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Hay Festival 2023

Our 2023 Festival took place 25 May - 4 June. The programme is listed below.

Most of the events are now available in our online archive Hay Player – please see individual listings for more details.

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PerformanceBBC Radio 4: Loose Ends

Event 1

BBC Radio 4: Loose Ends

–  Global Stage
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Join Clive Anderson and guests for an eclectic mix of conversation, music and comedy. With Jan Ravens of Dead Ringers, comedian Nish Kumar, Tiffany Murray on growing up around rock gods in Wales’ residential recording studio and Viv Groskop. There’s music from the Will Barnes Quartet and Aleighcia Scott.

Free but ticketed
Price: £0.00
ConversationCarwyn Graves and Alan Marshall talk to Meinir Howells

Event 2

Carwyn Graves and Alan Marshall talk to Meinir Howells

Elements of the Welsh Landscape

–  Meadow Stage
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The ecologist and the eco-designer discuss our landscape, how we have formed it and how we might continue to do so, in conversation with Welsh presenter and producer Meinir Howells. Graves gives a tour of the Welsh landscape, from the ffridd (mountain pasture) to the rhos (wild moorland). He dives deep into their history and ecology in his book Tir (‘Land’) offering hope for a future with richly biodiverse landscapes, still full of humans working the land. Environmental philosopher Marshall is noted for his investigations into eco-friendly cities of the future. In Sheeplands he examines the way sheep have contributed to the making of the modern world.

Price: £11.00
ConversationLiam Byrne talks to Oliver Bullough

Event 3

Liam Byrne talks to Oliver Bullough

Capitalism and Wealth Inequality

–  Discovery Stage
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Is there any coming back from the ways in which capitalism and wealth inequality have shaped the world? Yes, argues Treasury Minister Liam Byrne, but only if we rebuild instead of trying to fix broken systems. They discuss their ideas for radical and meaningful change with writer Oliver Bullough.

Price: £13.00
ConversationAnna Jones talks to Meinir Howells

Event 4

Anna Jones talks to Meinir Howells

Easy Wins

–  Wye Stage
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Want to reduce waste, use less energy when cooking but still achieve kitchen triumphs? The chef and bestselling food writer (A Modern Way to Eat, One: Pot, Pan, Planet) takes 12 hero ingredients that are guaranteed to make your food taste great, and gives 125 all-new dishes that you’ll want to cook on repeat. Think Double Lemon Pilaf with Buttery Almonds, Traybake Lemon Dhal, Miso Rarebit and Cherry and Chocolate Peanut Butter Sundae. Jones shares tips distilled from her 20 years of experience, with practical advice on layering, texture and seasoning, plus plenty of ideas for vegetarian swaps. She talks to Welsh presenter and producer Meinir Howells.

Price: £13.00
ConversationGareth E Rees and Fiona Stafford

Event 5

Gareth E Rees and Fiona Stafford

Submerged Landscapes

–  Meadow Stage
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Join author Gareth E Rees and academic Fiona Stafford on a journey through hidden spaces, forgotten gardens and natural and man-made phenomena that tell us about our past, present and future. Rees is author of Sunken Lands: A Journey through Flooded Kingdoms and Lost Worlds, which uncovers what our submerged past and shifting boundaries between land and water can tell us about our imminent future as rising sea levels transform our planet once more. In Time and Tide: The Long, Long Life of Landscape, Stafford combines local, literary and her own family history to look at the natural and human forces that transform places, and where we can find clues to the past. In conversation with Tom Bullough, author of 5 books, most recently, Sarn Helen - A Journey Through Wales, Past, Present and Future.

Price: £11.00
PerformanceBBC Radio 4: Dead Ringers

Event 6

BBC Radio 4: Dead Ringers

–  Global Stage
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Enjoy a special live recording of Radio 4’s flagship satire show featuring topical sketches and characters drawn from the worlds of celebrity and politics.

Free but ticketed
Price: £0.00
ConversationGeorge Monbiot

Event 7

George Monbiot

The Invisible Doctrine

–  Discovery Stage
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How can you fight something if you don’t know it exists? We live under an ideology that preys on every aspect of our lives: education, employment, healthcare and leisure; our relationships and mental wellbeing; even the planet we inhabit. So pervasive has it become that it seems unavoidable. But trace it back to its roots, and we discover that neoliberalism was conceived, propagated and concealed by the powerful few. It’s time to bring it into the light – and to find an alternative worth fighting for.

