Welcome to the Hay Festival Querétaro 2023 programme. The festival took place from 7 to 10 September, with 105 activities with 151 interantional guests from 20 countries, and with Hay Joven, Hay Festivalito, Hay Delegaciones and Talento Editorial events, as well as two activities in Cadereyta.
Events are free to watch / listen to until September 25.
This workshop, given by the members of the BBC Mundo team, Carlos Serrano and Daniel García Marco, is aimed at Communication and Journalism students and will take a detailed look at the working methods of one of the world’s most respected media organisations, famous for the diversity of its programming and its news rigour and quality.
Journalist, writer and Farsi-language translator. Victoria Belim (Ukraine) grew up in the United States and currently lives in Belgium. She speaks 20 languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian. Her literary debut is entitled The Rooster House (2023) and is a work of memoire, told as a novel, about Vika, a woman who returns to the Ukraine of her birth to investigate the death of her great-great uncle in the 1930s. It is an exploration of the history of a country marked by conflict and devastation, one with a new war just beginning. Belim narrates this story, which is about both a family and a nation, in prose that is captivating, mysterious and beautiful. In conversation with Eduardo de la Garma de la Rosa and Alejandra Martínez Quesada.
Yael Weiss (Mexico) is a writer, publisher and television presenter. She is the author of four books, the most recent being Los muros de aire y otras crónicas de frontera, which is a compilation of five reports by the writer about time she spent in the border cities of Ciudad Hidalgo, Ciudad Juárez, Tenosique, Tijuana and Reynosa. Based on the testimony of women, children and men from Central America and elsewhere in the world, Weiss tells the story of the travels on Mexican soil of people who flee hunger, danger, precarious labour conditions and drug trafficking in a bid to reach the United States, where a series of new challenges awaits them, some of them more dangerous than they might imagine. She will talk to Alma Candy Rangel Alvarado.
Maruan Soto Antaki is a writer, born to a Syrian mother and a Mexican father, who is one of the major Mexican analysts of the political and religious situation in the Arab world. He is the author of five novels and several books of non-fiction, including Pensar Medio Oriente, Pensar México and Pensar Occidente. He presents his first work of non-fiction for young people, Lo que hicimos mal los adultos, illustrated by Bernardo Fernández (Bef), with the intention of explaining some of the main conflicts in the world to today’s teenagers, so they have more tools available to them in order to understand the crises that will still be with them in the future. Based on his great understanding of the issues, he will talk about the way he sees the Middle East, the West and Mexico. In conversation with Julieta Díaz Barrón and Alex Miles.
María Medem (Spain) is an award-winning illustrator and cartoonist, and one of the most promising young graphic novelists in Spain. Author of the books Cénit and Echos, her most recent publication is called Por culpa de una flor. In this last work, the main character finds herself in an abandoned village where the last flower still survives. This character cares for it, feeds it and keeps it alive, until a surprising visit occurs, one that triggers a process of self-discovery and transformation for all the creatures in the story. In conversation with Fernanda Aguillón.
One of the most critical matters among those debated today is the issue of care, as well as new understandings of parenting. At this event, audiences will be able to hear the points of view of two writers who have experience in these matters, and have written and reflected on them. The Mexican writer Tania Tagle presents her first book of essays, Germinal, which contains ten years of reflections on pregnancy, birth and raising her first child. The Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra is the author of ten books that have been translated into at least 20 languages, has won awards such as the English PEN Award and the Prince Claus, and was selected in 2007 to feature on the Bogotá39 list as one of the 39 best Latin American fiction writers under 40; he has published the recent Literatura infantil, a series of stories, both fictional and non-fiction, about childhood and fathering. They will talk to the teacher Norma Ayala.
Irene Solà (Spain) is the author of the publishing success When I Sing, Mountains Dance (2019), written in Catalan and translated into Spanish and many other languages, published in over a dozen editions and winner of the 2019 Cálamo Prize and the 2020 European Prize for Fiction. This polyphonic novel, set in the high Pyrenees, tells the story of farmers, poets, witches, mothers and ghosts, surrounded by the magnificence of the exuberant and relentless natural world of the high Pyrenees. Solá will talk to María José Vázquez and Melissa Sánchez González about this extraordinary novel and her new book, Et vaig donar ulls i vas mirar les tenebres.
With his first novel, In the Distance, the Argentinean writer Hernán Díaz was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. His novel Trust was longlisted for the Booker Prize and has recently been awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Set in the 1920s, this marvellous creation tells various complementary and contradictory versions of a mysterious tale of a magnate. The author will talk about his latest work and will reflect on the unexpected links between money and fiction. In conversation with Felipe Bohórquez.
