Hay Festival Querétaro 2023 – General Programme

Welcome to the Hay Festival Querétaro 2023 programme. The festival took place from 7 to 10 September, with 105 activities with 151 international guests from 20 countries, and with Hay Joven, Hay Festivalito, Hay Delegaciones and Talento Editorial events, as well as two activities in Cadereyta.

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Event 1

Muriel Barbery in conversation with Yael Weiss

Teatro de la Ciudad
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Muriel Barbery (France) is the author of the highly acclaimed and much-loved novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog, an international publishing success. Her most recent book is One Hour of Fervour, set in Kyoto, where Haru, a Japanese art dealer, meets a beautiful French traveller, and from their amorous adventure a baby is born. Some time later, Haru is notified that he is strictly prohibited from approaching the child. Thanks to his particular group of friends, Haru will manage to fulfil a terrible and necessary promise. The author presents the re-edition of her most popular novel, as well as her new book, in conversation with Yael Weiss.

Simultaneous interpretation from French to Spanish available

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Muriel Barbery in conversation with Yael Weiss

Event 3

Carlos Umaña in conversation with Alexandra Haas

Nuclear weapons: an existential threat

Teatro de la Ciudad
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Carlos Umaña (Costa Rica) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 together with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) for calling attention “to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons” and for their “ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. At this event in the country of the Tlatelolco Treaty, which bans nuclear arms in Latin America, Umaña will to talk about environmentalism, the need to eradicate nuclear arsenals from the world and his own work as a scientist and an activist. In conversation with Alexandra Haas.

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Carlos Umaña in conversation with Alexandra Haas

Event 4

Screening of The Earth Is Blue as an Orange by Iryna Tsilyk, followed by a discussion with the director and Blanmi Núñez

Hay Festival Lviv Bookforum series

Cineteca Rosalío Solano - Escenario Gales / Llwyfan Cymru
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The writer and filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk (Ukraine) is a graduate of the National University of Theatre, Film and TV in Kiev, and is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction and children’s literature as well as the creator of several documentary and fiction short films. She presents her first feature-length documentary, The Earth is Blue as an Orange (2020), winner of the Director’s Award in the World Cinema Documentary category at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, about the experience of a civilian family living in war-torn Donbas, Ukraine, and their relationship with art and the creative process. She will talk to Banmi Núñez.

Duration: 74 min

Language: Russian and Ukrainian with subtitles in Spanish

Simultaneous interpreting from English to Spanish available for the talk

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Event 5

Night of the Insane

Theatre project coordinated by Mariana Hartasánchez and including 14 women from different theatre groups in Queretaro municipality

Museo de la Ciudad (Espacio escénico)
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The feminist artists’ collective Labios Superiores presents the dramatic work La noche de las alienadas*. In 1790, a group of mentally ill women who have been confined to the psychiatric hospital of La Salpetriere seek to survive when revolutionaries break into the institution. It seems that madness has no place in their revolution, given that the ideal of rationality and political consciousness is out of reach of those who have been labelled as demented.


Creative Team
: Mariana Hartasánchez**, Fernando Flores Trejo, Leticia Méndez, Ismael Josafat Gimate Baños, Pako Granados, Addi Nahúm Jacobo.

Cast: Miriam Balderas, Mónica Durán Galván, Luz María Espinosa Anguiano, Andrea Herrera, Gabriel Hörner García, Roja Ibarra, Nahim López Mancebo del Castillo, Azucena López Moreno, Alexandra Mondragón, Guadalupe Mora Reyna, Cecilia Navarro, Azul Fernanda Pagnotta Serrano, Daniela Salas Hernández.


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Night of the Insane

Event 6

Victoria Belim in conversation with Yael Weiss

Hay Festival Lviv Bookforum series

Teatro de la Ciudad
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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 Yael Weiss.

Simultaneous interpretation from French to Spanish available

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Victoria Belim in conversation with Yael Weiss

Event 7

Andrea Wulf in conversation with Diego Rabasa

Magnificent Rebels

Cineteca Rosalío Solano - Escenario Gales / Llwyfan Cymru
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The acclaimed historian, winner of the 2013 Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer's Award, will talk about her latest work Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self, which tells the story of a group of thinkers and poets who shaped the way we think about ourselves and the world. This group, who came together in the German town of Jena in the late 18th century, instituted a revolution that can still be felt today. With a book written in lively prose and full of engaging anecdotes, Andrea Wulf (United Kingdom-Germany) offers a panorama of the most important ideas of Romantic philosophy and how these have become a part of the contemporary understanding of the subject. In conversation with Diego Rabasa.

Simultaneous interpretation from English to Spanish available

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Andrea Wulf in conversation with Diego Rabasa

Event 8

Hanan Issa and Dalia Larisa Juárez in conversation with Luz María Lepe

Poetry 2023

Museo de la Ciudad (Espacio escénico)
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Two contemporary poets talk about being a poet in 2023, about style, content and the links between language and other artistic disciplines. At the end of the discussion there will be a short reading. With Hanan Issa (Wales/Iraq), a Welsh writer and filmmaker of Iraqi origin, and 2022/23 Cymrawd Rhugwladol Hay Festival / Hay Festival International Fellow; and Querétaro poet Dalia Larisa Juárez (Mexico). They will talk to Luz María Lepe about their literary work, in which language and cultural heritage mix, come into conversation and sometimes disagree.

