Hay Festival 2021 – Politics

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Event 5

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Amol Rajan with Jude Browne, Ian Goldin and Elif Shafak

Rethink

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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In a time of uncertainty, Rethink offers a guide to a much-needed global 'reset moment', with leading international figures giving us glimpses of a better future post-pandemic. Each contribution explores a different aspect of public and private life that can be re-examined. Collectively, they offer a roadmap for positive change after a year of hardship. Broadcaster Amol Rajan is joined by Prof. Jude Browne, Director of the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies, who will be Rethinking Responsibility. Prof. Ian Goldin, whose post Covid book Rescue proposes how we should use this crisis as an opportunity to change radically and for the better. Writer and academic Elif Shafak, whose upcoming novel The Island of Missing Trees is published in August, is Rethinking Uncertainty. Based on the hit BBC podcast, Rethink gives us the opportunity to consider what a better world might look like.

Event 7

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Michael Bresalier

Lunchtime Lecture Series 1: Learning to live with Covid-19 – What can the History of Influenza Teach us?

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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When Health Secretary Matt Hancock declared that Covid-19 would become “another illness that we have to live with … like flu”, an immediate question arose: what does it mean to learn to live with a new epidemic disease? If, as many experts predict, Covid-19 is not going away any time soon, what can the history of influenza teach us? Dr. Michael Bresalier, Lecturer in the History of Medicine at Swansea University, explores the history of influenza in the 20th century and traces the process by which humanity has adapted to influenza – an ever-changing process and enormous global challenge. He warns that any analogy to Covid-19 must be made with caution.

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

Event 9

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Michael Rosen and Jim Down talk to Rachel Clarke

Life, Death and the NHS

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Writer/performer Michael Rosen shares his experience from the edge of life, as he battled Covid-19, in a life-affirming collection of poetry and words: Many Different Kinds of Love: A Story of Life, Death and the NHS. He reflects on the trauma and identity shift of being critically ill, the caring community of neighbours, loved ones, and NHS staff, who brought him back.

Jim Down, in his book, Life Support:Diary of an ICU Doctor on the Frontline of the Covid Crisis, says that life and death decisions are an everyday occurrence for a doctor running an intensive care unit, but nothing had prepared him for the events of spring 2020. He recounts how he and his colleagues transformed their hospital and ultimately faced down the biggest challenge in the history of the NHS. Told with warmth, honesty and humour, it is a moving testament to the everyday heroism of the NHS staff in a global crisis.
Rachel Clarke is a palliative care doctor who witnessed the courage of patients and NHS staff and, for all the bleakness and fear, found that people rose to their best, upon facing the worst, as a microbe laid waste to the population. Her book, Breathtaking, draws on testimony from nursing acute and intensive care colleagues, as well as patients. She concludes that this age of contagion has inspired a profound attentiveness to, and gratitude for, what matters most in life.

Event 15

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Horatio Clare talks to Beth Underdown

Heavy Light: A Journey Through Madness, Mania and Healing

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Nature and travel writer Horatio Clare was committed to hospital under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act after suffering hypomania in the Alps while on a family holiday, and locked in a psychiatric ward. His book is a gripping account of how the mind can lose touch with reality, how we can fall apart and how we can be healed – or not – by treatment. It vividly describes the intensity of a manic experience, as well as its perils and strangeness, shot through with the love, kindness, humour and care of those who looked after him, and it is partly an investigation into how we understand and treat acute crises of mental health. Horatio Clare talks to Beth Underdown, novelist and Lecturer in Creative Writing.

Event 21

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Heidi Larson talks to Nicole Itano

The John Maddox Lecture: Stuck - Why Vaccine Rumours Persist and why we Need new Tactics to Manage Them

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Vaccine reluctance and refusal are no longer limited to the margins of society. Debates around the necessity of vaccines, along with questions about their side effects, have gone mainstream, blending with geopolitical conflicts, celebrity causes and 'natural' lifestyles to attract a growing number of hearts and minds.

The anthropologist argues that issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy stem from people feeling left out of the conversation. She examines the social vectors that transmit vaccine rumours around the globe and how they can be addressed.

Heidi Larson is Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and the founding director of the Vaccine Confidence Project. Heidi is in conversation with Nicole Itano, Co-ordinator for the Global Recovery Collective and former lead of the United Nations initiative, Verified, aimed at combatting COVID-19 misinformation.


Introduced by Magdalena Skipper, editor-in-chief of Nature magazine.

Event 25

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Hay Festival Digital Arequipa presents: Mario Vargas Llosa and Michael Ignatieff

Liberalism and Democracy

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Two great thinkers discuss liberalism, intellectual blindness and the dangers facing democracy today. Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian writer and 2010 Nobel Prizewinner, promotes liberal thought and pays tribute to seven authors who embrace it, in The Call of the Tribe. He talks to Michael Ignatieff, rector and president of Central European University in Budapest, author of The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World.

