The sixteenth edition of the Hay Festival Segovia will be held from September 16 to 19, 2021. For the first time, to celebrate the heritage of Castilla y León there will be a series of previous events in various venues in the region. All events will be in-person — some will be streamed too — respecting the security protocols. More information here.
Bernardine Evaristo’s best known book, and the only one translated into Spanish so far, is Girl, Woman, Other, which won the 2019 Booker Prize, shared with Margaret Atwood. This is a novel of many voices, in which twelve black women from different places and generations, all living in the UK, talk about their desires, their struggle for freedom and independence and the search for their own identity. One of Barack Obama’s favourite books of 2019. Evaristo, a Nigerian-British woman, has won many awards for her work as a writer, journalist and publisher, including the Booker, one of the most prestigious awards in the English-speaking world. Her work promoting Afro literature and art has also been recognized. In 2012 Evaristo founded the Brunel University African Poetry Prize, and until recently was the Vice-Chair of the Royal Society of Literature.
Evaristo will talk about her career with Ludovic Assémat, a Politics graduate and Head of the British Council’s Arts Department.
This event will be introduced by María José Ferrari, Academic Director of the IE University’s Arts and Humanities Department.
Bernardine Evaristo will contribute digitally.
Rethinking the role of investment as one of the main foundations for achieving sustainable development goals, and moving away from a model of industrial location based only on cost reduction, with its resulting damage to equality and the environment, are two of the main goals of impact investment. Heba Salama is an expert on productive investment and brings her knowledge to the management of the Regional Investment Agency of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). She has been working on African projects for 20 years, and in 2017 was selected as one of Egypt’s 50 Most Influential Women for her role in developing the country’s human and economic resources.
Heba Salama will talk to William Mut Tracy, a consultant who specializes in the politics and promotion of productive investment, who has worked with numerous international institutions including the World Bank, the United Nations, COMESA, the EU and others. This event will be introduced by Borja Santos, the Executive Director of the IE School of Global and Public Affairs.
Technological advances are influencing many areas of our lives, including the way we read and the way writers approach their work. Will the role of the writer change in a world dominated by the algorithm? Will robots replace them? These matters will be debated by the writers Carme Riera and Nuria Barrios, the novelist Javier Sierra and the copyright specialist Javier Díaz de Olarte.
The writer and RAE scholar Carme Riera has a long career as an essayist, novelist and short story writer, in literary, crime and historical fiction. She has received many awards, including the National Literature Prize, which she won in 2015. She writes in both Spanish and Catalan, translating her own works, books that include In the Last Blue, Naturaleza casi muerta, Tiempo de inocencia and Vengaré tu muerte, her latest.
The writer and translator Nuria Barrios (who translates into Spanish the writings of the Irish author John Banville) began her literary career with the novel Amores patológicos. She publishes poetry (El hilo de agua, Ateneo de Sevilla Prize; Nostalgia de Odiseo), short stories (El zoo sentimental) and travel writing (Balearia). With her collection of stories Ocho centímetros she began a trilogy that includes the poetry book La luz de la dinamo and her latest novel, Todo arde.
Javier Sierra is a journalist, novelist and short fiction and essay writer. He has worked for a range of publications and has directed programmes for the media. In 2017 he won the Planeta Prize for his novel El fuego invisible. In 2006 one of his works, The Secret Supper, was included on The New York Times bestseller list. El mensaje de Pandora is his latest novel.
Javier Díaz de Olarte is a lawyer and head of the Legal Department at the Spanish Centre for Reprographic Rights (CEDRO). He regularly lectures on Master’s programmes related to intellectual property and collective management, and has contributed as an author to publications on these and related topics.
They will talk to Daniel Fernández, publisher and President of CEDRO.
With only a few days to the Climate Summit co-organized by the United Kingdom and Italy this year, the Hay Festival Segovia is hosting a round table to address the issues of the climate emergency, with a special focus on the role of civil society as the engine of the green revolution. How to increase citizen participation in these debates and how to accompany the changes promoted by the Paris agreement will be among the topics discussed by Nick Bridge, Special Representative of the British Government for Climate Change, Eva Saldaña, Executive Director of Greenpeace Spain, Eduardo Brunet, Founder and CEO at Greenward Partners, and Rubeena Singh, Master in International Development young graduate and former President of the IE Net Impact Club.
An insightful debate moderated by Daniel Dombey, Madrid Correspondent at Financial Times, and introduced by Isabela del Alcazar, Head of Sustainability at IE University.
Nick Bridge will contribute digitally.
This event, featuring Valerio Rocco and Sonia Mulero, who both lead institutions dedicated to creating cultural exchange and knowledge, will be about the transformational power of culture.