Environmental campaigner George Monbiot's previous book was Regenesis: Feeding the World without Devouring the Planet. His latest is The Invisible Doctrine: The Secret History of Neoliberalism (& How it Came to Control Your Life).

Sold out
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ConversationAnthony Horowitz talks to Julia Wheeler

Event 8

Anthony Horowitz talks to Julia Wheeler

Close to Death

–  Wye Stage
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How do you solve a murder, when everyone has the same motive? Magnifying glasses at the ready in this event with the bestselling author of the Detective Hawthorne novels. In the latest, Hawthorne is faced with a seemingly impossible puzzle – a man is shot dead within a quiet, gated community, and it appears that every neighbour has a reason to hate him. Horowitz talks about his characters and his work, which includes two highly acclaimed Sherlock Holmes novels, three James Bond novels, and mystery novel Magpie Murders, recently adapted for the BBC with Lesley Manville.

Price: £11.00
ConversationThomas Heatherwick talks to Suhair Khan

Event 9

Thomas Heatherwick talks to Suhair Khan

Humanise

–  Meadow Stage
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Thomas Heatherwick – one of the UK’s most prolific designers – talks about his work, characterised by originality, inventiveness and humanity. He founded his studio in 1994 to bring together architecture, urban planning, product design and interiors into a single creative workspace, now comprising 200 makers and inventors. The team is currently working on more than 30 projects in ten countries, including Google's HQ in London. Recently completed are Bay View and Gradient Canopy, Google’s first purpose-built campuses in California, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town and Coal Drops Yard in London’s King’s Cross. Heatherwick talks to technology entrepreneur and creative leader Suhair Khan.

Price: £13.00
PerformanceNish Kumar

Event 10

Nish Kumar

Stand-up: Nish, Don’t Kill My Vibe

–  Discovery Stage
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Nish Kumar has achieved huge success on the stand-up circuit with five rave reviewed shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, two of which have been nominated for the prestigious Comedy Award for Best Show. He’s starred in two series of his own show for BBC Radio 4, Spotlight Tonight, and has hosted The News Quiz and his own spoof news series, The Mash Report, for BBC Two. He’s appeared on QI, Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News for You and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Nish, Don’t Kill My Vibe is his latest show-in-progress, coming fresh to Hay Festival!

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ConversationChris Skidmore

Event 11

Chris Skidmore

Net-Zero: A Future Worth Resigning Over

–  Meadow Stage
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Few are better placed to discuss how the UK can meet its climate and biodiversity obligations than Chris Skidmore, the former Energy Minister who resigned as an MP in protest at the government’s plans to expand oil and gas production in the North Sea. Skidmore, who was responsible for signing Net Zero into law and chairing Mission Zero, the largest independent engagement exercise on Net Zero conducted to date, outlines the key ways in which the UK can deliver its commitments as part of the global Net Zero strategy, highlighting not just the challenges but also the opportunities for new jobs and investment in a better way of living. In conversation with Nik Gowing, the Founder and Co-Director of Thinking the Unthinkable, and former BBC News Presenter.

Price: £11.00
ActivityMorning Yoga with Hay Yoga Collective

Event 12

Morning Yoga with Hay Yoga Collective

–  Creative Hub
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Start your day with an hour of yoga blending movement, mantra, meditation and breathwork. The classes support detoxification and regeneration – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Our daily yoga classes are brought to you by a collective of ten highly skilled practitioners, all local to Hay-on-Wye. Each practitioner has their own style, but with all you can expect a mindful, student-focused practice with clear cueing and functional sequencing.

Whether you need grounding and recharging before a busy day at the Festival, an opportunity to stretch and move your body, or simply an hour to focus on your breathing, these classes are open and accessible to all. Practitioners will adapt to different levels of experience, providing options for deepening or softening within poses so that each student takes what they need from the practice. Beginners and experienced students are most welcome. Yoga mats are provided.

Please contact Clare Fry at hello@larchwoodstudio.com with any questions relating to these classes. As capacity is limited, we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing, and alert your practitioner at the start of class if you have any injuries.
Price: £12.00
Last few remaining tickets
ActivityHay Castle Entry Ticket

Event HC1

Hay Castle Entry Ticket

–  Hay Castle
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A fantastic opportunity to see behind the scenes of this unique and historic building. Visit at a time of your choice during Castle opening hours.