Simultaneous interpretation from English to Spanish available

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Hanan Issa and Dalia Larisa Juárez in conversation with Luz María Lepe

Event 9

Edmundo Paz Soldán in conversation with Eliezer Budasoff

Jardín Guerrero
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Edmundo Paz Soldán (Bolivia) is one of the most respected figures on the Spanish-language literary scene. A lecturer in Latin American Literature at Cornell University, he is the author of 13 novels, which have been translated into a dozen languages and have won numerous prestigious awards. His most recent book is La mirada de las plantas (2022), a novel in which the alteration of consciousness mingles with the complex reality inhabited by the protagonist, Rai, a psychiatrist who experiments with hallucinogenic plants and virtual reality, which results in experiences that resurrect a past of abuse and separation, framed within the conflict-strewn reality of the book’s geographical setting. He will talk about the book with Eliezer Budasoff.

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Edmundo Paz Soldán in conversation with Eliezer Budasoff

Event 10

Irene Solà in conversation with Yásnaya Elena Aguilar

Teatro de la Ciudad
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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 Yásnaya Elena Aguilar about this extraordinary novel and her new book, Et vaig donar ulls i vas mirar les tenebres, a story of living and dead women in a rural context, presented for the first time in Mexico.

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Irene Solà in conversation with Yásnaya Elena Aguilar

Event 11

Claudine Haroche in conversation with Mito Reyes

The future of sensibility

Cineteca Rosalío Solano - Escenario Gales / Llwyfan Cymru
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The sociologist Claudine Haroche (France) is emeritus Director of Medical Research at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and is affiliated to the School for the Higher Study of Social Sciences (EHESS) in France. In her book L’avenir du sensible, the author asks about the “sensitive” nature of human beings, based on the Renaissance ideas that have shaped our bodily, emotional and individual identities. Faced with a situation today in which so many of these identities have become fluid, the author examines the profound transformations in ways of being, feeling and thinking in the contemporary world, and reflects on the fate that awaits us, given these changes. At this event with Mito Reyes, Haroche will talk about her areas of speciality, including bodily behaviours, the mechanisms of psychological functioning, and how this affects ways of being and feeling human.

Simultaneous interpretation from French to Spanish available

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Claudine Haroche in conversation with Mito Reyes

Event 12

In Koli Jean Bofane in conversation with Emiliano Becerril

Museo de la Ciudad (Espacio escénico)
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In Koli Jean Bofane is one of the most preeminent Congolese writers, and his work is an examination of the globalisation and violence of post-colonial African societies. He is the author of five books that have been acclaimed by critics and have won numerous awards. In his most recent work published in Spanish, Mathématiques congolaises, we get to know the tribulations that Célio faces in a Kinshasa plagued by war, hunger, political corruption, social havoc and death, where the strains of this hostile environment take the characters to extreams that make us question, in essence, what is right and what is wrong? he will talk to his editor, Emiliano Becerril.

Simultaneous interpretation from French to Spanish available

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Event 13

Daniela Rea, Tania Tagle and Alejandro Zambra in conversation with Elvira Liceaga

With care

Jardín Guerrero
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Three writers talk about their works which deal with a matter that is both everyday and essential in our lives: care. The journalist Daniela Rea (Mexico) is the author of Fruto, a book that is about the contradictions of care based on 14 voices from different generations. 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, author of ten books that have been translated into at least 20 languages, has received awards such as the English PEN Award and the Prince Claus. In his book, Literatura infantile (2023), he offers a series of stories, both fictional and non-fiction, about childhood and fathering. In conversation with Elvira Liceaga.

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Daniela Rea, Tania Tagle and Alejandro Zambra in conversation with Elvira Liceaga

Event 14

Leontxo García in conversation with Jan Martínez Ahrens

El País América event

Teatro de la Ciudad
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Leontxo García (Spain) has been speaking and writing for 40 years about chess and its fascinating links with different fields of knowledge. At this event with Jan Martínez Ahrens, the author will share some views on this activity, which in recent years has enjoyed great success among Internet users. He will talk about its positive effects on the mental and emotional development of children, and its benefits in terms of the prevention of Alzheimer’s, and even the role that chess players have had in the struggles for power among the different geopolitical blocs over the course of history.

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Leontxo García in conversation with Jan Martínez Ahrens

Event 15

Edith Lendechy García, Zahara Gómez, Bibiana Mendoza and Daniela Rea in conversation with Isabel Posadas

A recipe book for the memory; a culinary, photographic and social project

Cineteca Rosalío Solano - Escenario Gales / Llwyfan Cymru
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Enforced disappearance is one of the most terrible problems that faces Mexican society today. Ten groups of victims of enforced disappearance are linked to the project Recetario para la memoria, a culinary, photographic and social initiative that seeks to make this issue, and the work of victims’ groups, visible through a printed book, co-published by the Universidad Iberoamericana de León. The book compiles the favourite dishes of the families of the people sought by tracking groups. With Edith Lendechy García, from the Colectivo Proyecto de Búsqueda de Celaya; the photographer Zahara Gómez; Bibiana Mendoza from the Colectivo Hasta Encontrarte de Irapuato; and the journalist and writer Daniel Rea. They will talk to Isabel Posadas.

