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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We can't wait to welcome you, in whatever form you choose to join us. For information on how the events will run in keeping with distancing practices please visit our FAQ page.
The event times shown are in Central European Summer Time (UTC+2).
Set in the 13th century ruins of the Cistercian monastery of Santa María de la Sierra in the Segovia town of Collado Hermoso, there is a botanical garden that specialises in the cultivation of plants for dyeing, some of which have almost disappeared elsewhere. However, this idyllic spot has more to offer: thanks to the initiative of Elena Goded and her company Ábbatte, the traditional form of artisan weaving with shuttle and loom have a present and a future here. One of the plants that has been recovered is rubia tinctorum (dyer’s madder), which had disappeared from central Spain. The beautiful fabrics woven here are now sold internationally. This initiative, which won a National Craft Award in 2015, was an unexpected turn in the career of Elena Goded, a former biologist and university lecturer.
This event is about the conjunction of nature conservation and the revitalisation of time-honoured craft methods, and is hosted by the cultural manager Sofía Barroso, a specialist in art and gardens.
Experiences of the japanese garden. Sofía Barroso introduces Monty Don
Sofía Barroso introduces a documentary about the Japanese garden that takes us on a journey guided by one of the great specialists on the subject, the writer and journalist Monty Don, who for two decades has presented some of the BBC’s most important programmes on gardens and gardening. In the documentary, Don talks to the photographer Derry Moore about these gardens, which combine ethics and aesthetics, beauty and philosophy, in a celebration of the natural world. The documentary features the great garden of Kenroku-en, the Zen gardens of Tokyo, the historical wonders of Kyoto, and also covers the seasonal celebrations of hanami (visits to the spring cherry blossom) and momijigari, the custom of enjoying the magnificent autumn spectacle of the turning leaves.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, named after its philanthropist and art collector founder, is one of Portugal’s most important cultural institutions. Dedicated to the promotion of art, science, education and cooperation, it runs two museums and an orchestra, and its centre in Lisbon is a brilliant example of Portuguese modernism. The institution’s director will visit the Hay Festival to talk about its projects. Antonio Filipe Pimentel, a Doctor of Art History, has a long CV linked to his country’s most prestigious art institutions, being the former director of the National Art Museum as well as former Assistant Director of Cultural Heritage. A central part of this conversation will be about the garden that surrounds the foundation building, a true oasis in the city. It was designed in the 1960s by Antonio Viana Barreto and Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, major figures in the modern movement and landscape architecture in Portugal.
Pimentel will talk to Sofía Barroso, a cultural manager who specializes in art and gardens.
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.