Go back


  • A dialogue with nature will be the theme of this year’s Hay Festival Segovia, which will be held from September 17 to 19, 2021.
  • This year, leading figures from the world of literature such as John Boyne, Bernardine Evaristo, Niklas Natt Och Dag, Pallavi Aiyar, Gonçalo Tavares, José Luís Peixoto, Douglas Stuart, Héctor Abad Faciolince, Mathias Enard and Andri Snær Magnason will share space alongside architect Shigeru Ban; artist Maysun and Joanie Lemercier; gardener Álvaro de la Rosa; conservationist and citrus tree conservationist Vicente Todolí; filmmakers Rodrigo Cortés and Fernando Trueba; athlete Garazi Sánchez; fashion designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada; poet Mererid Hopwood; economic and investment expert Heba Salama; digitization guru Francesca Bria and academic António Filipe Pimentel.
  • At the same time, Spanish literature will be represented by, among others, Eva Sáenz de Urturi, María Dueñas, César Antonio Molina, Julia Navarro, Nuria Barrios, Javier Sierra, Carme Riera, Luis Landero, Jesús Carrasco, Antonio Lucas, Najar el Hachmi, Angélica Tanarro, Karina Sáiz Borgo and Manuel Jabois.
  • The Telefónica, IE and Banco Sabadell foundations will be programming special events with creators who use new technologies in their work.


Hay Festival Segovia is the international gathering for literature, the arts, and thinking. “Rebirth, rebirth, is the backbone of the festival. The pandemic has taught us that no rebirth is possible without the renewal of the essential link between earth and man,” says Sheila Cremaschi, director of this leading international cultural event celebrating its sixteenth year.

Hay Festival Segovia 2021 is inspired by and shares the goals of the New Bauhaus, a European Union initiative to design new ways of living by incorporating art, culture, social inclusion, science, and technology. Both organizations are playing their part in a collective effort to build a sustainable and inclusive future. The IE Foundation will renew its support for the Hay Festival Segovia for the twelfth consecutive year and will be hosting in the Aula Magna of IE University most of the events of this international festival, awarded the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities.

Part of this year’s program will take part in different locations in Castilla y León between September 8-11. The events to be held in the city of Segovia will take place between September 17-19.

Similarly, other events will be held in person and others online. Tickets can be purchased on the festival website (www.hayfestival.com) and at Punto y Línea, Antares and Diagonal bookstores in Segovia


From citrus to slavery, taking in sustainability. Thirteen names talk about

Hay Festival Segovia will be an opportunity to hear what the leading international figures in their disciplines have to say. Architect Shigeru Ban (Tokyo, 1957) uses paper and, above all, recycled cardboard tubes, winning awards such as the 2014 Pritzker Prize. He is also a pioneer in humanitarian architecture and has created temporary shelters for victims of humanitarian crises in the Philippines, India, Japan and Rwanda. He has recently joined the thinkers of the New European Bauhaus. Francesca Bria (Rome, 1977), a member of an institution that seeks dialogue between different cultures, disciplines, genders, and ages, an opportunity to imagine a better place for everyone, will be attending.

One of Egypt’s most influential women, Heba Salama, has been at the helm of the COMESA investment agency for more than 15 years. Her goal is to boost investment in Africa in order to make the continent a prosperous and internationally competitive region. At the same time, she supports the integration of its nations.

Douglas Stuart (Glasgow, 1976) had a successful career as a designer for leading international fashion brands “but I was unhappy and creatively dissatisfied.” Over the course of 10 years, he wrote Shuggie Bain, which won him Britain’s leading literary award, the Booker Prize, in 2020.

Writer and documentary filmmaker, Andri Snær Magnason‘s (Reykjavik, 1973) work has been translated into more than 30 languages, earning him the leading literary awards in his country. His activism in defense of nature and the oceans led him to run for president of Iceland with an agenda focused on the environment.

John Boyne (Dublin, 1976) has also developed his writing career in English. He is the author of the acclaimed The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. In his latest novel, The Invisible Furies of the Heart, he talks about bullying, which he suffered at school.

“Writing the book has been liberating.”Award-winning author and poet Mererid Hopwood (Cardiff, 1964), writes mainly in Welsh, although she has also published in English. The first woman to win the bardic Chair at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, she teaches and is also a television presenter.

