Photographers John Bulmer and Billie Charity talk about their photo books, shot in the Marches. John’s A Very English Village was shot 50 years ago in Pembridge and Billie’s Lockdown Light captured lockdown in and around Hay. They discuss the changes five decades have wrought both in the subjects and the process of taking photographs and publishing them in book form.
Throughout another year of bluster and bedlam in Westminster, John Crace’s brilliantly acerbic political sketches have once more provided the nation with a much-needed injection of humour and satire. In A Farewell to Calm the Guardian’s parliamentary sketch writer introduces an infectiously funny selection of his finest pieces and talks to journalist Max Liu about everything from Covid to Partygate and Brexit to war in Ukraine.
“It’s now becoming easier and easier to predict government policy. Just listen to what the prime minister said in the morning and the opposite is likely to be true come the middle of the afternoon.”
There are categories of intimate writing which modern technology has rendered obsolete. Keats sealed his letters to his beloved with a kiss. Whoever did that to an email in the age of electronic Valentines? Who, nowadays, keeps a private written journal? It’s all up there in the cloudy Diary in the Sky. Until well into the 20th century young men and women carried ‘autograph books’ for sketches, verbal and pictorial, by friends. They now only exist as relics on eBay. Is intimate writing a dead letter – as obsolete as the quill pen? Not entirely. John Crace has revived the political sketch, diary and (highly personalised) critical ‘digest’.
John Sutherland has written intimate memoirs (one of which, his struggle with alcoholism, he regrets publishing). He recently met himself – sixty years younger – in his university tutor’s voluminous letters about him to Philip Larkin. It inspired his latest book, Monica Jones, Philip Larkin and Me.
The Two Johns discuss intimacy in public and personal writing – the difference between writing with one eye on publication and for oneself alone – and where, in an era of grams, selfies and tweeting it can go. And have fun while doing so.
Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer Wade Davis talks about his latest work Magdalena, the River of Dreams, about the Magdalena River in Colombia. His memoir braids together history and journalism, adventure through a spectacular landscape and a kaleidoscopic picture of Colombia’s complex past, present and future.
The Jan Morris Lecture is a space to celebrate the legacy of this great voyager, historian and journalist, and to listen to fascinating stories about the most significant landscapes around the world, through the work of great travel writers.
A conversation with the team behind the hit BBC podcasts Death by Conspiracy? and War on Truth. Hear how journalists sift fact from fiction – and report on all the bad information swirling around on social media for audiences around the UK and across the globe. Death by Conspiracy? follows the story of Gary Matthews, a man from Shrewsbury who believed in Covid conspiracy theories until he caught the virus and died. Following the remarkable success of that series, Radio 4 launched War on Truth – a reactive series tracking the stories of people caught up in the information war in Ukraine. Both podcasts are presented by the BBC’s first ever specialist disinformation reporter, Marianna Spring, produced by Ant Adeane and edited by Mike Wendling.
In his timely new book Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals, the award-winning investigative journalist reveals how the UK took up its position at the elbow of the worst people on Earth – the oligarchs, kleptocrats and gangsters – and explains what steps we can take to change Butler Britain’s underhand ways.
A little light ridicule, mockery and fun to start the day as the satirists read the tabloids and surf the social media storms for an irreverent look at what’s tickling the nation’s fancy – and driving it to splenetic fury – today.
A little light ridicule, mockery and fun to start the day as the satirists read the tabloids and surf the social media storms for an irreverent look at what’s tickling the nation’s fancy – and driving it to splenetic fury – today. The team are joined by TikTok comedians the Sugarcoated Sisters (Chloe Tingey and Tabby Tingey, Best Newcomer Musical Comedy Awards 2022) -- real-life siblings with over 400,000 followers online, who cover topics such as living with bipolar and diabetes, partygate, feminism and dating in their musical comedy sketches.
Roula Khalaf is editor of the Financial Times. She was previously deputy editor from 2016 to 2020, overseeing a range of newsroom initiatives and award-winning editorial projects and leading a global network of more than 100 foreign correspondents. She gives this year's lecture honouring the great contrarianfocusing on how to restore trust in journalism followed by a Q&A session chaired by Alan Rusbridger, Editor of Prospect magazine.
In 2015 Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize for Literature “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time”. Using a wide range of interviews and crossing the boundary between reporting and fiction, she writes in a way that lets human voices speak for themselves. In 2018 she won the Anna Politkovskaya Award from the human rights organisation RAW in WAR, honouring women journalists and human rights defenders working in war and conflict zones. Mariana Katzarova is founder of RAW in WAR (Reach All Women in War) and the Anna Politkovskaya Award. In 2014, she led the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission’s team in Eastern Ukraine for two years at the start of the armed conflict. The duo hold a conversation about a region that has historically suffered from a conflict that is now threatening the whole world.
Country & Town House culture editor Ed Vaizey, and associate editor Charlotte Metcalf record their 78th episode of Break Out Culture from Hay Festival and talk to three authors about how they are tackling the crucial topics of protecting nature and our planet in the face of climate change. On the panel are the former nun and now prolific author Karen Armstrong, with her new book Sacred Nature, Jessie Greengrass, author of the novel The High House and Ellen Miles, who has turned to TikTok to publicise her book Nature is a Human Right.
A little light ridicule, mockery and fun to start the day as the satirists read the tabloids and surf the social media storms for an irreverent look at what’s tickling the nation’s fancy – and driving it to splenetic fury – today. The team are joined by Sophia Smith Galer who is a multi-award-winning journalist, TikTok creator and author of Losing It: Sex Education for the 21st Century.
Lyse Doucet is Chief International Correspondent and Senior Presenter for BBC World News television and BBC World Service Radio. She played a key role in the BBC’s coverage of the Arab Spring and is a regular visitor to Afghanistan and Pakistan from where she has reported since 1988. She has recently been reporting from Ukraine. Emma Graham-Harrison is International Affairs Correspondent for the Guardian. She has reported from Taliban-controlled districts, embedded with Nato soldiers, and from Ukraine. Sana Safi is an Afghan broadcast journalist working for BBC World Service. Her audio documentary, Afghanistan and Me, charts 30 years of Afghan history through her own experiences. They share their views on Afghanistan and Ukraine with writer and cyber security and organised crime specialist Misha Glenny, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.