Hay Festival 2021 – Food

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Event 6

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Jini Reddy, introduced by Stephanie Merritt

The Jan Morris Lecture: Rediscovering Magic in the Landscape

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The author of Wanderland looks at non-orthodox perspectives on landscape, and considers the richness and wisdom they bring. Born in Britain to Indian parents from South Africa, and raised in Canada, Jini has contributed to anthologies, penned a guidebook, and her texts and poems have been displayed in exhibitions at London’s Southbank Centre and at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. As a travel writer, in 2019 she was named a National Geographic Woman of Impact. Her work explores a cross-cultural, cross-genre space where place, spirituality and culture meet.

Event 11

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Jennifer Lucy Allan talks to Stephanie Merritt

The Foghorn’s Lament

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Part memoir, part travelogue, part history of the foghorn, this is a booming, lonely sound echoing into the vastness of the sea. When the author hears the foghorn's colossal bellow for the first time, it marks the beginning of an obsession and a journey deep into the history of a sound that has carved out the identity and the landscape of coastlines around the world, from Scotland to San Francisco. Within its sound is a maritime history of shipwrecks and lighthouse keepers, the story and science of our industrial past. The book is an odyssey told through the people who battled sea and sound, who lived with it and loathed it, and one woman's intrepid voyage through the howling loneliness of nature.

Event 13

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Cassandra Coburn and Sarah Bridle talk to Martin Wright

Food and Farming for a Greener Future

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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It’s nearly 40 years since Francis Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet was published, linking what we eat and what we do to the planet. As countries race to embrace net zero targets, the role of farming and farmers, and the way we manage the landscape more generally, is under scrutiny. Is a healthy diet for humans the same as a healthy diet for a zero-carbon future? Should we be paying farmers for ‘public goods’, such as soil restoration, wildlife conservation and carbon sequestration? How might that transform the landscapes of the future – in Britain, Europe and elsewhere? And what does that mean for the hundreds of millions of small farmers in countries like India – site of some impassioned protests in recent months?

Cassandra Coburn is author of Enough: How Your Food Choices will Save the Planet; Sarah Bridle's book is Food and Climate Without the Hot Air. Martin Wright, former editor of Green Futures, is an environment journalist and photographer.

Event 17

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Robert Penn talks to Andy Fryers

Slow Rise – A Bread-Making Adventure

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Join us on a journey to reclaim real bread, from the ancient grains that humans have eaten for 10,000 years, to meeting the farmers who still hand-scythe their harvest in the Nile Delta, to understanding modern farming practices in the American prairies and talking with the millers of West Wales. As well as documenting the history of bread, Rob Penn set himself a challenge to become the family baker – to sow, harvest and thresh two ancient grains and then bake the slow fermented sour dough in his own wood-fired oven. The woodsman and cyclist Robert Penn's previous book was The Man who Made Things out of Trees. Andy Fryers is Hay Festival Sustainability Director.

Event 19

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Helena Attlee and Greg Lawson

Lev’s Violin

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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From the moment she hears Lev's violin for the first time, Helena Attlee is captivated. She is told that it is an Italian instrument, named after its former Russian owner. Eager to discover the stories contained within its delicate wooden frame, she sets out for Cremona, birthplace of the Italian violin. Making its way from dusty workshops, through Alpine forests, Venetian churches, Florentine courts, and far-flung Russian fleamarkets, this book takes us from the heart of Italian culture to its very furthest reaches via luthiers and scientists, princes and orphans, musicians, composers, travellers and raconteurs.
Helena will be joined on stage by composer, conductor and current owner of Lev’s violin, the charismatic, cross-genre classical violinist Greg Lawson.

Event 33

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Ray Mears talks to Yvonne Witter

We Are Nature

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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A journey of discovery through the natural world with the bushcraft and survival legend takes us into the British countryside and across continents, teaching us how to tune our senses, enhance our experience of nature, and understand our place within it. Guiding us through practical fieldcraft tips, Ray Mears explains how we can learn from the creatures with which we share the planet, from the stealth of the leopard to the patience of the crocodile, and even the colour-changing camouflage of the octopus.

