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
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
Can the story of a country be told through prominent figures? Is betrayal a constant in Peruvian politics? Alejandro Neyra (Peru), a writer, diplomat and expert on his country’s political tradition, is the author of Traiciones peruanas, 16 ilustres antihéroes de la historia nacional, a book that looks at the careers of Peruvian history’s major figures, whose actions and decisions impacted historical events, setting the course for the way the country developed. The event will also cover Mi monstruo sagrado, by the same author and winner of the 2019 Copé de Oro Novel Prize. In conversation with Vera Tyuleneva.
With the support of Centro Cultural Petroperú
Trocito. Un pedacito de tela que soñaba con ser bandera is a book written by Carmen McEvoy and Mariana Sansone about a grandmother and her granddaughter who together transform a bit of cloth lost on the ocean into one of the most important of patriotic symbols: the flag. McEvoy and Sansone, respectively a historian and a political scientist, and also mother and daughter, present this wonderful illustrated story for children, one that deals with, among other things, the construction of Peruvian identity.
For children ages 4 to 6
As has so often happened in its history, Latin America has been going through a period of great transformations and socio-political turbulence, something that has been made worse by the devastating effects on the region of the current pandemic. Although the territory has an incredible geographical, linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity, there are certain shared historical, social, political and cultural patterns that will be dealt with at this event and discussed by well-known experts on the situation of Latin America today. From social inequality, political and economic instability, forced disappearances and protests against the system, to the challenges of being a good journalist when faced with censorship and disinformation, Sandra Borda (Colombia), Glatzer Tuesta (Peru) and Daniela Rea (Mexico) will talk about the diverse and complex Latin American scene, in conversation with Gonzalo Banda.
Ken Follett is one of the most read authors in the English language and has captivated an extraordinary number of readers around the world in his 35-year writing career: his books have sold over 160 million copies in at least 30 languages. He is perhaps best known for his historical novels, from the publication of Eye of the Needle, and his acclaimed work The Pillars of the Earth, one of the world’s most read novels, to the recent prequel, The Evening and the Morning. This distinguished writer has recently caused a commotion in the literary world with his new novel Never, which takes the history of the First World War as the inspiration for a hypothetical Third World War. The protagonist, Tamara, aims to stop the conflict from a CIA base in North Africa, juggling with actors that range from local terrorist groups to the US President. In conversation with the BBC journalist, Juan Carlos Pérez.
Simultaneous translation from English to Spanish available
With the support of the BBVA Foundation
The renowned publisher Michi Strausfeld will talk to the cultural journalist Luis Rodríguez Pastor about her exceptional career in the book industry, working in two different languages (German and Spanish) and two literary traditions. After studying French, English and Spanish at the University of Cologne (1969), Strausfeld has lived in Bogota, Madrid, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona. From 1974 to 2008 she was in charge of the Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese collection at the Suhrkamp publishing house, where she was responsible for the publication of more than 350 books. In July 2008 she moved to the publisher S. Fischer Verlag (Frankfurt) in order to create a new Spanish-language literature collection. She also directed the child and young adult collection for Alfaguara between 1977 and 1999, which published over 550 titles; and, from 1990, Siruela’s Las Tres Edades collection, aimed at readers between 8 and 88, where she has been responsible for the release of around 250 books. In 2009 she received the Order of Isabel la Católica for her work disseminating Spanish-language literature in Germany. Her most recent book is Mariposas amarillas y los señores dictadores. América Latina narra su historia (2021).
With the support of the ICPA
Few intellectuals have captivated and excited so many readers as Yuval Noah Harari. He is the author of the ambitious books Sapiens. A Brief History of Humankind (2014), Homo Deus. A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016) and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018), titles that have been translated into 60 languages and have sold over 30 million copies. The Israeli writer, historian and philosopher, Doctor in History from Oxford University and lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is one of the most incisive thinkers today, able to articulate some of the most critical themes from human history and civilization in his books, covering everything from religion to technology, from the invention of agriculture to the arrival of capitalism. In his most recent publication, Sapiens. A Graphic History (2021), Harari adapts his acclaimed work Sapiens into visual language, telling the human story in images with the help of his fellow writer David Vandermeulen and the illustrator Daniel Casanave. In this first volume of what is set to be a graphic series, Harari covers the early period of humanity and presents our distant relatives, the Neanderthals. In conversation with the writer and journalist Moisés Naím.