Price: £5.00
ActivityWayfaring Walk with National Park Guides

Event 13

Wayfaring Walk with National Park Guides

Wayne Lewis and Rhys Guevara

–  Meeting Place on Festival Site
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Guides from the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park lead a walk through the beautiful surrounds of Hay-on-Wye.

Hay-on-Wye is based within 520 square miles of beautiful landscape that makes up the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park. The National Park is driving change to bring about a sustainable future, meeting our needs within planetary boundaries. Their Hay Festival series of walks take you into the town’s local environment while offering the opportunity to learn more about the Park’s work and its treasured landscape.

Please wear appropriate footwear and outdoor gear. We regret we cannot accommodate dogs on this walk.
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ConversationBBC Radio 4: Front Row

Event S21

BBC Radio 4: Front Row

Young Adult Fiction

–  Exchange Marquee
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Ymunwch â thîm y BBC wrth i Front Row ar BBC Radio 4 ddathlu Ffuglen i Oedolion Ifanc, ac archwilio'r ystod ryfeddol o straeon a materion sy'n cael sylw mewn nofelau plant heddiw. Yn ymuno â Tom Sutcliffe mae awduron poblogaidd, gan gynnwys Manon Steffan Ros, enillydd Medal Yoto Carnegie 2023, a'r awduron arobryn Alex Wheatle, Anthony Horowitz a Frances Hardinge.
Bydd y digwyddiad hwn yn cael ei recordio i'w ddarlledu ar BBC Radio 4.

Join the BBC team as BBC Radio 4’s Front Row celebrates Young Adult Fiction, exploring the extraordinary range of stories and issues tackled in children’s novels today. Tom Sutcliffe is joined by bestselling authors, including Manon Steffan Ros, winner of the 2023 Yoto Carnegie Medal, and award-winning authors Alex Wheatle, Anthony Horowitz and Frances Hardinge.
This event will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 4 - Please arrive in good time.

KS3/4 | CA3/4
Free – drop in
PerformanceHereford College of Arts Vocal Ensemble

Event F1

Hereford College of Arts Vocal Ensemble

Popular and Traditional Songs

–  Bookshop Garden
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Come and enjoy some music in the Bookshop Garden. The Hereford College of Arts Vocal Ensemble perform their dynamic repertoire of four-part harmony arrangements from popular and traditional songs.

Hereford College of Arts is a dedicated arts college with a specialist focus on art, media, design, popular music and performing arts.
Family, 7+ years
Free – drop in
PerformanceHereford College of Arts Theatre Students

Event F2

Hereford College of Arts Theatre Students

These Violent Delights

–  Bookshop Garden
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Sparks fly in this fast-paced and fiery production in the open air. Hereford College of Arts theatre students present These Violent Delights, a visceral exploration of the relationships found in Shakespeare, from Hermia and Helena to Beatrice and Benedick.

Hereford College of Arts is a dedicated arts college with a specialist focus on art, media, design, popular music and performing arts.
Family, 7+ years
Free – drop in
ConversationBBC Radio 4: Inside Health

Event 420

BBC Radio 4: Inside Health

–  Exchange Marquee
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Want to return home from Hay feeling younger? James Gallagher, presenter of Inside Health, and BBC health and science correspondent, delves into the science of ageing and how to age well. He’s joined by Professor Sarah Harper an Oxford gerontologist who will give insight on attitudes and perception, Professor Georgina Ellison from Kings College London who is a physiologist who can talk about age reversal, and Professor Norman Lazarus is longevity researcher and bike racer and who, at 88 years-old, has practical tips for ageing well.

Free – drop in
WorkshopPizza-making Workshop

Event W1

Pizza-making Workshop

Kitchen Garden Pizza

–  Family Garden
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Come to the Family Garden for a pizza masterclass with Kitchen Garden Pizza. In this one-hour session your imagination and creativity will be fed along with your belly! You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, make and top your own dough and observe the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven. And while you wait for your pizza to cook, you can decorate your own pizza box!
Dairy-free and gluten-free options available

4+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
Sold out
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ConversationBrett Christophers

Event 14

Brett Christophers

Why Capitalism Won’t Save the Planet

–  Wye Stage
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How do we save the planet? Political economist and economic geographer Brett Christophers argues that first we need to look at our understanding of capitalism and climate, and accept that saving the planet is not profitable enough for markets and the private sector. Today’s consensus that curbing climate change can be done through green electricity and measures such as ever-cheaper solar and wind power aren’t the key, says Christophers, because investment is driven not by price but by profit. He talks about his illuminating book The Price is Wrong: Why Capitalism Won’t Save the Planet, challenging our long-held views about how to combat climate change.

