Hay Festival Digital #Imaginetheworld

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Event 19

Naomi Millner, Ted Feldpausch and Juan Cárdenas in conversation with Andy Fryers

TRANS.MISSION II: The history of life - understanding the natural resources of Colombia

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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Hay Festival and the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) present Trans.MISSION II, a new global project pairing leading environmental researchers with award-winning storytellers to communicate cutting-edge science to new audiences.

The Colombian strand of the project features Colombian writer and activist Juan Cárdenas and a team of experts led by Dr Naomi Milner and Dr Ted Feldpausch. Using the research work as inspiration, Juan has created a piece of creative writing to communicate the socio-ecological systems within Colombia and their response to environmental change. Dr Naomi Millner is Lecturer in Human Geography at  the University of Bristol and is working on one of three linked research projects under The Exploring & Understanding Colombian Bio Resources programme. Dr Ted Feldpausch is an Associate Professor at the University of Exeter whose research focuses on tropical forest and savanna ecology. Juan Cárdenas is a writer, creative writing teacher and activist who has worked extensively with Afrocolombian and indigenous communities mapping oral traditions. 

The story that Juan created using the research is called “Espiral” and can be watched here

At a time of unprecedented public interest in how human actions affect the environment, Trans.MISSION II pairs NERC researchers from Peru, Colombia and the UK with artists and storytellers in each country to create new stories about ongoing research projects.

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Event 20

Peter Lacy

The Circular Economy

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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We stand at a crossroads, with rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions, massive technological change and now an increasing array of social and environmental challenges. We are pushing planetary boundaries to their limits, with climate change and threats to biodiversity and oceans as just a few examples. Our current linear “take, make, waste” models of production and consumption will not be sustainable; the circular economy model offers a powerful means to decouple growth from use of scarce and harmful resources, enabling greater production and consumption with fewer negative impacts.

Our inaugural book Waste to Wealth (2015) identified a $4.5 trillion value at stake by 2030 through a radical departure from traditional production and consumption systems. Now, The Circular Economy Handbook, featuring insights gained from years of experience and an analysis of 1,500 case studies offers a practical view on how organizations can take transformative steps toward circularity and create new opportunities for competitiveness and sustainable prosperity. Lacy, co-author of the handbook, highlights the opportunity for value capture by adopting five new circular business models. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

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Event 21

Adam Rutherford

How to Argue with a Racist

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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The great deceit of evolution is that it has bestowed characteristics upon us that are visible but not meaningful. We are obsessed with categorisation, plagued by an innate and tyrannous desire to group things together, and this includes one another. One of the easiest ways is by skin colour, but as Adam Rutherford shows this is a terrible way to categorise people. The way we talk about race is not reflected in our modern understanding of the genetic basis of human variation. 'Black' is an identifier that says very little about the similarities of billions of people apart from a very imprecise reference to pigmentation. Variation in skin tone predated humans' emergence in Africa and is moderated by a handful of genes out of 20,000. And - crucially - there is more genetic diversity within Africa than in the rest of the world put together. These are scientifically uncontroversial things to say. Yet scientific racism is back, and increasingly part of the public discourse on politics, migration, education, sport and intelligence. How to Argue with a Racist is a short, crisp manifesto for a 21st-century understanding of human evolution and variation, and a timely weapon against the use of science to justify bigotry.

Rutherford presents BBC Radio 4’s weekly programme Inside Science, and with Dr. Hannah Fry, The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. He has written and presented several award winning television documentaries, including The Cell (2009), The Gene Code (2011), the Beauty of Anatomy (2014), and Playing God, on the rise of synthetic biology for the BBC’s long-running science series Horizon. His first book, Creation was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize. 

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Event 22

Elif Shafak and Philippe Sands

The English PEN Platform: Giving Voice

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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A conversation about writing into an authoritarian world, finding ways of telling truths and making the case for Human Rights. Shafak is the author of the global bestseller 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World. She writes in both Turkish and English. Sands is a lawyer, President of English PEN and the author of the Baillie Gifford Prize-winning East West Street. Introduced by Daniel Gorman, director of English PEN.