Valerio Rocco is a philosopher and writer and since November 2019 she has been at the head of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, the Madrid-based historical cultural institution, which now has the Casa Europa stamp. She also lectures on the History of Modern Philosophy at the Autonomous University of Madrid and has been the Vice-deacon of Research at that university’s Faculty of Philosophy and Literature. Her areas of research include European Philosophy and the Geopolitical Philosophy of History. She has participated in a 2020 Horizon European research project entitled Failure, about the concept of failure and its reversibility.
Sonia Mulero is an expert in the management of not-for-profit organizations, in training volunteers and in technological entrepreneurship. As well as running the Banco de Sabadell Foundation, she is a member of the committees and boards of various foundations and associations in her area, including Eina (the Barcelona art and design centre), the Hemav Foundation (which trains young people to manage non-profit ventures), the Photographic Foundation (which runs the World Press Photo prize), the FECyT foundation, the Ashoka Venture Board, the Celera committee, and the Catalunya Cultura Foundation’s PIC committee. In 2019 she was listed in the top 100 Spanish Women Leaders.
The vitality and energy of the world of books and literature in India come to the Hay Festival with one of its major figures: Sanjoy Roy runs the world’s largest literary event, the Jaipur Literature Festival, and has created the parallel event, Jaipur Book Mark, in support of the publishing sector in Asia. With his company, Teamwork Arts, he also runs more than 25 acclaimed theatre, visual arts and literary festivals. He is the founder of the Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT), which works to offer services supporting street children and workers in central Delhi. In 2011, the White House granted SBT a President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities award.
The Indian journalist and writer Pallavi Aiyar has a long career as a press correspondent and she has worked in Indonesia, China, Japan and other countries. Her first book, Smoke and Mirrors, deals with the political and social difference between the Chinese and Indian systems. Her subsequent work on the European crisis, Punjabi Parmesan, was chosen by Foreign Affairs magazine as one of the best books of 2016. She has published in many prestigious outlets, including The New York Times, Granta and Los Angeles Review of Books.
Roy and Aiyar will talk to Raphael Minder, Spain and Portugal correspondent for The New York Times. The event will be introduced by Catalina Tejero, the Head of the IE University’s Arts and Humanities Department.
They have achieved success along different roads, but literature is the activity that brings them together at the Hay Festival. They have something else in common: women, their identities, their place in the world and their struggle for liberty all play an important role in their books.
Najat el Hachmi became well-known in Spain after winning the latest Nadal Prize, one of the country’s most prestigious awards. Yet even before the prizewinning book, El lunes nos querrán, achieved success, el Hachmi had published various works based on her own socio-cultural and life experiences, as the daughter of Moroccan immigrants raised in Vic (Barcelona province). These have included novels such as La hija del patriarca, Madre de leche y miel and La hija extranjera as well as essays such as Yo también soy catalana, which deals with the integration of immigrants. As well as the Nadal, she has also received the Ramón Llul Novel Prize and the Sant Joan award for fiction.
Sandra Barneda was already very popular before her first novel became a bestseller. The career of this journalist and presenter, who has also done acting work, has been closely linked to successful entertainment programmes for television such as Gran Hermano VIP, Supervivientes and La isla de las tentaciones. Her literary work has only increased her reputation, allowing her to connect with readers through titles such as Reír al viento, Hablarán de nosotras and La hija del agua. Her latest novel, Un océano para llegar a ti, was shortlisted for the 2020 Planeta Prize.
El Hachmi and Barneda will talk to the journalist Jesús García Calero, editor of the ABC newspaper’s cultural supplement.
Eleven years after his first participation in the Hay Festival Segovia, in which he advocated for social responsibility in architecture, renowned Japanese architect and Pritzker Prize winner, Shigeru Ban, returns to Segovia to converse with Martha Thorne, Dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design, and David Goodman, architect, professor and associate dean of the school. This time they will talk about how sustainability must be at the core of any design process and about the importance of new generations of architects.
Shigeru Ban was recently appointed Ambassador to the EU New European Bauhaus, an initiative to promote a cultural and sustainable movement in the European Union at the highest level and to help Europe to move to a circular economy. At the Hay Festival, he will also present some of his latest projects that range from university buildings, to museums, an airport and disaster relief projects. Additionally, he will also talk about his paper tube structures and a next initiative to be developed on the IE campus in Segovia.
Shigeru Ban will participate remotely from Japan.
In a society that has not yet built up a strong critical spirit with regard to the hoaxes and fake news circulating on the Internet, often pushed by hidden interests, some specialist media outlets and websites dedicate their efforts to checking and verifying the facts, as well as working to raise levels of media literacy among the various sectors of society. To debate the state of this matter, we have invited Carlos Hernández-Echevarría, Head of the Department of Public Policy & Institutional Development at Maldita.es, a non-profit media outlet whose aim is to offer citizens tools to counter fake news; Desirée García, a specialist in international information and Head of EFE Verifica, the agency where she was previously Sub-Saharan Africa correspondent; and Myriam Redondo, who has introduced the verification workshops in Spain, author of the book, “Verificación digital para periodistas. Manual contra bulos y desinformación internacional”, representative of Verifica RTVE.
