Welcome to our programme for Hay Festival 2023.
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The causes and immediate consequences of wars are picked over again and again, but less thought often goes into thinking about what the world will look like after a war. Drawing upon the contrast between planning for the post-World War II world and the lack of such planning at the end of the Cold War, Jan Ruzicka – a lecturer in security studies at the University of Aberystwyth – takes us through what the world will look like once the war in Ukraine has ended and asks us to imagine a more secure and safer world.
Explore society’s attitude to men’s mental health today with Alex Holmes, Antonio Mazzone and Benna Waites. Holmes is a podcaster and therapist, and author of Time to Talk: How Men Feel About Love, Belonging and Connection. Mazzone is a film-maker whose film A Day in the Life of Anxiety was based on his own experience. Waites is a consultant clinical psychologist.
Tim Peake was the first British astronaut to conduct a spacewalk at the International Space Station, and an inspiration for budding young scientists and astronauts everywhere. In this out-of-this-world event, Peake talks about his first non-fiction book for children, The Cosmic Diary of Our Incredible Universe, in which readers will discover everything from how stars are made, to which fruit can create antimatter. Peake is a former Apache pilot, flight instructor, test pilot and European Space Agency astronaut whose books include his memoir Limitless, and the photography collection Hello, is this Planet Earth?
Philosopher and economist Daniel Chandler and activist and economist Faiza Shaheen speak to writer and translator Daniel Hahn about the pressing issue of class inequality, its devastating effects in today’s United Kingdom, and how we can build a fairer society. Chandler’s book Free and Equal offers a vision of a better world for us all. Shaheen’s Know Your Place: How Society Sets us up to Fail is part memoir, part polemic, taking a personal and statistical look at how society is built and who it leaves behind.
Get an exclusive preview of Kate Mosse’s epic new novel, The Ghost Ship, and an introduction to Kim Sherwood’s historical novel A Wild & True Relation. The Ghost Ship is inspired by the real-life story of pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and follows two women in 1621. A Wild & True Relation opens during the Great Storm of 1703, as smuggler Tom West confronts his lover Grace for betraying him to the Revenue, and takes her orphaned daughter Molly on board ship disguised as a boy to join his crew. Sherwood and Mosse discuss writing powerful women, and books inspired by moments and people in history.
Discover the unexpected wonders of nature’s sounds with Karen Bakker, a professor at the University of British Columbia. She shares the fascinating and surprising stories of non-human sound, interweaving insights from technological innovation and traditional knowledge, illuminating the work of scientists using sound to protect and regenerate endangered species and giving an insight into the shocking impacts of noise pollution on both animals and plants. Through these tales, Bakker and her book The Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology Is Bringing us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants offer hope for environmental conservation and affirms humanity’s relationship with nature in the digital age.
It’s part of our fabric to want to find stories where we identify with the characters and can imagine what it would feel like to be them. Graham Nolan from Hay Pride hosts this discussion, inviting our LGBTQ+ panellists to identify the stories that helped to shape them, asking them about their favourites and sharing the excitement of finding ourselves through our choice of reading matter. Travis Alabanza is a writer, performer and theatre maker (Sound of the Underground). Their latest book None of the Above was Waterstones Best Book of 2022: Politics. Cheddar Gorgeous is a star of Channel 4’s Drag SOS and BBC’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Reeta Loi is a Buddhist, Dalit and queer Indian woman, and a poetry activist.
The therapist, podcaster and author of Time To Talk breaks down mental health barriers, looking at how shame can impact on mental health and wellbeing at home and in the workplace. In this workshop, he will explore how shame impacts identity and mental wellbeing, and promote self-care and suicide prevention.
Our bodies are governed by a 24-hour biological clock, something all too easy to ignore in a world where we push our daily routines – from work to socialising and exercise – into the dark. Learn how to live a healthier, sharper life using your body clock with Russell Foster, director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute, head of the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford and author of Life Time: The New Science of the Body Clock and How It Can Revolutionise Your Sleep and Health, who shares his own studies and insights from an international community of sleep scientists to illustrate the surprising effects the time of day can have on our health.
Women artists currently make up just 1% of the National Gallery collection in London, while 2023 marks the first time the Royal Academy of Arts has ever hosted a solo exhibition by a woman – Marina Abramović – in their main space. Curator and art historian Katy Hessel, who created the @thegreatwomenartists Instagram account, challenges the art canon as we know it and showcases the female and gender non-conformist artists who are so often excluded from the history books, shining a spotlight on the glittering paintings of Sofonisba Anguissola of the Renaissance, the radical work of Harriet Powers in the nineteenth-century US, the astonishing work of post-war artists in Latin America and the women artists defining art in the 2020s.