In conversation with Yvonne Witter, Ordnance Survey Get Outside Champion, leader of the Peak District Mosaic group and one of the BBC's Woman's Hour Power List 2020.

Event 37

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Deborah Levy talks to Lisa Appignanesi

Real Estate

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The final instalment of Levy's 'Living Autobiography' series is a thought-provoking and intimate meditation on home and the spectres that haunt it. With her characteristic wit and acute insights, she crafts a searing examination of womanhood and ownership. Her possessions, real and imagined, push us as readers to question our cultural understanding of belonging and belongings and to consider the value of a woman's intellectual and personal life. Blending personal history, gender politics, philosophy, and literary theory, Real Estate is a compulsively readable narrative. Lisa Appignanesi is a writer, Chair of the Royal Society of Literature and a former president of English PEN.

Event 45

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Nick Crane talks to Simon Hancock

Latitude

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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By knowing the shape of our planet we can create maps, survey the oceans, follow rivers, navigate the skies, and travel the globe. This is the story of how we discovered what no one thought possible: the shape of the earth. In 1735, the good ship Portefaix sailed across the Atlantic carrying the world’s first international team of scientists to a continent of unmapped rainforests and ice-shrouded volcanoes. Beset by egos and disease, storms and earthquakes, mutiny and murder, they struggled for ten years to reach the single figure they sought: the length of one degree of latitude. Twenty-five years after the publication of Longitude, this tells the other side of the story, one of our most important geographical discoveries.

Event 48

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Jon McGregor talks to Toby Lichtig

Lean Fall Stand

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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When an Antarctic research expedition goes wrong, the consequences are far-reaching for the men involved and for their families back home. Robert 'Doc' Wright, a veteran of Antarctic field work, holds the clues to what happened, but he is no longer able to communicate with them. While his wife Anna navigates her new life as a carer, Robert is forced to learn a whole new way to be in the world. The novel unpicks the notion of heroism and explores the indomitable human impulse to tell our stories, even when words fail us. A meditation on the line between sacrifice and selfishness, this is a story of the undervalued, unrecognised courage it can take just to get through the day.

Toby Lichtig is fiction editor at The TLS.

Event 50

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Richard Walker and JB MacKinnon talk to Lucy Siegle

The Green Grocer and The Day The World Stops Shopping

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Iceland Foods is a £3bn business that is affecting real change in the supermarket. From restricting single-use plastic to eradicating palm oil from products, MD Walker's aim is to find purpose with profit for his business. He explains how we can all make genuine progress on sustainable initiatives while being realistic about profit margins, and our obligations to customers and employees.

Canadian journalist MacKinnon asks, what would really happen if we simply stopped shopping? Is there a way to reduce our consumption without triggering economic collapse? This question took him around the world, seeking answers from America’s big-box stores, the hunter-gatherer cultures of Namibia, and communities in Ecuador that consume at a sustainable level. When Covid brought shopping to a halt, his ideas were tested in real time. Drawing from experts in fields ranging from climate change to economics, MacKinnon investigates how living with less would change our planet, our society, and ourselves. And along the way, we have so much to gain.

Lucy Siegle is an author, broadcaster and writer on environmental issues.

Event 68

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Rageh Omaar and Ahmed Dahir Elmi talk to Paul Boateng

A Library From the Ashes: The Story of Somaliland’s First National Library

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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From 1988-1991 war devastated Somaliland, and like hundreds of thousands of his countrymen, Ahmed Dahir Elmi was forced to flee. He lived and worked in the UK for 22 years, discovering a love of libraries, and when he returned home in 2011 he took on the challenge of creating the country’s first national library. Over the next eight years, and with the help of Somali-born British journalist and writer Rageh Omaar, Ahmed's dream became a reality. The two talk to Paul Boateng, chair of Book Aid International and frequent visitor to Somaliland, about their personal struggle to bring books to everyone in Somaliland, and how the library is now at the heart of a thriving literary culture.