The historian Andrea Wulf (Germany/United Kingdom), winner of the Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer's Award 2013, wrote the award–winning and international bestseller The Invention of Nature (2015), a biography of Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). The visionary German naturalist and explorer was daringly adventurous but also created the way we understand nature today. He was the most famous scientist of his age and predicted human-induced climate change. In her book, Wulf follows Humboldt’s footsteps from the highest volcanoes in the Andes to his journey down the Orinoco river. Wulf traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. In conversation with Onir Roo.
Event in English
The Basque writer Eider Rodríguez will talk about her first novel Material de construcción, published after producing a number of successful books of short stories. This work has notable autofiction traits, and tells the story of a childhood and family life that bear the scars of the alcoholism of her father. This honest, hard and moving story deals with the difficult relationships between parents and children in such cases, and illustrates the function of literature in the reconstruction of memory and identity. In conversation with the teacher Sara Escamilla.
Daniel Mordzinski (Argentina), known as the photographer of writers, has developed a body of work and an aesthetic that are intimately linked to literature and its mystique: from his first photos of Jorge Luis Borges in 1978, via hundreds of writers who have appeared through his lens, and with over 15 years of work linked to the Hay Festivals. His most recent publication is Hotel Chile, in which he remembers the great Chilean writer Luis Sepúlveda with some of his texts and, of course, photographs. In conversation with the educator Abel Martínez Hernández.
The writer Sarah Ladipo Manyika (Nigeria/United Kingdom) was the Director of the Board of the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, California, and has been on the jury of a range of literary awards. She is the author of three books that deal with the African diaspora through fiction and non-fiction. One of them is In Dependence, which tells the story of over 30 years of the relationship between Tayo, a young Nigerian who goes to study at Oxford, and Vanessa, the daughter of a former colonial official. The author shows how the political becomes the personal in this story about the “dependencies” that they must both overcome in order to make their relationship work; an epic love story set during the difficult years which followed the independence of the African colonies. In conversation with professor Germán Francisco González Valdez.
Event in English
Elisa Guerra (Mexico) lectures in Education at the University of Harvard. In 2015 she was named Best Educator in Latin America and the Caribbean by the Inter-American Development Bank, and she was a member of the International Commission of UNESCO’s Futures of Education. Adriana Grimaldo (Mexico) has a Master’s in Creativity and Imaginative Education. She is an Academic Consultant to CIRCE (Centre for Imagination in Research, Culture and Education) and Academic Coordinator in Imaginative Education, Mexico. These two guests, together with the writer and educator, Pablo Boullosa, have written Aprendizaje: una forma de vida. Alcances y prácticas de la educación imaginativa. This is a text book for Imaginative Education and an innovative educational proposal that compiles testimonies from teachers at all levels of education, telling how they have implemented innovative educational practices in their classes, applying imaginative education.
The lawyer and investigator Juan Jesús Garza Onofre (Mexico) presents his most recent book No estudies Derecho (“Don’t Study Law”). This striking title introduces a book that takes a critical look at the main vices and obstacles that divide the work of law from the ideal of serving the rule of law and citizens, and proposes a redefinition of the profession, one based on creativity and empathy. With this talk, the author invites us to imagine a new relationship with justice and its intermediaries. In conversation with professor Juan Francisco García.
Jumko Ogata Aguilar (Mexico) is a writer and an Afro-Mexican anti-racism activist. Originally from Veracruz, she studied Latin American Studies at the UNAM. She writes fiction, essays and film criticism. Her writings have been published in the Revista de la Universidad de México and by the British Council in Mexico, and she writes a column for Coolhuntermx. She contributed to the anthology of feminist texts Tsunami 2, published by Sexto Piso in 2020, and recently released her first book for children, Mi pelo chino (2023), which is in both Spanish and Mixteco. In conversation with Carolina Sánchez.
This workshop, given by members of the BBC Mundo team, Carlos Serrano and Daniel García Marco, is aimed at Communication and Journalism students and will take a detailed look at the working methods of one of the world’s most respected media organisations, famous for the diversity of its programming and its news rigour and quality.
The award-winning writer Aroa Moreno Durán (Spain) is a journalist and specialist in International Information and the Countries of the South. She has written poetry books and biographies of Frida Kahlo and Federico García Lorca. She won the Ojo Crítico Fiction Prize in 2017 for her first novel, The Communist’s Daughter, and the 2022 Grand Continent Prize for the second, La bajamar, a story full of family secrets and confrontations between mothers and daughters of different generations. Adirane, the protagonist of this novel, goes in search of the memories of a remote family past, damaged by the Spanish Civil War. In the process, she leaves her young daughter and her husband, and confront her mother, with whom she has not spoken for years. A novel that reflects on growing up and care, motherhood and pain, and the permanent tension between the past and what is to come. In conversation with the doctor Eduardo Becerra.