Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2023

Welcome to the Winter Weekend 2023 programme. You can purchase individual tickets for in-person live events or, if you are unable to come to Hay, you can watch the festival from your own home with an Online Festival Pass.
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Event 2

Danny Dorling and Tim Marshall talk to Oliver Bullough

Worlds Apart – Mapping Inequality

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

One of the UK’s leading geographers, Danny Dorling shows why we are growing further and further apart in his new book Shattered Nation. Looking at hunger, precarity, waste, exploitation and fear, Dorling looks at how Britain, once the leading economy in Europe, is now the most unequal and what we must do to save Britain from becoming a failed state.

Dorling is Halford Mackinder professor of geography at the University of Oxford, and regularly advises the government and the Office for National Statistics.

In Tim Marshall’s new book The Future of Geography, he tackles astropolitics, exploring how politics and geography are as important in the skies as on the ground, and what it all means for us on Earth.

Marshall is a leading authority on foreign affairs with more than 30 years of reporting experience from countries including Croatia, Bosnia, Israel, Kosovo and Afghanistan. He is the author of Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps that Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics and The Power of Geography: Ten Maps that Reveal the Future of Our World.

Offering powerful insights and giving us a new perspective on our world (and beyond), the pair speak to author and journalist Oliver Bullough.

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Event 3

Julie Finch talks to Adam Rutherford

Hay Festival Open Forum

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

The challenges for literary festivals are numerous, from considering questions around funding, sustainability and free expression to ensuring that festivals are open and welcoming to all, and promote fresh thinking and bold solutions to the problems society faces.

Join Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch for a special Hay Festival Winter Weekend forum discussing and imagining the future of festivals. Gain a preview of Hay Festival’s future plans, ask questions and share ideas.

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Event 9

Chris Bryant and Dominic Grieve talk to Jennifer Nadel

State of the Nation

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

Turmoil, scandal, rule-breaking: three things that can sum up the state of British politics in recent years. Join historian and MP for Rhondda Chris Bryant and barrister and former MP and attorney general for England and Wales Dominic Grieve as they discuss with expert insight and honesty how the House of Commons and the Conservative Party can get themselves back on track.

In his book Code of Conduct, Bryant takes readers inside the Pugin-carpeted corridors of Westminster, from the prime minister's office to the Strangers' Bar, to examine every angle of parliamentary conduct and suggests how parliament might – at long last – get its house in order.

Grieve is one of the contributors to The Case for the Centre Right, edited by David Gauke, in which he and other leading figures on the centre right explore how the Conservative Party morphed into a populist movement and make the case for a return to the liberal centre right.

Bryant and Grieve talk to barrister and journalist Jennifer Nadel, leader of UK think tank Compassion In Politics.

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Event 19

Lewis Dartnell

Being Human: How Our Biology Shaped World History

 St Mary’s Church

We are a wonder of evolution. Powerful yet dextrous, instinctive yet thoughtful, we are expert innovators. These abilities have created the civilisation we know today. But we're also deeply flawed. Our bodies break, diseases thwart our boldest plans, our psychological biases have resulted in terrible decisions in war and peacetime. This contradiction is the essence of what it means to be human, says the astrobiologist and New Scientist contributor, whose earlier book Origins: How the Earth Shaped Human History, was described by historian Peter Frankopan as "a sweeping, brilliant overview of the history not only of our species but of the world". In his new title, he explores how our biology has shaped our relationships, societies, economies and wars.
In conversation with Andy Fryers, Sustainability Director, Hay Festival Foundation.

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Event 23

Gavin Esler and Lisa Nandy talk to Jennifer Nadel

Make Britain Great Again?

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

For centuries, British identity has been shaped by ideas of exceptionalism, grandeur and competence, but British democracy is failing and for decades, large swathes of the country have been shut out, condemned to low productivity, underinvestment and managed decline, stripped of their voice.

Award-winning journalist Gavin Esler and MP Lisa Nandy set out how Britain can build a better future for everyone and reimagine the relationship between a government and its people.

