Spain’s Hay Festival Segovia To Feature a Focus on Europe

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The international Hay Festival circuit has opened for this year’s events, with the Segovia program set for September 19 to 22.

At Hay Festival Segovia in Convento Santa Maria la Real. Image: Hay, Javier Salcedo

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @porter_anderson

Tickets Now on Sale for Segovia, Querétaro
Programming details of the September 19 to 22 Hay Festival Segovia event have been announced this morning (June 26) in London, with what organizers are describing as “conversations on the future of Europe and the power of fiction to change minds” at the fore.

The Spanish festival is the second of the Hay’s international network of events that follow the flagship fair in Wales. The first is in Mexico at Querétaro and runs September 6 to 9.

The main Hay Festival event in Wales closed on June 2 after hosting around 600 speakers and performers in 11 days. The company reports that 278,000 tickets were sold, an increase of some 5,000 from 2018. Attendees, say officials, came to the festival from some approximately 40 countries. A new international Hay Festival project was established—Europa 28—bringing together women authors, thinkers, writers and scientists, one participant from each EU country, across genres and generations. They’re discussing their visions for the future of Europe and the program is to culminate a new festival in the upcoming European Capital of Culture, Rijeka, Croatia, in June 2020.

In Spain, Segovia is an hour’s drive from Madrid, is a popular destination for its Roman aqueduct, the Alcázar, and other landmarks, and as in many of its international featival locations, the Hay utilizes gardens, plazas, and many different performance spaces for its events.

Speakers include authors, economists, filmmakers, and more, under the direction of Maria Sheila Cremaschi. In a prepared statement, she’s quoted, saying, ““Hay Festival Seogiva 2019 brings writers and readers together to discuss the fragility of the world in which we live, and to present ideas that offer us reasons to be optimistic about our shared future.

“Performers, artists and thinkers will transform the city’s public libraries, squares and iconic theatres, into hubs of creativity, innovation and hope.” Her program features the familiar mix of literary and current-affairs speakers and topics.

Festival art exhibitions and installations will display the work of sculptor Ricardo Cárdenas, photographer Ricardo Martín, collector Daniel Parra, and multidisciplinary artist Alberto Reguera.

At Hay Festival Segovia. Image: Hay, Javier Salcedo

Selected Speakers Appearing at Segovia

International writers who are to be featured include:

  • Iraqi novelist Ahmed Saadawi (Frankenstein in Baghdad)
  • British poet, playwright, and performer Inua Ellams is to speak on identity, migration and co-existence
  • Mexican novelist Valeria Luiselli discusses her latest release in Spain, El archivo del niño desaparecido (The File of the Missing Child)
  • Greek writer Theodor Kallifatides presents his memoir, Another Life to Live
  • Czech novelist Monika Zgustová talks about Un revólver para salir de noche (A Handgun for Going out at Night)
  • American crime writer James Ellroy talks about his works including LA Confidential and The Black Dahlia
  • From Wales, Alys Conran discusses her work as the Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Gwyl y Gelli, or Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellowship
    2019-20 recipient.

From Spain, featured writers include:

  • Antonio Muñoz Molina on his newest book, Tus pasos en la escalera (Your Footsteps on the Staircase)
  • Elia Barceló with El eco de la piel (The Echo of the Skin)
  • Domingo Villar with the third instalment of his series, El último barco (The Last Boat)
  • Elisabet Benavent with Toda la verdad de mis mentiras (The Whole Truth About My Lies)
  • Javier Castillo on  Todo lo que sucedió con Miranda Huff Huff (Everything That Happened with Miranda Huff)
  • María Dueñas with Las hijas del Capitán (The Captain’s Daughters)
  • César Brandon with Toda la felicidad del universo (All the Happiness of the Universe)

Author Fernando Aramburu will speak with screenwriter Aitor Gabilondo about the adaptation of his novel, Patria (Homeland), into a new HBO series

Novelists Reyes Monforte and Carmen Posadas discuss their new books, both of which are set in Russia—Una pasión rusa (A Russian Passion) and El
testigo invisible (The Invisible Witness).

Environmentalist Suzy Amis Cameron is to discuss the climate crisis. Historian Mukul Kesavan is to look at India’s new wave of nationalism. British philosopher Claire Chambers will be on-hand to talk about gender norms. Moroccan sociologist Sanaa El Aji and Catalan writer Najat El Hachmi are scheduled to discuss Islamic identity.

Spanish attorney José María Beneyto, French diplomat and Prix Goncourt-winning author Jean-Christophe Rufin, and Peruvian journalist Santiago Roncagliolo are to discuss the rise of populism globally.

Hay Festival Segovia will also continue its program of European festival partnerships, pairing in 2019 with Les Rencontres Philosophiques de Monaco to invite Charlotte Casiraghi and Robert Maggiori to present their joint treatise, Archipel des passions (Archipelago of Passions), and director Laura Hugo to discuss her work.

You can see a full listing of program details and buy tickets for the events here. There also is an ongoing blog series featuring some of the speakers and personalities involved, and that can be found here.

At Segovia. Image: Hay Festival


More from Publishing Perspectives on Hay Festival events is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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