One area of study that today is experiencing exciting and radical discoveries is neuroscience, with recent new work questioning some very strongly rooted ideas about consciousness, the brain and such like. Ignacio Morgado is one of Spain’s most acclaimed neuroscientists and the author of a number of books of popular science. The most recent is Materia gris (2021), which offers a history of research into and ideas about the mind and the brain, touching on some of the great philosophers of history as well as covering the most recent discoveries by biologists and anatomists. The result is a fascinating look at the subject, from ancient to modern times, offering one of the most complete books about the current debate within the neurosciences. In conversation with the BBC journalist Lucía Blasco.
Francisco Mora (Spain) is a Doctor in Neuroscience, a university professor and the author of popular science books such as ¿Cómo funciona el cerebro? (2017) and the bestseller Neuroeducación (2017). His most recent book is entitled Neuroeducación y lectura (2020) and is a passionate appeal, backed by considerable scientific rigour, to the importance of language and reading as well as the essential role played by the emotions in the processes of learning, attention and memory. This book is a cutting-edge view of our relationship with language, reading and education and covers topics as diverse as the chemical composition of the brain, and so human a process as curiosity. In conversation with the BBC Mundo journalist, Ana Pais.
With the support of Acción Cultural Española, AC/E
The fiction writer, journalist and literature educator Jeremías Gamboa has established himself as one of the most prominent voices in contemporary Peruvian fiction, through major works such as the novel Contarlo todo (2014). In his most recent work, Animales luminosos, he tells the story of a young Latin American student who has emigrated to the United States. This character reflects on Peru’s violent past and seeks to understand how these historical wounds have produced certain characteristics in the world around him, aiming to decipher matters such as discrimination, racism, conquest, colonialism and slavery, as well as trying to find his own identity in the middle of this process. In conversation with the cultural journalist Xavi Ayén.
This Peruvian writer and journalist Gabriela Wiener is the author of books such as Sexografías, Nueve Lunas, Llamada Perdida and Dicen de mí. She won the Peruvian National Journalism Prize for an investigation into gender violence in the literary world. Since 2003 she has lived in Spain and she writes for various media outlets. Huaco retrato (2021) deals with her family past, bound up, as it is, to the history of Peru and Latin America. A huaco retrato is a ceramic item made by the native people of Peru. In 1878, the Jewish-Austrian explorer Charles Wiener, the author’s great-great-grandfather, carried off four thousand pre-Colombian artefacts, which brought him fame at the Universal Exhibition. A hundred and fifty years later, in a museum in Paris that contains the collection that her ancestor took, the protagonist faces this stolen memory and reflects on her history, which is the history of a continent, or two, and on the consequences of colonization and racism on our lives and on our present. In conversation with Marco Avilés.
With the support of the Eccles Centre
Facebook is not only the world’s largest social networking service, but also the one that has been involved in most controversy, from the dissemination of fake news to its impact on the outcomes of elections, such as the one that brought Donald Trump to power. The award-winning New York Times journalists, Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang, who have been investigating the subjects of technology and cybersecurity for over ten years, are the co-authors of The Ugly Truth, a book that reveals some of the dark secrets of the social media company, whose stated aim is to create links of friendship among thousands of millions of people around the world. However, as the book finds, Facebook systematically resorts to questionable practices such as selling user data, disinformation and the proliferation of hate speech. In conversation with Mónica Meltis.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
Until recently, Francisco Sagasti held the position of President of Peru, acting as the country’s leader during a period of particular political and socioeconomic turbulence, made even worse by the pandemic. Apart from being President of the Republic he has been Chairman of Congress, Head of Strategic Planning at the World Bank, Chair of the UN’s Consultative Council of Science and Technology and a manager and board member of many other Peruvian and international organizations. An industrial engineer by training, Sagasti has taught at various universities in Peru and abroad, and is the author of over 20 books and a hundred academic articles. His most recent work is Imaginemos un Perú mejor… y hagámoslo realidad, a compilation of interviews and articles that analyse the structural problems of Peru and propose forms of political, social and cultural growth. Max Hernández, a doctor of medicine and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association, is the author of Memoria del bien perdido, an incisive exploration and psychological portrait of one of the great figures of the early colonial period, the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. They will talk about their most recent works, and on the way impart some of their vast knowledge of Peruvian history and reality, giving their views on the past, present and future prospects of the country.
With the support of the Spanish Embassy
Iban Zaldua (Basque Country, Spain) is a versatile writer who has written both novels and non-fiction, but whose most outstanding works are short stories. His most recent book is Panfletario (2021), a compilation of some outstanding texts from his published work, including short texts, stories and pamphlets that reflect on the different dimensions of his writings, which have been translated by the author himself from Basque into Spanish. The main themes tackled are his love of short fiction, reflections on the writing process and translating one’s own work. He will talk to the Peruvian writer and journalist Enrique Planas.