Niklas Natt Och Dag (Stockholm, 1979), a member of Sweden’s oldest aristocratic families, is the author of 1793, which sold more than 300,000 copies in Sweden. His novel moves between high society and the margins of Stockholm at the end of the 18th century. The second part, 1794, travels to a  slave plantation in the Caribbean.

Portuguese literature will be represented by two of its most outstanding authors:  José Luís Peixoto (Galveias, Portugal, 1974) and Gonçalo M. Tavares (Luanda, Angola, 1970). Peixoto dedicates his latest work, Autobiography, to José Saramago, who predicted that Tavares would win the Nobel Prize. Also from Portugal is António Filipe Pimentel (São Pedro de Alva, Portugal, 1959), the director of the country’s leading arts foundation, which houses a historic garden in the center of Lisbon.

Art curator Vicente Todolí (Palmera, Valencia, 1958) ran the Tate Modern and now advises the Hangar Bicocca in Milan among other centers. But his real passion is protecting endangered varieties of citrus fruit, and now has a collection of more than 400 varieties of citrus trees in his Valencia orchard.

Nigerian writer Bernardine Evaristo (Elthan, United Kingdom, 1959) is the first black writer to win the Booker Prize with Girl, Woman, Other. Committed to racial equality, Evaristo’s readers include Barack Obama.


An appointment with art

This year, for the first time, will feature an art exhibition and an installation. The work of Spanish-Palestinian photojournalist Maysun Abu-Khdeir (Zaragoza, 1980) will be showcased in To exist is to resist. Retrospective of an occupation (2016 -2018), is a selection of 106 color photographs in which the photographer explores the reality of the Palestinian world. Maysun specializes in conflicts and regularly publishes her work in international media such as The New York Times, Al Jazeera, or The Guardian. She will discuss her work with journalist Aurelio Martín.

In collaboration with Fundación Telefónica,  IE Foundation, and the Fundación Banco Sabadell, the French artist Joanie Lemercier (Rennes, 1982), who creates arts through light and projections, will present Montagne, cent quatorze mille polygones (Mountain, one hundred and fourteen thousand polygons) (2016 – 2018). The piece represents a large valley surrounded by mountains but what we see is a grid distorted by an algorithm, questioning the connection between nature and code, a landscape that alters our perception of space and time.


Thinking, talking, sharing

The Hay Festival Segovia 2021 program is divided into two main thematic blocks: Dialogues with the Earth (a vision of nature and sustainability from multiple perspectives) and Fiction and non-fiction literature.

In Dialogues with the Earth, Shigeru Ban, a leading figure in contemporary architecture, will be in conversation with Marta Thorne, the executive director of the Pritzker Prize and dean of the IE University School of Architecture, about how sustainability must be at the center of any design process, providing examples of how to achieve this.

Business and investment expert Heba Salama will introduce us to sustainability from an economic point of view. The same afternoon, The New York Times correspondent Raphael Minder will interview Jaipur Literature Festival founder Sanjoy Roy and journalist and writer Pallavi Aiyar about global culture in a sustainable world.

Writer and designer Babette Porcelijn will discuss design’s role in the fight to protect the environment, while writer Andri Snær Magnason discusses water and caring for the oceans, and Prince Hussain Aga Khan will expand the conversation,  turning “Dialogues with the Earth” into “Dialogues with the sea”. Sport’s relationship with nature will be the topic of a conversation with professional surfer Garazi Sánchez.

Three Loewe International Poetry Award winners, Diego Doncel, Mario Obrero, and Antonio Lucas, will read their work. A legendary urban oasis in Lisbon, the Gulbenkian Foundation, will be the subject of a  talk between the institution’s director, António Filipe Pimentel, and art expert and cultural manager Sofía Barroso. Nature’s unpredictability will be the focus of the conversation between gardener Jean-Paul Brigand, writer Lorenzo de’ Medici, and the owner of Segovia’s Romeral de San Marcos, Julia Casaravilla.