Evoking the atmosphere of a Morocco on the cusp of change, Leïla Slimani talks about her latest novel, Watch Us Dance, the second in a trilogy inspired by her family, with BBC journalist Razia Iqbal. Set in 1968, the book follows Mathilde, a wealthy woman who has won a battle with her husband to build a swimming pool in their garden. But Mathilde and her family are about to find their lives taking wild and unexpected turns. Slimani is the first Moroccan woman to win France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt. A journalist and commentator on women’s and human rights, she is French president Emmanuel Macron’s personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture.
Two writers from Quebec in Canada – Louis Hamelin and Juliana Léveillé-Trudel – and two from Wales – Siân Melangell Dafydd and Llŷr Gwyn Lewis – discuss their work in the context of the ecosystems they write in, natural and cultural, with Director of Literature Across Frontiers Alexandra Büchler. Hamelin has published short stories and novels. Léveillé-Trudel practices various forms of writing, from adult novels to children’s literature and theatre. Dafydd is an author, poet and translator who writes in both Welsh and English. Lewis is a Welsh-language writer living in Cardiff.
Essential reading for anyone passionate about music or popular culture, Bob Stanley’s new book Let’s do it: The Birth of Pop starts with the invention of the 78 rpm record at the end of the 19th century. Detailing the dramatic and surprising story of popular music It considers the impact of superstars such as Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith, and pays tribute to the unheralded songwriters and arrangers behind some of our most enduring songs. Stanley, a musician, writer, film producer and former member of the band Saint Etienne who was Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer’s Award 2018 winner, discusses his book with Colin Grant, author of I’m Black so you Don’t Have to be.
A year on from the start of the Ukraine War, journalist and policy analyst Anatol Lieven explores the conflicting goals of Russia, the United States and Ukraine, argues that Europe needs to take responsibility for its own security, and looks at ways in which the war might be brought to an end. Lieven’s areas of interest and expertise include Russia and the former Soviet Union, and US political culture and strategy. He has spoken as an expert to the British Parliament, the United States Congress and the French Foreign Ministry, and is currently a visiting professor at King's College London and a senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft in Washington DC. His most recent book is Climate Change and the Nation State: The Case for Nationalism in a Warming World.
Come along to hear Tony Juniper and Emily Shuckburgh discuss the results from the week of Planet Assembly public workshops led by sustainability entrepreneur Andy Middleton, Chief Exploration Officer at the TYF Group. At this concluding event, we’ll launch the urgent call to action generated from these intense brain-storming discussions.
At the workshops over the first nine days of the Festival, people from all walks of life will contribute to inclusive discussions with scientists, commentators and experts. We’ll share ideas to create new momentum to ensure planetary conditions in which all species can thrive. Each day we’ll tackle an area of our lives where there must and can be urgent change, from biodiversity and mobility to energy and food, water and cities to health and fashion.
The aim is to design and define the new tipping points we confront and to create new public pressure on policy makers and businesses to effect rapid change. Tony Juniper is Chair of Natural England and Emily Shuckburgh is Director of Cambridge Zero; together they have authored Climate Change with His Majesty, King Charles.
This event is part of our Hay Festival Planet Assembly, a daily, inclusive conversation over ten days involving lay people, scientists, commentators and experts. We want to empower everyone to be accelerators and multipliers for the dramatic policy transformations that are needed immediately to tackle the acute climate and biodiversity emergencies.
Alien deity, drag queen, academic and idealist – Cheddar Gorgeous is the entertaining, hilarious and breathtaking star of Channel 4’s Drag SOS and BBC’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Amplified to the mainstream through sensational TV performances, their roots grew from underground queer club culture and activism. The depth and breadth of their take on the power of drag has created their reputation as an educator of the more serious and complex dimensions of queer culture. Affectionately referred to as Dr Cheddar Gorgeous on the latest season of Drag Race, Cheddar (aka Dr Michael Atkins) has cemented their position as one of the nation’s most beloved drag queen mentors. In this live show they return to the boards, bringing their performative take on masculinity with a full artistic vision.
Get ready for the floor for some soul-shakin’ disco debauchery and dance floor bangers – it’s glitter, sequins, big smiles and even bigger tunes with Galactic on the decks! He’s been putting a smile on the faces of party-goers all across the UK over the last few years… His feel-good, uplifting vibes and energetic performances have seen him light up festivals from Wilderness, Latitude and Camp Bestival to Larmer Tree, Green Man, Shambala, Big Feastival and El Dorado. Knockout warm-up sets for Craig Charles, Norman Jay, Jo Whiley and Rob da Bank have really put him on the map. Grab a drink and get down!