With the support of Etxepare Euskal Institutua
The Editor of El Comercio newspaper, Aurelio Arévalo Miró Quesada, will talk to four teenagers, who will tell us about their experiences during the pandemic: what it has been like to live in confinement without contact with their friends, with their parents acting as teachers, with the presence of the disease, connectivity problems, the stress of restricted freedom, and the many changes, difficulties and learnings that they have had to face at a relatively early age, during these two years of the pandemic. This event also covers the El Comercio project, Corresponsales Escolares, an educational initiative that returns in the times of Covid after a nine-year hiatus, with the goal of giving a voice to the school community. These teenagers will participate in the first event and tell us about their experiences and what they have learned. With Edu Huamán, Irene Huamán and Jackson Pereyra.
The Catalan philosopher and professor Josep Maria Esquirol is the author of a large body of work that, among other things, explores the links between philosophy and psychiatry, and sets out a philosophical proposal that he calls filosofía de la proximidad or “nearness philosophy”. His book La resistencia íntima is a moving essay about the human condition, of great relevance for contemporary living and the “monochrome nature of a technified world”. According to Esquirol, this is countered with self-care and nearness as resistance, as a guide, light and warmth for those who are nearby, giving primacy to the everyday and home life over the virtual, technified links that take up so much of contemporary existence. His most recent book is Humano, más humano (2021), which reflects on the four essential infinitudes of human experience: life, death, you, world. He will talk to the Peruvian philosopher Pablo Quintanilla.
We celebrate 50 years of the Turner publishing house with some of the most outstanding writers from its portfolio. Fernando Cervantes, a prominent historian and researcher who teaches at the University of Bristol, is the author of Conquistadores (2021), a book that revises the history that was written by the winners of the conquest. Drawing on diaries, letters, chronicles and treaties, the author has investigated the process of conquest and colonization of what today is Latin America, analysing both the glorification and condemnation of figures such as Columbus, Pizarro and Cortés, questioning what really happened in the so-called “New World”. In conversation with the historian Natalia Sobrevilla.
Event organized together with Turner
Despite the fact that contemporary Latin American societies are formally secular from the socio-political point of view, religion continues to be one of the main forces that influences the region in many different ways. Unfortunately there continue to be cases in which terrible abuses are committed in the name of God, something that has been investigated by Martín López de Romaña, a photographer and writer with a background in Philosophy and Theology, for his work La jaula invisible (2012). This book is a collection of shocking testimony about the Sodalicio Catholic congregation, a religious institution that he belonged to for 14 years and which he, together with his brother Vicente, José Enrique Escardó Steck, Óscar Osterling Castillo and the journalist Pedro Salinas, denounced in 2016 for the physical, psychological and sexual abuses perpetrated by eight of its members. He will talk about this chilling case with Paola Ugaz.
Fernando Iwasaki (Peru) is a writer and historian with a particular interest in cultural studies and the importance of identities, world views, globalizations, comparative literature and the history of religions. The author of over thirty books, including works of historical research such as ¡Aplaca, Señor, tu ira! Lo maravilloso y lo imaginario en Lima colonial, as well as novels, essays, short stories, literary journalism and compilations of articles. His latest publications are Brevetes de historia Universal del Perú, Sevilla, sin mapa, Nueva Corónica del Extremo Occidente and Mi poncho es un kimono flamenco. He will talk to Alberto Vergara about his recent work.
Gloria Mendoza Borda (Peru) is a Peruvian-born poet whose work has been translated into Aymara, English, French, Portuguese, Italian and Greek. She has directed literary projects, including the Arequipa Alianza Francesa’s Literary Thursdays, and the Tertulia Literaria Itinerante initiative. In 2020 she published the poetry book Amusa. David Robertson (Canada) is a writer and speaker. He is a member of the Norway House Cree nation and has published over 25 books, a number of which have featured on Canadian educational syllabuses. His most recent work is the illustrated children’s book On the Trapline, which celebrates some of the indigenous traditions of Canada. They will talk to Ingrid Bejerman.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
With the support of the Canadian Embassy
The Peruvian journalist Marco Sifuentes (Peru), the presenter of the very popular virtual news programme, La encerrona, brought together for his book, Casi bicentenarios, a dozen Peruvian voices with the aim of offering an understanding of Peru’s place in history, taking as a basis two events that have left their mark on the country: the particular experience of Peru during the global emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the arrival of the much awaited bicentenary of the country’s independence. Three voices from the book, Juan Carlos Celis Salinas; Alberto de Belaúnde, a lawyer and Member of the Peruvian congress; Ana Lucía Mosquera Rosado, an Afro-Peruvian communicator and activist; and her publisher, Marcos Sifuentes; will talk to Jorge Turpo.