They will talk to the journalist Aurelio Martín.
For years, the political scientist and human rights defender Ingrid Betancourt was constantly in the international news. In February 2002, as a candidate for the presidency of her country, Colombia, she was abducted by FARC and was not subsequently freed until 2008. The former Colombian president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Juan Manuel Santos, was one of the main figures behind the peace agreement with this guerrilla group. Both have a long career working in favour of human rights and have also worked in ecology and sustainable development. During her time as a representative in the Colombian parliament, Betancourt, who was later a senator, created the country’s first ecological party. During his time in government, Santos, the author of a number of books, promoted sustainable development goals, and through the Compaz Foundation has worked to empower victims, consolidate peace and defend the environment.
They will talk about the events in which they have been centrally involved, and whose importance goes beyond the borders of Colombia. A figure who has become a global spokesperson against abduction and the man who was key to the peace agreement have spoken through the pages of the book Una conversación pendiente, and at this festival event will talk live about matters of urgency that affect our globalized world.
Betancourt and Santos will talk to the journalist Jesús Vigorra, the producer and presenter of Canal Sur Radio’s La mañana de Andalucia
The event will be introduced by Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, the Executive Vice-president of IE University.
In 1988 the Loewe Foundation created the international poetry prize that carries its name in order to promote the quality of poetic writing. Today, 33 prizes later, and with the support of an exceptional jury, it has become the most important non-governmental prize for Spanish-language poetry. The list of winners includes the most prominent contemporary poets who write in Spanish, all published by Visor.
On this occasion, the prize has been awarded to the Extremadura writer Diego Doncel for his work La fragilidad. The prize is confirmation of the career of this outstanding, acclaimed poet, who also writes fiction, travel writing and literary criticism. According to Doncel, poetry has a healing quality, and this is expressed in a work that reflects on pain, death and hope.
Mario Obrero, aged just 17, is the youngest ever winner of the Loewe award in the New Writers category, with the poetry book Peachtree City. His book won over the jury with the range of its surprising poetic images.
The two poets will talk to Jesús Calero.
Hay Festival’s connection with Pilar Quintana began in 2007 when the festival created Bogotá39, a list of 39 of the best Latin American fiction writers aged under 40. The Colombian author is this year’s winner of the Alfaguara Prize with her fifth novel, Los abismos. Violence and beauty usually come together in the books of Quintana and this is also the case with Los abismos, which tells the story of two generations of women. Unlike other of her novels, there is no blood or political violence, but there is another more subtle kind of violence, which is experienced within the family and particularly by women. Her latest novel, The Bitch, was shortlisted for the 2020 National Book Award. She is also the author of short stories, a collection of which has been published with the title Caperucita se come al lobo.
Quintana will talk to Cristina Fuentes La Roche, International Director of Hay Festival, and jury of Alfaguara Prize 2020.
Essay and poetry are César Antonio Molina’s preferred genres, for which he has obtained the highest awards and decorations both in Spain and abroad. However he has also written works of memoir and travel writing. A chronicler of his times, his facet as a journalist has always accompanied his literary career. Cultural management and political positions are also part of his background: he was Minister of Culture between 2007 and 2009 in one of Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero’s governments, and has also run the Cervantes Institute, the Círculo de Bellas Artes and the Casa del Lector. The last of his almost fifty books (including Olas en la noche, La caza de los intelectuales, Lugares donde se calma el dolor, La poesía es un error necesario...) has the provocative title of ¡Qué bello será vivir sin cultura! (“How lovely it would be to live without culture!”). In it, he asks about the role of art, literature and beauty in a world dominated by social networks, populism and fake news. He also proposes some hopeful responses to these questions.
He will talk to the journalist and writer Angélica Tanarro.
The name of the ground-breaking and daring Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada has become an internationally renowned shorthand for bright, positive fashion, one that sets its own rules. Her creations are present on the most important catwalks around the world, and her characteristic colour and optimism are present in her designs not only of clothes, but also of household articles and accessories. She appears regularly on television, and her various awards and distinctions are features of a career that is now being continued by her children, Cósima and Tristán.
Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada will talk about her ideas about fashion and its major practitioners with Eloy Martínez de la Pera Celada, an acclaimed curator of successful exhibitions that bring together art and fashion, including Balenciaga and Spanish Painting, which in 2019 brought iconic works by the designer together with paintings by Goya, Velázquez and Zurbarán at the Thyssen Museum; and Sorolla and Fashion, which was shown at the Thyssen and the Sorolla Museum.