Buy 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World at Waterstones

Buy East West Street at Waterstones

Buy The Ratline at Waterstones

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Event 23

Afua Hirsch

The Christopher Hitchens Lecture

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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What is the future of journalism in our newly wrangled world? Hirsch is Wallis Annenberg Chair at The University of Southern California. She is the author of Brit(ish) and Equal to Everything, and hosts the About The British Empire podcast on audible. She writes for the Guardian, and broadcasts internationally. Chaired by Rosie Boycott.

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Buy Brit(ish) at Waterstones

Buy Equal to Everything at Waterstones

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Event 24

James Shapiro

Shakespeare in a Divided America

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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Shakespeare's position as England's national poet is established and unquestionable.

But as James Shapiro illuminates in this revelatory new history, Shakespeare has long held an essential place in American culture. Why, though, would a proudly independent republic embrace England's greatest writer? Especially when his works enact so many of America's darkest nightmares: interracial marriage, cross-dressing, same-sex love, tyranny, and assassination

Investigating a selection of defining moments in American history - drilling into issues of race, miscegenation, gender, patriotism and immigration; encountering Presidents, activists, writers and actors - Shapiro leads us to fascinating answers and uncovers rich and startling stories.

Shapiro, who teaches English at Columbia University in New York, is author of several books, including 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (winner of the BBC4 Samuel Johnson Prize in 2006), as well as Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? He also serves on the Board of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

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Event 25

Inua Ellams

An Evening with an Immigrant in a Time of Pandemic - or at least a half hour

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The multi-award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams introduces extracts from his celebrated autobiographical one-man show and discusses the latest twists and turns in his life with the online audience. Littered with poems, stories and anecdotes, the show tells his ridiculous, fantastic, poignant immigrant-story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, experiencing prejudice and friendship in Dublin, performing solo at the National Theatre, and drinking wine with the Queen of England, all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home.

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Event 26

Philippe Sands talks to Stephen Fry

The Ratline

Virtual venue: Baillie Gifford Digital Stage
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As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadeführer Otto Freiherr von Wächter presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed, including the family of the author's grandfather. By the time the war ended in May 1945, he was indicted for 'mass murder'. Hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the Poles and the British, as well as groups of Jews, Wächter went on the run. He spent three years hiding in the Austrian Alps, assisted by his wife Charlotte, before making his way to Rome where he was helped by a Vatican bishop. He remained there for three months. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the 'ratline' he died unexpectedly, in July 1949, a few days after spending a weekend with an 'old comrade'.

In The Ratline Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a senior Nazi and fugitive, and of his wife. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, on the run, in Rome, and into the Cold War. Eventually the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wächter's youngest son, who continues to believe his father was a good man - what happened to Otto Wächter, and how did he die?

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Event 27

Miriam González Durántez

Imagine the World in the time of the Coronavirus 2: Legislation for Domestic Work

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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In this second of a series of short talks specially commissioned to engage with renewal, the Palo Alto-based Spanish lawyer, an expert on EU legislation and founder of the project Inspiring girls, speaks about the unpaid and undervalued domestic work that allows family units to function but is still not accounted or legislated. The coronavirus crisis has shifted the attention to what goes on inside the home and González Durántez will explore why domestic work is so crucial for society.

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Event 28

Natalie Haynes & Chris Riddell

Troy Story - with live drawing

Virtual venue: Llwyfan Cymru Digidol – Wales Digital Stage
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The devastating consequences of the fall of Troy stretch from Mount Olympus to Mount Ida, from the citadel of Troy to the distant Greek islands, and across the oceans and sky in between. These are the stories of the women embroiled in that legendary war and its terrible aftermath, as well as the feud and the fatal decisions that started it all. With wit and humour, stand-up comedian, Radio 4 broadcaster and classicist Natalie Haynes brings the story of the Trojan War to life from an all-female perspective, giving voices to the women, girls and goddesses who, for so long, have been silent. The great illustrator and cartoonist Chris Riddell will live draw the cast of heroines as the show develops. Haynes’ novel A Thousand Ships has been shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize.

Buy A Thousand Ships at Waterstones

Buy Doodle-a-Day at Waterstones

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