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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.

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Journalism

Filip Springer

History of a Disappearance: The Story of a Forgotten Polish Town

Event 48 Venue: Cube

Filip Springer

Lying at the crucible of Central Europe, the Silesian village of Kupferberg suffered the violence of the Thirty Years War, the Napoleonic Wars, and World War I. After Stalin’s post-World War II redrawing of Poland’s borders, Kupferberg became Miedzianka, a town settled by displaced persons from all over Poland and a new centre of the Eastern Bloc’s uranium-mining industry. Decades of neglect and environmental degradation led to the town being declared uninhabitable, and the population was evacuated. Today, it exists only in ruins, with barely a hundred people living on the unstable ground above its collapsing mines. The journalist and photographer tells its story.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Ahdaf Soueif talks to George Alagiah

BBC Talking Books 1: This is Not a Border

Event 57 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

The Egyptian novelist discusses her writing and her heroic Palfest festival, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year with an anthology This Is Not a Border: Reportage and Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature. Soueif’s fiction includes In The Eye of the Sun and The Map of Love. Her non-fiction work includes Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed.

This event will be recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books

Price: £7.30
 
 

Jeremy Paxman interrogated by Marcus Brigstocke

A Life in Questions

Event 65 Venue: Tata Tent

Jeremy Paxman interrogated by Marcus Brigstocke

Why is this lying bastard lying to me?” was at the front of his mind as the grand inquisitor conducted every interview on Newsnight. He has been known to be less hard on the students of University Challenge. He is lightly grilled with a touch of spice by the satirist and Now Show star.

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Christina Lamb, Helena Kennedy, Rachael Jolley and Joan Bakewell

The War on Women

Event 97 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Christina Lamb, Helena Kennedy, Rachael Jolley and Joan Bakewell

In a tribute to the late frontline journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts and her posthumously-published book, a panel of three exceptional and indefatigable heroes talk to Joan Bakewell about The War on Women. Lamb is the Foreign Correspondent of The Sunday Times and the author of Farewell Kabul and The Girl from Aleppo. Kennedy is a world-renowned Human Rights lawyer. Jolley is editor of Index on Censorship.

With thanks to Nick Guthrie

Price: £8.30
 
 

Lydia Cacho and Anabel Hernández talk to Gaby Wood

The Sorrows of Mexico

Event 143 Venue: Starlight Stage

Lydia Cacho and Anabel Hernández talk to Gaby Wood

Veering between carnival and apocalypse, Mexico has in the past ten years become the epicentre of the international drug trade. The so-called war on drugs has been a brutal and chaotic failure: more than 160,000 lives have been lost. The drug cartels and the forces of law and order are often in collusion; corruption is everywhere. Life is cheap, and inconvenient people – the poor, the unlucky, the honest or the inquisitive – become the ‘disappeared’, leaving not a trace behind. In September 2015, more than 26,798 were officially registered as ‘not located’. Yet people in all walks of life have refused to give up. Hernandez gives a chilling account of the ‘disappearance'” of 43 students. Cacho describes what it’s like to live every day as a journalist under threat of death.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Polly Toynbee and David Walker

Dismembered: How the Attack on the State Harms Us All

Event 168 Venue: Oxfam Moot

The two journalists travelled around Great Britain gathering the voices of the people who make up the public sector: nurses and patients, teachers and policemen and civilians. The story they tell is one of society’s dismemberment across our nation state: a fragmented NHS, a reduced police force, divided schools and a vulnerable military.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Stephen Fry, Bettany Hughes, Lawrence Krauss and Martin Rees

The Christopher Hitchens Platform: A New Enlightenment?

Event 179 Venue: Tata Tent

Stephen Fry, Bettany Hughes, Lawrence Krauss and Martin Rees

In a world of broken institutions and failing states, of corrupted democracies and of post-truth politicians; in a world of fake news, faith schools and fundamentalism, we need a rational and humane voice. We need a new Enlightenment. Where do we start?

Price: £12.30
 
 

Kati Marton talks to Corisande Albert

True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy

Event 192 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

The harrowing story of an American traitor who sold out his country to the Russian president. Noel Field, once a well-meaning and privileged American working in the State Department, spied for the Soviets during the 1930s and -40s. Later, a pawn in Stalin’s sinister master strategy, Field was kidnapped and tortured by the KGB, and forced to testify against his own Communist comrades. Marton is an award-winning journalist, a human rights campaigner, and the author of Enemies of the People and The Great Escape.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Marcus Brigstocke, Carrie Quinlan and Andre Vincent

The Early Edition: The News Review Revue

Event 213 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

What’s hot? What’s not? How do you decode the qualities’ agendas and how far can you trust the red tops? Why did this make the news and that make chip-wrapping? The comedians spend an hour in the human zoo, tearing up stories, making mad the guilty and appalling the free…

Price: £7.30
 
 

Conor Woodman

Sharks: Investigating the Criminal Heart of the Global City

Event 247 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Conor Woodman

The investigative reporter takes us on a journey through the lawless backstreets of cities as diverse as Mumbai, Bogotá, New Orleans, Barcelona and London. He uncovers the people and the scams that keep the global black economy moving. From dice games in steamy southern states to torture in British suburbs; from the sharp end of currency counterfeiting in Buenos Aires to the terrible truth behind antique forgery in the Middle East.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Pete Brown

Miracle Brew – A Journey into the Four Ingredients of Beer

Event 251 Venue: Starlight Stage

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink on the planet, but very few people have any idea what it is made of. We all know that wine is made by fermenting pressed juice from grapes and cider comes from pressing apples but what about beer? Beer is traditionally made from four natural ingredients: malted barley, hops, yeast and water, and each of these has an extraordinary story to tell. Brown is a journalist and author who specialises in making people thirsty.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Sean Dagan Wood, Martin Wright and Mark Stevenson

Good News is No News

Event 268 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Environmentalists are good at scare stories; but is a diet of doom and gloom turning people off? Would it be better to inspire people with positive news? Or would that fail to win headlines in a media that still follows the old adage, ‘If it bleeds, it leads’?

Price: £7.30
 
 

Alastair Sawday talks to Kitty Corrigan

Travelling Light: Journeys Among Special People and Places

Event 271 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

The campaigner, publisher and wanderer has spent his life travelling: “The richer our imaginations, the richer our travel experience. We British do things one way and the Spaniards another; there are unlimited ways of doing everything. Kindness is found in unexpected places, as is eccentricity. Eccentrics are an endangered species and need as much protection as does the house sparrow.”

Price: £7.30
 
 

Marcus Brigstocke, Carrie Quinlan and Andre Vincent

The Early Edition: The News Review Revue 2

Event 308 Venue: Tata Tent

Marcus Brigstocke, Carrie Quinlan and Andre Vincent

The comedians read the papers for laughs. A little breakfast-time mockery may be in order as they hunt for the news that makes the biggest splash and the least sense. Not for the easily offended or the politically confident. #factcheck #funcheck

Price: £7.30