Event in English subtitled in Spanish
Few regions of the world have undergone such political upheaval as Latin America in recent times. The continent has been the setting for numerous socio-political protests and movements, in which very different nations have experienced similar discontent and social agitation. It is possible that this is the result of the common colonial-historical background, which has resulted in most cases in very polarized societies, with high levels of poverty and inequality, which have only increased with the health emergency caused by the pandemic. The journalist and writer Martín Caparrós (Argentina), the journalist Moisés Naím (Venezuela), the historian Natalia Sobrevilla (Peru) and the journalist Michael Reid (United Kingdom) will talk to the journalist Jacqueline Fowks (Peru) with the goal of trying to understand and find common ground regarding the complexity of the social processes that are happening on our continent.
With the support of SURA
The landmark documentary La revolución y la tierra, directed by Gonzalo Benavente and co-written by Grecia Barbieri and the film’s director, tells the story of the Agricultural Reform of Juan Velasco Alvarado, 50 years after this important historical event. This documentary, which was released in 2019, was a success in Peru and gave rise to the book La revolución imaginada, which explores the making of the documentary, the historical documentation that the script was based on, and includes over 30 essays and articles about the subject matter of La revolución y la tierra written by major Peruvian figures, including Carlos León Moya, who will moderate this conversation.
According to Javier Cercas, “a hero is a person who does not fail at the only moment at which failure is unthinkable” and the history of Peru is full of examples of brave men and women who fit this definition. This book commemorates those heroic individuals who have contributed to building the nation and Peruvian culture, some of them who are well known, others who are forgotten or made invisible, but heroes nonetheless. This book reflects on Peruvian identity, the multi-ethnic and multicultural character of the country, with its two hundred year history and development being celebrated now, through images created by some of the country’s most talented illustrators. The book’s editor, Víctor Ruiz, will talk about this engaging compilation of stories and illustrations.
For children ages 9 to 12
Ana Pez (Spain) is an illustrator, art teacher and historian. In this fun event Ana shares an activity based on her book Mi pequeño hermano invisible, where we can learn how to draw invisible figures. For this activity we will need: blue and orange markers and red cellophane paper. To share your drawings with Ana, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag Ana on Instagram at @ana_pez
For children ages 6 to 13
Manuel “Manny” Medrano (U.S.A.) was an Economics student at Harvard when he deciphered an accounting system based on knots, called quipus, used by the Inca Empire to take accounts and store information. Medrano is now a researcher in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where he continues to analyse archaeological, historical and ethnographical information in order to learn more about the pre-Hispanic world through this language that reveals so much about the socioeconomic transformations undergone by the indigenous Peruvians with the arrival of the conquest and the subsequent colonization of American territory. Medrano writes about his findings in his new book Quipus. Mil años de historia anudada en los Andes y su futuro digital (2021). In conversation with the Peruvian archaeologist Ulla Holmquist.
With the support of Cerro Verde
Gustavo Buntinx is a renowned historian, curator and art critic. He was educated at Harvard, has lectured at a range of universities, and in his books and exhibitions has taken an interest in art and its relationship with complex matters such as religion, politics and violence. At this event, Buntinx will talk about the work of the great Peruvian writer José María Arguedas (1911-1968), especially his book Las comunidades de España y del Perú. Arguedas was a poet, fiction writer, ethnographer and anthropologist, recognized as one of the main exponents of Indigenism in Peruvian literature. Between 1935 and the year of his death, he published four poetry books, five collections of short stories and six novels, as well as numerous ethnographical and anthropological studies. Since the year 2000, Casa de las Américas has been awarding the José María Arguedas Prize for Fiction, which is given in recognition of the work of Latin American writers. Past winners have included Sergio Ramírez, Antonio Skármeta, Abelardo Castillo, Eduardo Galeano, Ricardo Piglia, Juan Villoro, Juan Pablo Montoya and Diamela Eltit. Buntinx will present the life and work of Arguedas, a major cultural and literary figure.
With the support of the Spanish Embassy