Disappearing Wall

The project Disappearing Wall was an interactive installation designed for public spaces whose objective was to celebrate Germany’s presidency of the Council of the European Union during the second half of 2020. This travelling installation was inaugurated at the Hay Festival Segovia and was then be taken to the other participating countries in Europe. The objective was to symbolize the fading of the borders between countries through the exchange of their cultures. The installation stemmed from an idea by Marina Jablonina and executed by the engineer Werner Sobek at the request of the Goethe-Institut. The project consisted of a methacrylate structure filled with approximately 6,000 wooden blocks, each with an engraved quote, either a thought from Hannah Arendt, part of a lyric from a Beatles song, a quotation from the movie Amélie or a citation from the Hungarian Nobel Prize winner Imre Kertész. Residents of the European Union were invited to participate by selecting their favourite quote, from which a jury - Sheila Cremaschi (director of the Hay Festival Segovia), Núria Sara Miras (professor of political philosophy at the University of Barcelona), Arnau Pons (poet, essayist and literary translator and editor) and Óscar Quejido (professor of philosophy at the Complutense University of Madrid - selected the best ones. The public was invited to participate, taking as a souvenir one of the wooden blocks that made up the wall, so that the image transformed as passers-by saw the “wall” become more and more transparent. The wall gradually “disappeared” and the phrases "reappeared" in the houses of those who took part in the project.

To inaugurate the installation, which was broadcast simultaneously to all of the participating European countries, the Mayoress of Segovia Clara Luquero removed the first wooden block and read the phrase inscribed. She was followed by Wolfgang Hermann Dold, Ambassador of Germany to Spain, Reinhard Maiworm, Director of the Goethe-Institut Madrid, and Emilio Gilolmo, Vice-president and Secretary of the Association Hay Festival de España. Friends of the festival followed: Carolina Barco, Santiago Íñiguez, José Ramón González, Ana Gavin, Pablo Pérez, Gina Aguiar, Emilio Gil, Isabel Fuentes, Beltrán Gambier, Rebeca Castellano, Mark Howard, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Andy Mackay, José María Beneyto, Laura Ventura, Alberto Reguera, Koula Sophianou, Vera Reisner, María Floarea Pop, Augusto Paramio, Agustín García Mantilla and Juan Carlos Galindo, among others, removed a wooden block and read the phrase.

Disappearing Wall
Goethe Institut

Photographs: © Felix Rettberg and Natalia Cheban, courtesy of Goethe Institut


Grupo Planeta

Grupo Planeta, which in 2019 celebrated the 70th anniversary of its foundation by José Manuel Lara this year, is the largest publishing group in Spanish in the world; and the eighth largest in terms of profit. It includes over 50 publishing brands, covering online sales, teaching and university departments, education and media including the Atresmedia Group and publishers in Latin America. It holds one of the most prestigious catalogues of national and international authors.

Universidad IE, Aula Magna
Grupo Planeta
Logo Fundación José Manuel Lara


The province of Segovia has a long-established wood industry. Pallets EUR – the only pallet brand on the market with a quality certificate – is established here.

Creativity with pallets
EUR logo

These pallets are going to be repurposed to redecorate the city, bringing ecological awareness to spaces created by Hay Festival to frame its cultural activities.

EUR Pallets are committed to environmental responsibility and sustainability.

British Council: It's time to talk (to each other)

The British Council, a global partner of Hay Festival, is this year offering a programme aiming to bring the Festival to the streets, squares and gardens of Segovia. The town as a space for cohabitation, but also for cultural diversity, will be the epicentre of this multidisciplinary programme. The audience will be able to participate in these activities, as they turn into true protagonists.

Within its “It's Time to Talk” programme, the British Council plans to participate in this new edition of the Hay Festival Segovia by exploring the creation of safe spaces to foster dialogue and reflect on human behaviour in the face of major geopolitical events and movements, and also on the consequences of globalization on our sustainability. The British programme will consist of face-to-face and online interactions, with the participation of experts from the fields of investigative journalism, biostatistics and the fashion industry to analyse the leading role that technology plays in our behaviours and the tools at within our reach to direct our future and that of our planet.

Girl reading on grass
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Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) is a Spanish public body dedicated to promoting Spain’s culture and heritage, inside and outside the country, through an extensive programme of activities.

This includes exhibitions, meetings, conferences, film, theatre, music, audio-visual productions and initiatives that boost the mobility of professionals and artists. As part of the promotion of the internationalisation and mobility of Spanish literary professionals, AC/E collaborates with Hay Festivals held around the world, co-organising activities for the promotion and dissemination abroad of the work of Spanish writers. Visit

Goberno de España Acción Cultural Española logo

Trinity College London

For the sixth year in a row, the collaboration between Trinity College London and Hay Festival Segovia promotes communicative education through musical, dramatic and verbal languages.

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RENFE takes you to Hay Festival at high speed (Avant).

Renfe train
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Renfe once again joins in the celebration of this important cultural festival, which fills Segovia with exciting and varied artistic activities.

Thanks to the numerous high-speed connections on AVANT trains, traveling to Segovia from Madrid or Valladolid is a quick and easy commute, taking around 30 minutes. Other rail services from the north-east of the peninsula also make it easier to visit Segovia during the festival.

Renfe's modern trains have all the amenities needed to make the trip a great travel experience, providing access for people with reduced mobility, including specific seats and adapted toilets.

The train is the most comfortable, fast and environmentally sustainable means of transport to travel to Segovia and enjoy Hay Festival.

More information about travel schedules, prices and connections to Segovia at, or telephone 912 320 320.

Discover more at, Twitter @renfe, Instagram @renfeoficial and at


This year the Provincial Council of Segovia collaborates with the exhibition of the multi-media artist Ana de Alvear “Let it be done unto me according to your word” at the Chapel of Esteban Vicente Museum. In addition, the Teatro Juan Bravo will host four conversations: Almudena Grandes and Helena Resano; Elvira Lindo and Inés Martín Rodrigo; Guillermo Arriaga and Antonio Lucas; Isabel Coixet and Jesús Ruiz Mantilla.

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Podimo in collaboration with HAY Festival will record the best events of this edition. Bringing the festival closer to all those who choose a digital format.

Podimo is Europe's leading podcast platform that offers personal recommendations to users and supports creators through an innovative user-centered revenue sharing model. It is currently operational in Denmark, Germany and Spain. Users and subscribers have access to thousands of the best podcasts on the market, as well as completely new and unique programs that can't be found anywhere else.

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