Hay Festival Querétaro 2019 programme unveiled

Hay Festival has today announced the line-up for the 14th edition in Mexico, Hay Festival Querétaro (5-8 September), with a blend of Nobel laureates, award-winning writers and journalists, global policy makers and innovators leading an international programme spanning 90 events over four days.

The power of fiction, the vibrancy of indigenous literature, and the biggest issues facing Mexico and the wider world today are explored in events featuring more than 140 speakers and performers from around the world.

Explore the programme and book tickets here.

The fourteenth Hay Festival in Mexico, Querétaro follows editions in Zacatecas, Xalapa and Mexico City. One of the northern hemisphere’s fastest growing cities and a World Heritage City, Querétaro’s majestic architecture makes for a unique Festival backdrop as Hay Festival Querétaro takes over the city’s cultural venues including the Republic Theatre, the Cineteca, the Guerrero Garden and the City Museum.

Twenty-five per cent of main stage event capacity is also available free to students, while events for children (Hay Festivalito) and students (Hay Joven) reach far into the surrounding region. Satellite events – Hay Forum Dallas in Texas, USA (7-8 September) and outreach events in Monterrey’s Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico (5-10 September) – further promote the global exchange of ideas.

Cristina Fuentes, Hay Festival international director, said: “Here is a programme that mixes the very best of Mexico’s literary talent with the world’s greatest writers and thinkers in tackling the biggest questions of our time. With our most international line-up yet and satellite events in Dallas and Monterrey, this year’s Festival will showcase the unique power of art to cross borders and bridge global divides. It’ll be a party too with chart-topping musicians from around the world taking over the city for late night revelry. Join us.”


Critically acclaimed writers from around the world take to the Festival stages to discuss the power of fiction, including Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Michael Ondaajte, Maltese-American cartoonist Joe Sacco, Chilean writers Lina Meruane and Alejandra Costamagna, Peruvian novelist Karina Pacheco, Canadian author Katherena Vermette, Spanish poet Eva Baltasar, Colombian writer Santiago Gamboa, and Ecuadorian writer and journalist María Fernando Ampuero, Italian thriller writer Sandrone Dazieri, and British author Rhidian Brook. Plus, from Wales, the Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Gwyl y Gelli / Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellowship recipients Dylan Moore and Alys Conran discuss their work.

A selection of Mexico’s greatest contemporary authors present new work, including Antonio Ortuño, Yuri Herrera, Luis Felipe Fabre, Vivian Abenshushan, Isabel Zapata, Élmer Mendoza, Luis Jorge Boone, Yael Weiss, Rosa Beltrán, Eduardo Rabasa, Carlos V Velásquez, Gabriela Jauregui, Bernardo Esquinca, Elvira Liceaga, Alberto Chimal and Jorge Comensal, while Yásnaya Elena Aguilar discusses her work on indigenous languages.

Some of the biggest issues facing the world today are tackled. Former President of Colombia and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Juan Manuel Santos presents his new book La batalla por la paz; Pablo Ordaz and Jon Lee Anderson talk nationalism in the 21st century; former advisor to Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes, talks American politics; and gender equality and the global #metoo movement are explored in conversations with María Fernanda Ampuero, Gabriela Jauregui, Lina Meruane and Isabel Zapata. Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón describes his fascinating career defending human rights, while Palestinian activist Izzeldin Abuelaish discusses conflict resolution.

Global Festival projects are reflected on stage as Sarah Churchwell appears in the Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer’s Award platform event (find out more about the Award here) to talk Behold America, while the Festival’s collaboration with Wom@rts sees appearances from documentary maker Kate Horne, journalist Gaby Wood, and editor Paula Canal.

Mexico today comes under the Festival spotlight as Mexico’s new government is appraised by journalists led by Julio Hernández; Mexican politician Tatiana Clouthier shares her intimate campaign diary; Julio Patán and Alejandro Rosas present their Mexico Bizarro II; Daniela Rea and Pablo Ferri look at the Mexican army in La tropa; and directors Diego Luna and Diego Rabasa join activist Brenda Rangel to discuss the tragedy of the more than 30,000 missing people of Mexico’s drug wars.

The latest in scientific discovery takes centre-stage in conversations with Spanish cosmologist Roberto Emparan and Mexican physicist Gerardo Herrera Corral; German philosopher Wolfrang Eilenberger presents The Age of Magic, and Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge talks about the value of walking.

Literature is brought to life in performance events throughout the Festival. Spanish poets Elvira Sastre and Andrea Valbuena deliver public readings; France's Frederic Dumond offers an audiovisual literary performance; and Hay Illustrado returns to spotlight the world’s best illustrators on the Festival stages, with Trino, Bef, Doctor Alderete, Elisa Arguilé, and Renata Mtfz drawing live, directed by Laura García.

New films will be premièred in Querétaro during the Festival weekend, including The Aftermath, based on the novel by Rhidian Brook, the documentary The Code, presented by Baltasar Garzón, and a series on indigenous radio stations Ecos indígenas, La Voz de la Diversidad. Mexican photographer Antonio Turok is celebrated in an exhibition at the Regional Museum; while Swedish and Mexican photographers reflect on paternity in the City Museum.

Late-night Festival entertainment includes music from international stars including The Wutang Clan’s U-God, Radio Futura singer Santiago Auserón, and founding member of The Cure, Lol Tolhurst.

Hay Festivalito offers up a rich strand of programming for children and families with storyteller Benito Taibo, cartoonists Trino and Luigi Amara, Gina Jaramillo, Celso Roman and Leire Bilbao. Meanwhile, Hay Joven presents free events for students in universities UNAM, ITEMS, UAQ, TECMilenio and Anáhuac: featuring Laura García, a special event to launch the Festival’s new Ellipsis anthology of emerging Mexican writers; Eduardo Rabasa talking about George Orwell; and BBC Mundo masterclasses.

The Festival extends its magic to the city of Monterrey, through an alliance with the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, where free events will take place 5-10 September, featuring Izzeldin Abuelaish, Baltasar Garzón, Eva Baltasar, Elvira Sastre and Andrea Valbuena.

In addition, Hay Forum Dallas returns to the Texan city for a border-hopping weekend of free events 7-8 September, in collaboration with The Wild Detectives, featuring U-God, Luis Felipe Fabre, Jon Lee Anderson and guests. Find out more here.

Explore the full Hay Festival Querétaro 2019 programme here. Explore highlights from last year's Festival on Hay Player here.