Price: £11.00
Last few remaining tickets
TalkElizabeth Bingham and Mary Morgan

Event 15

Elizabeth Bingham and Mary Morgan

Remarkable Memorials near Hay-on-Wye

–  Meadow Stage
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Hay resident Mary Morgan and local historian Elizabeth Bingham return to the Festival following previous years’ popular talks on local churches and castles. Now they’ve turned their attention to local monuments and memorials – their subjects include the Chartists’ cave, artists and actors, the Brute stonemasons, a Methodist martyr, a notorious ghost, aircraft crashes, Victorian vicars, a murdered pedlar, a Neolithic monument, a bulldog, water troughs and a wood.

Sold out
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ConversationVanessa Walters talks to Alex Wheatle

Event 16

Vanessa Walters talks to Alex Wheatle

Debut Discoveries: The Lagos Wife

–  Spring Stage
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Vanessa Walters discusses her British debut, a thriller about family, motherhood, identity and diaspora, with Alex Wheatle, author of Cane Warriors. Author of two books for young adults, this is Walters’ first adult fiction, described by writer Afua Hirsch as “a brilliantly original novel.”

Nicole Oruwari disappears during a boat trip. Born in south London, she had moved to Lagos to begin a new life with her perfect husband, but something went wrong. Back in London, her busybody aunt Claudine decides to fly to Lagos to investigate the mystery...

Price: £11.00
ConversationBBC Radio 4: Fed with Chris van Tulleken

Event 421

BBC Radio 4: Fed with Chris van Tulleken

–  Exchange Marquee
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Join Chris van Tulleken the host of Radio 4’s chart-topping podcast, Fed, as he unwraps the forces that shape what we eat.

Free – drop in
WorkshopPizza-making Workshop

Event W2

Pizza-making Workshop

Kitchen Garden Pizza

–  Family Garden
Read more

Come to the Family Garden for a pizza masterclass with Kitchen Garden Pizza. In this one-hour session your imagination and creativity will be fed along with your belly! You’ll get your hands messy with freshly grown and foraged ingredients, make and top your own dough and observe the pizzaioli at work at the wood-fired oven. And while you wait for your pizza to cook, you can decorate your own pizza box!
Dairy-free and gluten-free options available

4+ years
Parents/carers must attend but do not need a ticket.
Sold out
Please log in to add this event to your wish list so we can notify you in case of further availability
ConversationRuby Wax with Horatio Clare, Bryony Gordon and Robin Ince

Event 17

Ruby Wax with Horatio Clare, Bryony Gordon and Robin Ince

Thinker in Residence: Mental Health

–  Global Stage
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Ruby Wax speaks with Hay Festival guests about mental health issues. She is well known for advocating an open and honest approach, most recently in her book and touring show I’m Not as Well as I Thought I Was. Wax is one of our Hay Festival 2024 Thinkers in Residence – a group of writers and readers hosting events throughout the week questioning norms, finding new perspectives and challenging us to action.

Writer and broadcaster Horatio Clare is the author of Heavy Light: A Journey Through Madness, Mania and Healing. Journalist Bryony Gordon's latest book is Mad Woman and Robin Ince is a comedian, author and broadcaster.

Price: £15.00
ConversationMichael Mann

Event 18

Michael Mann

Our Fragile Moment

–  Discovery Stage
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Join us for an enlightening session with acclaimed climate scientist Michael Mann. Mann’s The New Climate War, which garnered high praise in the UK, showed how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change. In his latest book Our Fragile Moment, Mann delivers a compelling narrative outlining the urgent threat of the unfolding climate crisis. His clear and impactful message emphasises the crucial need for immediate action to avert further devastation to our planet. In conversation with Chair of Wales Net Zero 2035, former Environment Minister for Wales, and author of #futuregen: Lessons from a Small Country, Jane Davidson.