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Event 16

Eider Rodríguez and Elvira Liceaga in conversation with Diego Rabasa

Museo de la Ciudad (Espacio Hay Festival)
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The Basque writer Eider Rodríguez will talk about her first novel, Material de construcción. With this book, the author uses the genre of autofiction to tell the story of a childhood and family life that bear the scars of the alcoholism of her father. The writer, publisher, broadcaster and literature teacher, Elvira Liceaga (Mexico), presents her novel Las vigilantes, which introduces Julia, a woman who returns to Mexico, to her maternal home, where she is awaited by Catalina. On this return trip she meets Silvia, a pregnant woman. The stories of these three women mingle in a story of care and watchfulness in which each one becomes a reflection of the others. In conversation with Diego Rabasa.

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Eider Rodríguez and Elvira Liceaga in conversation with Diego Rabasa

Event 17

Juan Villoro in conversation with Edmundo Paz Soldán

Jardín Guerrero
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Juan Villoro is one of the most appreciated and high-profile writers and thinkers in the world of Spanish-language letters. His body of work is both extensive and varied, ranging from fiction genres such as the novel and the short story, to essay, literary journalism and drama. Over the course of his career he has published over 50 books, received over 30 prizes —including the Herralde Novel Prize, the José Donoso Ibero-American Prize and the Gabo Foundation Prize for Journalistic Excellence—, and he has been awarded three honorary doctorates. In his recent book La figura del mundo (2023), Juan Villoro recreates his father, the Catalan-Mexican thinker, UNAM lecturer and founder of the UAM, social activist, Zapatista and author of many books of philosophy that are considered highly important in Mexico. A look at the public persona and the private individual, a great philosopher and the father of a great writer. In conversation with Edmundo Paz Soldán.

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Juan Villoro in conversation with Edmundo Paz Soldán

Event 19

Thomas Porcher in conversation with Eduardo Rabasa

Cineteca Rosalío Solano - Escenario Gales / Llwyfan Cymru
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The economist Thomas Porcher (France) presents his wildly successful book, now available in Spanish, Traité d’économie hérétique. In the book, the author questions the discourses of neoliberal economics, such as the myth of individual success, public expenditure and the rupture of the social model, and free exchange and the power of multinational companies. Well-known for his unorthodox positions on the economy, at this event, Porcher will also offer arguments and mechanisms in terms of practices that are alternatives to the dominant mindset. In conversation with Eduardo Rabasa.

Simultaneous interpretation from French to Spanish available

This event has taken place
Thomas Porcher in conversation with Eduardo Rabasa

Event 20

Eva Piquer and María Ptqk in conversation with Cristina Fuentes La Roche

Online culture

Museo de la Ciudad (Espacio Hay Festival)
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We talk about literature, literary production in non-traditional formats, and the intersections of art and writing, on how to narrate artistic experience through words, and also via cultural management projects. With Eva Piquer (Catalonia, Spain), the author of 13 books, former Literary Manager at the Thassalia publishing house and currently the Editor of the cultural magazine Catorze; and María Ptqk (Spain), cultural researcher and art curator with a doctorate in Artistic Research, who specialises in the ecological and the technoscientific, with a post-cultural perspective. In conversation with Cristina Fuentes La Roche, the festival director.

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Eva Piquer and María Ptqk in conversation with Cristina Fuentes La Roche

Event 21

Bárbara Anderson, Guillermo Arriaga and Enrique Covarrubias in conversation with Primitivo Olvera

(In)visibles

Jardín Guerrero
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Bárbara Anderson (Mexico) became involved in the advocacy of disability rights after the birth of her son Lucca with cerebral palsy. Enrique Covarrubias is one of Mexico’s most important editorial photographers, and the quadriplegia that has resulted from an accident has not stopped him from carrying out major photographic projects. In his latest novel, Extrañas, the Mexican writer Guillermo Arriaga deals with certain pathologies considered to be curses in 18th century England. They will talk about the stigmas and many forms of not being defined by disabilities, with the cultural journalist Primitivo Olvera.

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Bárbara Anderson, Guillermo Arriaga and Enrique Covarrubias in conversation with Primitivo Olvera

Event 32

Hernán Díaz in conversation with Elvira Liceaga

Teatro de la Ciudad
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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 latest book, Trust, has put his name on the longlist for the Booker Prize and it has recently been awarded the Pulitzer Prize. It is now being made into a series by the actor and producer Kate Winslet. The plot is about trust, money and power, and the novel is peopled by Wall Street magnates and eccentric aristocrats. In conversation with Elvira Liceaga, the author will talk about his latest work and will reflect on the unexpected links between money and fiction.

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Hernán Díaz in conversation with Elvira Liceaga

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