Esler’s Britain Is Better Than This explores the structural and constitutional failures at the heart of a sclerotic political system and offers practical solutions to answer the key question of our time: what do we need to do to build a better future?

In All In: How We Build a Country That Works, Nandy – MP for Wigan and Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – charts a course towards a fairer, more equal and more prosperous country by drawing on the greatest asset we have: each other.

In conversation with barrister and journalist Jennifer Nadel, leader of UK think tank Compassion In Politics.

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Event 30

Laura Bates, Will Gompertz and David Olusoga talk to Afua Hirsch

Hay Festival Thinkers in Residence – A Future Not Yet Imagined

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

A trio of this year’s Hay Festival Thinkers in Residence – Laura Bates, Will Gompertz and David Olusoga – take stock of the biggest issues facing society today, following on from the expert insights shared at this summer’s Hay Festival.

The three discuss everything from what a new system for an integrated and respectful society would look like to how we go about rewriting history, and how we access, look at and assess modern art.

Bates is founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a collection of experiences of harassment, discrimination and abuse. Her books include Men Who Hate Women and Fix the System, Not the Women.

Gompertz is the former artistic director at the Barbican and former BBC Arts editor and director of the Tate Galleries. He is the author of What are you Looking At? 50 Years of Modern Art in the Blink of an Eye.

Olusoga is professor of public history at Manchester University, a BAFTA award-winning documentary maker, broadcaster and writer, and the author of the award-winning Black and British.

They talk to broadcaster, writer and journalist Afua Hirsch.

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Event 32

James O’Brien talks to Laura Bates

How They Broke Britain

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

James O’Brien has been speaking boldly, honestly and incisively about the state of Britain – from our troubled political systems to the country’s growing social divisions – in his work as a radio presenter and author.

Join him as he speaks to Laura Bates about his new book How They Broke Britain, a look at a shady network of influence that has made the UK a country of strikes, shortages, and scandals. From think tanks to politicians and businessmen, O’Brien reveals how a select few have conspired – either by incompetence or by design – to bring Britain to its knees.

O'Brien is an award-winning writer and broadcaster whose daily current affairs programme is the most popular show on LBC. His first book, How To Be Right, won the Parliamentary Book Award for Best Political Book by a nonpolitician.

Bates is a writer and activist and founder of the Everyday Sexism Project. She is one of the Hay Festival Thinkers in Residence.

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Event 34

Planet Assembly

Winter Weekend Workshop

 Richard Booth’s Bookshop Yoga Studio

Hay Festival’s Planet Assembly workshops, held every day during this year’s summer festival, brought together bold ideas around how to accelerate change needed to tackle our acute climate and biodiversity emergencies.

Laypeople, scientists, commentators, and experts put forward fresh thinking on facing climate change and its effects, and on how to look after our planet better.

At the Winter Weekend Workshop, we want to focus on what these big ideas mean for our own town of Hay-on-Wye, learning from others, sharing what is already happening and discussing what still needs to be done.

The Planet Assembly workshop is the next step in tackling the climate emergency, and is a chance to reconvene, discuss progress and re-energise.

Access on Brook Street rather than through the main shop
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Event 35

Susie Dent and Sarah Ogilvie talk to Stephen Fry

Shot-clogs, Bumbershoots and Cacklefarts

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

Feel astounded, amazed, delighted and jubilant with Susie Dent and Sarah Ogilvie, as they discuss long-forgotten words, the history of the dictionary, and the joy of language with Stephen Fry.

Bestselling author, broadcaster and word expert Susie Dent’s latest book Roots of Happiness sees Dent gathering together happy and uplifting words and phrases that have been long forgotten or only just been discovered, from mubble fubbles (a slightly sad mood) to gigglemug.

In her new book, The Dictionary People, lexicographer Sarah Ogilvie dives deep into previously untapped archives to tell a people's history of the Oxford English Dictionary, tracing the lives of thousands of contributors who defined the English language, from the eccentric autodidacts to the family groups who made world collection their passion.

Ogilvie teaches at the University of Oxford, and specialises in language, dictionaries, and technology.

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