing politicians, union leaders, poets, wrtiers, spies and senior members of the Iron Curtain regimes (including the notorious Stasi of East Germany). Given the large number of Jews, and the military support of Hitler and Mussolini to the Nationalist side, it is also seen as the first organized Jewish resistance to Fascism. For Americans, it provieded the first Black officers in US history to command white American troops. Yet, as Tremlett argues in The International Brigades: Fascism, Freedom & The Spanish Civil War ("The overal history of the Brigades that has been lacking", according to Paul Preston) it was mainly a force of inexperienced young working class idealists, half whom died or were injured, who were used as shcock trops but would always carry Spain in their hearts. Tremlett is Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economicas & Political Science (LSE).
He will talk with José Ignacio Torreblanca, head of the Madrid office of the European Council of Foreign Relations, professor at UNED and author of Asaltar los cielos Podemos o la política después de la crisis, ¿Quién gobierna en Europa? and La fragmentación del Poder Europeo.
The long career of Luis María Ansón has established him as a major figure in Spanish journalism; he has held positions of responsibility such as head of EFE agency and Editor of ABC, and he also founded La Razón newspaper. He has won important awards including the Mariano de Cavia and the Luca de Tena. He returns to the Hay Festival Segovia to talk about the heritage press on the 120th anniversary of the newspaper El Adelantado de Segovia, which has not missed a day’s news since 16 October 1901. El Adelantado de Segovia is one of Spain’s provincial heritage papers, with four generations of the same family as majority partners. Luis María Ansón will talk to the current editor, Ángel González Pieras, who, during his own career, has passed through various companies in the worlds of finance and journalism.
The murder of the Colombian doctor, politician and human rights advocate, Héctor Abad Gómez, is the event that motivated his son, Héctor Abad Faciolince, to write Oblivion: A Memoir, which tells the story of his father. This in turn has led the film director, Fernando Trueba, to adapt the book for cinema.
Trueba is one of Spain’s most acclaimed directors. With a filmography of nearly 20 films, he has made works of comedy (Two Much, Sal gorda), drama (El año de las luces, Twisted Obsession, The Girl of Your Dreams, The Queen of Spain), documentary (Calle 54, Mientras el cuerpo aguante) and animated film (Chico and Rita). His shelves sport an Oscar, nine Goya Awards and various other international prizes.
The journalist, writer and publisher Héctor Abad Faciolince has won numerous awards in his country, Colombia, as well as in Spain, where he was awarded the first Casa de América Innovative Fiction Prize for his novel Basura. However, it was Oblivion: A Memoir, the novel that tells the story of his father, which brought him to prominence in the world of Spanish-language literature. Abad Faciolince has not only won awards for his fiction writing, but also for his work as a columnist. As a publisher, in 2016 he created the company Angosta, an independent publisher in Colombia that bears the name of one of his novels.
This conversation is part of the Hay and Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos Dialogues initiative promoting knowledge among writers of different nationalities but with a shared language and literary tradition.