Event 28

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Caitlin Moran, Joeli Brearley and Pragya Agarwal talk to Laura Bates

Motherload

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Discussing the experience of, and society's attitude to women and motherhood, the founder of The Everyday Sexism Project talks to Caitlin Moran, author of More Than a Woman – 'a celebration of middle-aged women who keep the world turning' –with Joeli Brearley, who founded Pregnant Then Screwed after being fired at four months pregnant, and Pragya Agarwal, whose book (M)otherhood is part memoir and part analysis of motherhood fertility, and how these affect all our lives.

Event 29

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Mark Carney talks to Dharshini David

The Friends Lecture: Value(s)

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Why is it that often the things we value most, from frontline nurses to the natural world, to caring for children, seem unimportant to economic markets? During his time as a G7 central banker and seven years as Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney witnessed the collapse of public trust in élites, globalisation, and technology, the challenges of the fourth Industrial Revolution and the growing climate emergency. Dharshini David, economist and broadcaster, examines how economic value and social values became blurred, and how to rethink and rebuild before it’s too late.

Event 34

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Jennifer Mathers

Lunchtime Lecture Series 3: Women and Leadership

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Would the world be different – and better – if more women occupied leadership positions? This controversial question is re-examined in the context of the global pandemic. Gender is part of the explanation for the stark contrast between the Covid experience of Jacinda Ardern’s New Zealand and that of Donald Trump’s America. Some have argued that the 2008 Global Financial Crisis might have been mitigated if more women had been seated at he top tables of key financial institutions. But female leadership is still relatively rare, and the women who lead governments and organisations through crises are treated more harshly than their male counterparts.

Jennifer Mathers is a Senior Lecturer and former Head of the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University.

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 35

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Anne Applebaum, introduced by Simon Schama

The Christopher Hitchens Lecture: Twilight of Democracy- Disinformation, Polarization and the Digital Future

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Instead of civic organizations, we join internet mobs. Instead of reasoned conversation, the voices of the angriest, most divisive participants are amplified. Rational voices are hard to hear; radicalization spreads quickly. Unsurprisingly, an internet controlled by a tiny number of secretive companies in Silicon Valley does not reflect democratic values of openness, accountability and respect for human rights. Instead, the current rules of online conversation are undermining our democracies. Why don’t we change them?

Pulitzer Prizewinning historian Anne Applebaum is author of Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, New York.

Event 36

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Colin Tudge and Anne Karpf talk to Rosie Boycott

Re-Thinking the 21st Century

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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To avoid global collapse, we need to re-think everything we do and take for granted, from growing and cooking food, to the economy and methods of governance. It demands a Renaissance, a re-birth, and it must be driven and led by us, because the governments, corporations and financiers dominating the world have lost touch with the moral and ecological realities of life. The good news is, millions of grassroots initiatives the world over are already moving in the right direction.

This Renaissance needs to have at its heart, people who have traditionally been on the margins of business and politics – women. From New Orleans to Bangladesh, women, especially poor women of colour, are suffering most from a crisis they have done nothing to cause. Yet where, in environmental policy, are the voices of elderly European women dying in heatwaves? Of African girls dropping out of school due to drought? Our highest-profile climate activists are women and girls; but, at the top table, it’s men deciding the Earth’s future.

We’re not all in it together – but we could be. Anne Karpf makes the case for visionary, global climate policies that are gender-inclusive and promote gender equality.

Anne Karpf, sociologist, journalist and author of How Women can Save the Planet and Colin Tudge, biologist, broadcaster and author of The Great Re-Think: A 21st Century Renaissance talk to journalist Rosie Boycott.

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 38

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Andria Zafirakou talks to Marcus Brigstocke

Those Who Can, Teach: What it Takes to Make the Next Generation

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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This arts teacher was always a rule-breaker. At her school where more than 30 languages were spoken, she sensed urgent needs: mending uniforms, calling social services, shielding vulnerable teens from gangs. And she tailored each class to its pupils, fiercely believing in the power of art to unlock trauma, or give a mute child the confidence to speak. Time and again, she would be proved right. In 2018, when Andria won the million-dollar Global Teacher Prize, she knew exactly where the money would go: back into arts education for all, because she believes the UK government's cuts and curriculum changes are destroying the arts, while its refusal to tackle the threats of cyber-bullying, gang violence, hunger and deprivation puts teachers on the safeguarding frontline.