Event 70

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Duncan Westbury

Lunchtime Lecture Series 6: Gardening for Wildlife and Sustainable Food Production

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Wildlife in our gardens and in the wider countryside plays a crucial role in supporting sustainable food production. As the use of chemical sprays continues to increase, how can we save and boost the numbers of wild pollinators and other natural enemies of crop pests? Join Dr Duncan Westbury, Principal Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Management at University of Worcester to find out how we can all make a difference.

This event will be pre-recorded but the speaker will be live on the chat to answer questions during the event, and for 15 minutes afterwards.

Event 75

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Wade Davis talks to Rosie Boycott

Hay Festival Digital Colombia presents: Magdalena - River of Dreams

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The anthropologist, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Into the Silence, discusses his new book on Colombia's complex past, present, and future, through the story of the great Río Magdalena. The river represents the political history of Colombia, home to the greatest ecological and geographical diversity on the planet. As he travels its length, he encounters people who have overcome years of conflict, informed by indigenous wisdom and an enduring spirit of place. Only in Colombia can a traveller wash ashore in a coastal desert, ascend narrow tracks through dense tropical forests and reach verdant Andean valleys rising to ice-clad summits. This wild and impossible geography finds fuses perfectly with the Colombian spirit: restive, potent, at times placid and calm, at others tortured and twisted. He talks to journalist Rosie Boycott.

Event 79

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Julianne Pachico talks to Rosie Goldsmith

10@10: New writers – The Anthill

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Embracing themes of memory, regret and home, The Anthill is a panoramic evocation of modern-day Colombia in all its vibrancy and squalor, as well as a deeply intimate account of a young woman’s search for self-fulfilment.

Lina returns to Colombia after a 20-year absence. Sent to England following her mother's death when she was eight, she is searching for the person who can tell her what's happened in the intervening period. Matty, Lina's childhood confidant and best friend, runs a refuge called The Anthill for the street kids of Medellín. But her long-anticipated reunion with him is struck by tension. Memory is fallible, and Linda discovers that everyone has a version of the past that is very, very different.

The author talks to the arts correspondent Rosie Goldsmith.

There will be no Q&A at the end of the event.

Event 83

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Jonathan Drori

The Kew Platform: Around the World in 80 Plants

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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From the seemingly familiar tomato and dandelion to the eerie mandrake and Spanish ‘moss’ of Louisiana, via the early histories of beer and the contraceptive pill, we delve into the fascinating science of plants and how their worlds are intricately entwined with our own history, culture and folklore. Jonathan Drori is an author, scientist and executive TV producer. His previous book was Around the World in 80 Trees.

Event 88

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Anna Jones talks to Stanley Tucci

One: Pot, Pan, Planet

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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One brings together a way of eating that is mindful of the planet with practical advice and detailing how every small change in planning, shopping and reducing waste makes a difference. With dozens of inventive and varied ideas for super-quick vegetarian and vegan irresistible dishes, you can travel the world guilt-free in these pages. Try Persian noodle soup, Korean carrot and sesame pancakes, African peanut stew, baked dahl with tamarind-glazed sweet potato, followed by halloumi, mint, lemon and caramelised onion pie. Anna also helps you to reduce waste, use leftovers and go plastic-free. She talks to Stanley Tucci, writer, producer and author of The Tucci Cookbook.

Event 128

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Joe Wicks talks to David and Stephen Flynn

Joe’s Family Food

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Spending quality time with the people we love around the dinner table brings us so much happiness. But when we’re busy, tired and have a million other things to do, it can be hard to motivate ourselves to get in the kitchen and cook wonderful food. But fitness coach Joe Wicks has done the hard work for you, with 100 simple, healthy, delicious recipes the whole family will love. He is joined by the Happy Pear twins whose latest book The Happy Health Plan brings you 90 brand new, mouth-watering recipes that have been specially designed with medical experts to help you took after your whole body health, inside and out.

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