Global publishing plans unveiled for Hay Festival Europa28

Hay Festival has unveiled ambitious international publishing plans for Hay Festival Europa28: Visions for the Future, a collection of new work by women writers, artists and scientists exploring the future of Europe.

Announced today at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019 during a panel event featuring Hay Festival chair Caroline Michel and Fraktura publisher Roman Simic, the Hay Festival Europa28 campaign includes a new collaboration between publishers Comma Press in the UK, Fraktura in Croatia, and Galaxia Gutenberg in Spain, to publish and promote the work alongside a series of international events.

Hay Festival Europa28 is a global initiative to celebrate and enhance the contribution of women to European literature, science and the arts. Twenty-eight women writers and artists from different fields – one from each EU country – have been selected to take part in the project. Each has written her “vision for the future of Europe”, to form the basis of a new book scheduled for release on 19 March 2020 and to spark conversations and debate in Hay Festival events throughout 2020.

The selection is a multi-disciplinary snapshot of the best minds of our time, including novelist Leïla Slimani (France), entrepreneur Hilary Cottam (UK), activist Janne Teller (Denmark), anthropologist Gloria Wekker (Netherlands), and actress Lisa Dwan (Ireland).

The project culminates in the three-day Hay Festival Europa28 in Rijeka, Croatia, 3-5 June, run in partnership with the European Short Story Festival, Rijeka University and the European Capital of Culture Rijeka 2020. The new Festival will feature panel discussions, readings and performances from the Europa28 alongside workshops and events in local schools, libraries and the university.

Cristina Fuentes, Hay Festival international director, said: “Europe is a continent in perpetual change. It has been the birthplace of some of the world's most unifying works of art and its most terrifying ideologies. Hay Festival Europa28 seeks to unearth the new ideas and art that can lead us forward in this moment of political and cultural division, driven by an inspiring group of women who share their visions as beacons to guide the next generation. Our new anthology and events will be spaces in which to think and to hope. Join us.”

Joan Tarrida, editor at Galaxia Gutenberg said: “One of the functions of the editor, from my point of view, is to offer texts that help the reader to form a critical opinion about what is happening in the world. And the book Europa 28 brings together some of the best female European critical voices. That’s why we are delighted to be able to edit the book in Spanish and make the project known to all readers of Spanish-speaking countries.”

Sarah Cleave, publishing manager at Comma Press, said: “As a publisher, Comma is committed to platforming writers and writing that challenge readers and offer new perspectives on global issues. The stories and essays compiled in this anthology do exactly that; they examine both the idea and the reality of Europe and put forward a set of ideas – a creative manifesto if you like – on how we might rebuild it for the better.”

Hilary Cottam, author of Radical Help and Hay Festival Europa28 representative for the UK, said about her part in the project: “We are in the grip of a technology revolution that is changing the contours of our continent; our public and private worlds. In response, Europe needs a sibling social revolution: bold systems, radical mindsets: new ways of supporting all to flourish. This is my work – the creation of new and radical social systems designed with and for communities across Europe. So I am honoured and delighted to be collaborating with the amazing women of Hay Festival Europa28: together we will seed something special.”

See the full Hay Festival Europa28 selection here.

The project is co-funded by Creative Europe Programme of the European Union through Wom@rts, which aims to promote an equal, shared presence of women as active agents in the artistic arena, and runs a wide range of cultural activities in different European cities leading up to 2020.

A digital project launched alongside today’s announcement invites the public to submit their own thoughts on what Europe means to them for the chance to win a trip to Hay Festival Europa28 in Rijeka next June and a copy of the new collection. See here for more.