Price: £13.00
ConversationDiarmuid Hester

Event 19

Diarmuid Hester

Nothing Ever Just Disappears

–  Meadow Stage
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Radical cultural historian, writer and activist Dr Diarmuid Hester brings to life the stories of seven remarkable figures – from EM Forster to Derek Jarman – and illuminates the connections between where they lived, who they loved and the art they created. He shows that a queer sense of place is central to the history of the twentieth century and powerfully evokes how much is lost when these spaces are forgotten. Hester is a research associate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and a BBC New Generation Thinker. He co-founded Cambridge’s queer performance and music night Club Urania.

Price: £11.00
ConversationRoland Philipps talks to Bronwen Maddox

Event 400

Roland Philipps talks to Bronwen Maddox

Roger Casement

–  Wye Stage
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Pioneering human rights campaigner, patriot, traitor, romantic and LGBTQ+ martyr, Roger Casement is one of the 20th century’s most complex and compelling figures. Roland Philipps (author of A Spy Named Orphan) discusses his biography of this contradictory man, Broken Archangel: The Tempestuous Lives of Roger Casement.

Internationally celebrated for unearthing the grotesque violence of the Belgian Congo, Casement won a knighthood for his humanitarian work in the Amazon jungle. But his internal fault lines ran deep, caught between England and Ireland, Protestant and Catholic, contemporary mores and private emotions. He was tried and executed for treason – only now can we fully understand his surprisingly modern and deeply relevant life and legacy.

Price: £11.00
ConversationBBC Radio Wales: Aberystwyth Book Club

Event 422

BBC Radio Wales: Aberystwyth Book Club

–  Exchange Marquee
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Join BBC Radio Wales for the third year in a row, as our enthusiastic readers take a trip from Aberystwyth to the Hay Festival to review a book featured on this year’s line-up.

Free – drop in
ConversationHugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tim Spector

Event 20

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Tim Spector

Eat Well, Live Well

–  Global Stage
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The food and nutrition experts discuss eating for health and gut happiness.

Having a healthy gut is fundamental to good health, and the best way to harness the benefits of gut health is by eating plants, says the River Cottage author. He shares the know-how in How to Eat 30 Plants a Week: 100 Recipes to Boost Your Health and Energy, to help us put more plants on our plates, whether we are omnivores, vegetarians or vegans.

In Food for Life, scientist Tim Spector investigates everything from environmental impact and food fraud to allergies, ultra-processed food and deceptive labelling. He is author of Spoon-Fed and The Diet Myth, and Professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London. He also leads the ZOE Health Study, which analyses our unique gut, blood fat and blood sugar responses, so that we can improve our long-term health.

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ConversationDavid Van Reybrouck talks to Julia Wheeler

Event 21

David Van Reybrouck talks to Julia Wheeler

Revolusi

–  Wye Stage
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Drawing on hundreds of interviews and eye-witness accounts, David Van Reybrouck (Congo) brings the gripping story of Indonesia’s struggle for independence alive with human detail at every turn in Revolusi: Indonesia and the Birth of the Modern World. Four million civilians had died during the WW2 occupation by the Japanese. In the grim aftermath of the war, another 200,000 people would lose their lives as the Dutch used savage violence to reassert their former colonial regime against the guerrilla war of resistance: the ‘revolusi’. But the Netherlands would be forced to cede all sovereignty, ending 350 years of colonial rule and setting a precedent that would reshape the world.

Price: £13.00
ConversationZeinab Badawi talks to Areeba Hamid

Event 22

Zeinab Badawi talks to Areeba Hamid

An African History of Africa

–  Discovery Stage
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In the history and story of Africa is the history and story of human civilisation, and yet little of the continent’s early and modern story is widely known. Award-winning broadcaster and SOAS president Zeinab Badawi sets the record straight in her seminal book, An African History of Africa: From the Dawn of Humanity to Independence, which takes readers from the origins of our species, through ancient civilisations and medieval empires with remarkable queens and kings, to the miseries of conquest and the elation of independence. She tells Areeba Hamid, joint executive director of Greenpeace UK and the first woman and first person of colour to lead the organisation, about travelling to 30 countries in Africa, the people she spoke to, and why it’s essential the history of Africa is told through the voices of Africans themselves.

Price: £11.00
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