Event 46

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Michael Sheen, Professor Daniel G. Williams and Leanne Wood MS

Lunchtime Lecture Series 4: Who Speaks for Wales? Raymond Williams at 100

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Actor and activist Michael Sheen will join the professor Professor Daniel G. Williams and Member of the Senedd Leanne Wood, to discuss the life, work, and continued relevance of Raymond Williams, as a new centenary edition of his collected writings on Wales are published. Michael Sheen says, "Who Speaks for Wales is a truly landmark publication. It has had a profound effect on me and on countless others. The new afterword to this expanded centenary edition shows how Raymond Williams’ thinking is as important and relevant today as it has ever been." Williams noted that Welsh history testifies to a "quite extraordinary process of self-generation and regeneration, from what seemed impossible conditions." This discussion, ranging from 1920s Pandy to wartime Paris, from Extinction Rebellion to Yes Cymru, will be conducted with his words in mind.

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

Event 47

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Alastair Campbell and Ruby Wax talk to Francine Stock

Living Better

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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How do we take the stigma out of mental illness? What steps can we take to enable us to speak more openly about our state of mind? Alastair Campbell (Living Better: How I Learned to Survive Depression) and Ruby Wax (And Now for the Good News) have both written and spoken openly about their struggles with depression, in the hope that it may encourage others to feel that mental health is no longer a taboo subject. Francine Stock is a writer and broadcaster.

Event 54

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Lemn Sissay presents...When Bonnie met Ash

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Bonnie Greer, American-British playwright, novelist, critic and broadcaster, talks to trail-blazing Novara Media editor Ash Sarkar about a life in writing and activism. What has changed and what has remained the same? A unique view through the telescope of time from then to now and now to then.

Part of Lemn Sissay's George Floyd: One Year On series.

Event 59

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Anthony Seldon talks to Jim Naughtie

The Impossible Office: The History of the British PM

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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No.10's honorary historian tells the story of the post of the British PM and why it has endured longer than any other democratic political office in world history. What makes for a successful premiership? Has the job become impossible and can it be improved? Marking the third centenary of the office of Prime Minister, the book explores the lives and careers, loves and scandals, successes and failures of our Prime Ministers. From Robert Walpole and William Pitt the Younger, to Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher, Seldon discusses which of our Prime Ministers have been most effective and why, and how the increasing power of the PM coincided with the steadily falling influence of the Monarchy. He talks to broadcaster James Naughtie, author of On the Road: Adventures from Nixon to Trump.

Part of the Festival’s PM300 series marking 300 years since the UK’s first Prime Minister, with conversations on leadership and the future of democracy.

Event 63

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Alok Sharma, Christiana Figueres and Glenys Stacey talk to Peter Lacy

COP26 – Setting the Agenda

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), is the 26th time the UN countries have met to discuss climate change. Yes, there have been 25 previous conferences that have debated what to do and yet little progress has been made. We need firm, binding actions, not just words, so what should Britain, as host of the November conference in Glasgow, put on the agenda to ensure that actions with impact are agreed and delivered? UK Government Cabinet member Alok Sharma is President of COP26, Christiana Figueres is a founder of the Global Optimism group, was head of the UN climate change convention when the Paris agreement was achieved in 2015 and is co-author of The Future We Choose: The Stubborn Optimist's Guide to the Climate Crisis. Glenys Stacey is chair of the newly created Office for Environmental Protection in the UK Parliament. They are in conversation with Peter Lacy, author of Waste to Wealth: The Circular Economy Advantage.

Event 66

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Martin Robinson and Guvna B talk to Owen Sheers

You Are Not The Man You Are Supposed To Be and Unspoken

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The 2017 the #MeToo movement sparked a worldwide conversation about men’s attitudes and behaviour towards women. Meanwhile, male suicides (which comprise 75% of suicides in the UK), poor emotional intelligence and mental health issues continue to blight an entire generation of young men. In an honest, urgent, witty book, Book of Man founder and editor Martin Robinson embarks on a personal quest to explore masculinity in the 21st century, visiting men’s groups, talking to drag artists, sex gurus and feminists, and hanging out with cage fighters and trans men. How do we go about being better dads, partners, brothers, sons? The book maps out new ways for men to be.

Men are strong in the face of fear. But what happens when that strength crumbles?

Unspoken by Guvna B addresses ideas of male identity through his own personal tragedy. Growing up on a council estate in East London, the rapper thought he knew what it means to be a man. But he had to face these assumptions head on when he suffered excruciating grief. They talk to poet and playwright Owen Sheers, who wrote The Men You'll Meet, addressed to his two daughters.

Event 72

Events taking place online 24 May - 6 June

Margaret MacMillan, introduced by Nik Gowing

The British Pugwash Lecture: Rolling the Iron Dice – Why do Humans Make war?

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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War between organized groups goes far back into human history. Is it an integral part of our society? What do those who make war think they can gain from it? And how have we tried to control and eliminate it? Modern war, its causes, nature, and impact, and the continuing search for peace are the topics covered by the expert on international relations and professor at University of Oxford. She talks to the broadcaster and journalist Nik Gowing.

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