Welcome to Hay Festival Querétaro 2021 programme.
Register for the Festival activities, which in this edition will be held digitally and in-person, with free events for all audiences. Browse the different sections of the programme and register free of charge.
Fighting Women is a compilation of interviews of Spanish women who took part in the civil war. Some took up arms and fought at the front, others participated in organizations such as POUM, Mujeres Libres or other anarchist groups. All of them fought against the nationalist forces and for women’s emancipation, and together they achieved social progress such as free, legal abortion. They started a revolution, and to do so they not only had to fight fascism, but sometimes also their own brothers-in-arms. The great impact of these testimonies invites us to reflect on a struggle that belongs to another time and yet is relevant today. Diego Rabasa (Mexico) talks to the film director Ken Loach (United Kingdom) and Isabella Lorusso (Italy), about this extraordinary message of rebellion and justice.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
The eminent historian Margaret MacMillan (Canada) lectures at the University of Oxford and is the author of various books that cover, among other subjects, that devastating and urgent matter, one that is a threat in all civilizations: war. Her book, War: How Conflict Shaped Us (2020) examines the role of war in the history of humanity. Since the end of the Second World War, humanity has experienced what Steven Pinker has called “the long peace”, a period in which much of humanity has enjoyed an absence of major wars. However, MacMillan questions this idea and analyses the continuous military conflicts that have occurred since 1945. Her latest book published in Spanish is 1914. De la paz a la guerra (2021), which is an account of the political, social, cultural and economic forces that brought about the First World War. These essays ask us some disturbing questions: is war an inherent part of human nature? Is it inevitable? MacMillan explores these crucial questions with the eminent writer and historian, Enrique Krauze.
Event in English with Spanish subtitles
How do big corporations and governments use our data to manipulate our behaviour? Up to what point should this be permitted, and how should regulations deal with actions that end up affecting the realities of our societies? Carissa Véliz (United Kingdom) is an Associate Lecturer at Oxford University’s Institute for Practical Ethics, and a regular contributor to publications including El País, The Guardian, The New York Times, New Statesman and The Independent. In her book Privacy is Power (Transworld, 2020) she analyses these matters, as well as others that are of critical importance to our time, arguing in favour of the prohibition of the sale of personal data. In conversation with Mónica Meltis.
With the support of the British Council
One of the terrible lessons that the pandemic has taught us is that the worst of the health and financial consequences have fallen on the poorest nations, and poorest populations within nations. This has emphasised the large and growing economic gaps that exist around the world today. Perhaps it would be true to say that each country has experienced its own version of the pandemic, and this event is a moment to reflect on the specific case of Mexico, one of the world’s most vulnerable countries.The journalist Mario Arriagada Cuadriello; the Executive Director of Oxfam Mexico, Alexandra Haas; and the academic, Ana Laura Magaloni will talk to Jacobo García about this extraordinary moment.
El Tema, an original idea by Gael García Bernal and Pablo Montaño, directed by Santiago Maza and produced by La Corriente del Golfo, is a web series of six short documentaries that cover some of the most urgent matters related to the climate crisis in Mexico. The series is presented by the actor, director and producer, Gael García Bernal, and the writer and linguist Yásnaya Elena Aguilar. At this event we present episode five, Océanos, which looks at the coral reefs of the island of Cozumel. The ocean gave us life and is the planet’s main climate regulator. 1% of the seafloor has coral, an ultra-diverse ecosystem that is home to a quarter of the world’s fish species. Yet 0.5% of this has been destroyed by human activity. It is time to stop turning our back on the sea. With Yásnaya Aguilar and Mina Morsan, in conversation with Claudia Ivonne Hernández.
Documentary duration: 12 minutes
Although just a few years ago it would have seemed impossible, there now exists a considerable consensus around the idea that Western democracies are in serious danger, faced with the rise of authoritarianism, nationalism, autocracy and the extreme right. The writer and historian Anne Applebaum (United States), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for Gulag (2004), presents her most recent book, which tackles these and other themes: Twilight of Democracy. The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism (2020). Applebaum argues that through poisonous, simplistic and seductive messages, authoritarianism uses the media, the social media, political polarization and conspiracy theories to set up a worrying attack on democratic values, values that are defended in her book. She will talk to the jurist and academic Ana Laura Magaloni.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available.
Event sponsored by SURA
The chair of the Colombian Truth Commission, Francisco de Roux, will talk about this extraordinary analysis carried out in the country in order to establish a legal and sociological framework given the impact of decades of violence. The work of this commission has become a model for similar peace processes around the world. De Roux will talk to the editor of El País Mexico, Jan Martínez Ahrens.
Event organised together with El País
Among the many things wrong with our current socioeconomic system is not just the fact that healthcare is a privilege for the few, but that a whole illness industry exists that is structured around making a profit from those who are unwell, often with serious illnesses. The poet, essayist and lecturer Anne Boyer (United States) won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for The Undying. A Meditation on Modern Illness, an acute and lucid work that tells of her own experience as a survivor of an aggressive breast cancer, which led her to live through and understand some chilling realities. Boyer is also the author of books such as The Romance of Happy Workers (2008), The 2000s (2009), Garments Against Women (2015) and A Handbook of Disappointed Fate (2018). In conversation with Eduardo Rabasa.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
At a time so polarized as the present, where the public conversation looks more like a competition to see who can impose their view most stridently, dialogue and the ability to listen and to see the world from others’ points of view have become more important than ever as a way to understand each other. So, as a festival of conversations, we are committed to the power of dialogue to build agreement and redefine our present and our future. As part of this spirit, this event brings together the Mixe linguist, writer and activist Yásnaya Elena Aguilar; the actor, director and activist Diego Luna; and the writer and journalist Antonio Ortuño; in conversation with the El País journalist, Javier Lafuente, to exchange points of view on how we can talk about Mexico.
The greatest loss of the pandemic has been the disaster of millions of people losing their own lives or loved ones to the illness, and so this event is proposed as a homage to every one of them, through the art and work of acclaimed writers. This reading is part of a global action that began with the Berlin International Literature Festival (https://www.literaturfestival.com/), at which many cultural organizations around the world commemorated those who are no longer with us, through poetry and literature. With the participation of Gabriela Aguirre (Mexico), Rocío G. Benítez (Mexico), Anne Boyer (United States), Mererid Hopwood (United Kingdom), Daria Larisa Juárez (Mexico) and Rafael Volta (Mexico).
Event in English and Spanish with Spanish subtitles
With the support of the Arts Council of Wales