Meanwhile, landscape architect Álvaro de la Rosa, gallery owner Josechu Carreras and cultural manager Sofía Barroso will discuss plant species and the return to nature. The director of the Fundación Banco Sabadell, Sonia Mulero, will talk with the director of the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Valerio Rocco, about the transformative power of culture. Poets Mererid Hopwood, Antonio Colina, and Carlos Aganzo will read their work and writer Luis Landero will discuss memory.

The playwright and writer Gonçalo Tavares will talk about Portugal in the first person. An emblematic publishing house, Turner, celebrates its 50th anniversary and the philosopher Santiago Beruete will explore “rebirth, culture, and sustainability”. The Romanian poet Ana Blandiana, artist Luis Moro and philosopher Marifé Santiago will address the intersection of poetry and art. The influence of nature on Miguel Delibes will be discussed by writers Jesús Carrasco and Noemí Sabugal. The cultivation of citrus fruits as a means to help the environment will be discussed by art curator Vicente Todolí.

Under the Fiction and non-fiction literature section is writer Bernadine Evaristo (Booker Prize 2019, the UK’s most prestigious literary award), who will talk about her book Girl, Woman, Other. The subject of copyright will bring together writers Nuria Barrios, Javier Sierra and Carme Riera with expert Javier Díaz de Olarte and Daniel Fernández, the president of CEDRO, the Spanish reproduction rights organization. Sandra Barneda and Najar el Hachmi will talk about women with dual professions. Writer, cultural manager, and former Spanish culture minister César Antonio Molina will talk with journalist Angélica Tanarro. The writer John Boyne (two-time Irish Book Award winner) will talk about the capacity of literature to stir controversy. The Romeral de San Marcos garden will be the setting for a poetry recital with José Félix Valdivieso, Mario Obrero, Diego Doncel, Carlos Aganzo, Angélica Tanarro and Meredith Hopwood. Swedish writer Niklas Natt Och Dag will discuss historical fiction. Best-selling Spanish author María Dueñas will talk about the characters she has created that have captured millions of readers will be addressed by the writer.

Award-winning novelist Marcelo Luján will be interviewed live and there will also be a talk by 2015 Goncourt Prize winner Mathias Enard and the most recent recipient of the Planeta Prize, Eva Sáenz de Urturi. Straddling press and literature, Manuel Jabois and Karina Sainz Borgo will discuss novelists who work in journalism. Writer and former fashion designer Douglas Stuart will discuss his award-winning novel, and best-seller Julia Navarro will also give a talk. Historians Orlando Figes and Isabel Burdiel will introduce us to their discipline.

On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of La Vanguardia, deputy editor Enric Juliana, accompanied by journalist and biologist Reinhard Spiegel-Hauer and Le Monde’s Spain correspondent, Sandrine Morel, will discuss Europe as it emerges from the pandemic, moderated by La Vanguardia’s Miquel Molina.

The Castilla y León regional government will present the Networks that Create Wealth project with 25 prestigious participants at a meeting moderated by Pedro Zuazua director of communications for the PRISA media group. Actress and presenter Eva Hache will explain her latest project, a podcast that provides a voice for young people. Writers Xavier Güell, José María Beneyto and Jacinta Cremades will discuss Europe and its future.

Designer Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada and curator and cultural manager Eloy Martínez de la Pera will talk about fashion and sustainability. Two visions, the eye of a filmmaker and the eye of a writer, converge in a conversation between filmmaker Rodrigo Cortés and publisher Miguel Aguilar. The closing event of the festival will be the screening of Spa Fernando Trueba’s Forgotten We’ll Be, which will be followed by a conversation between the Spanish filmmaker and writer Héctor Abad Faciolince, in which they will discuss the convergence of film and literature.

The Embassy of Portugal will be hosting a series of autobiographies. Sixteen authors from different fields of culture, politics, and diplomacy have come together to discuss, in the first person, Portugal through the magazine Intramuros. The writers Gonçalo Tavares and José Luis Peixoto, the Portuguese Ambassador to Spain, Joäo Mira-Gomes, the Embassy’s Education Attaché, Filipa Soares, and the editor of Intramuros, Beltrán Gambier, will be taking part in the Hay Festival to talk about this autobiographical Portugal, reading texts and commenting on Portugal’s presidency of the European Union.


Networks that create wealth

Within the framework of Hay Festival Segovia 2021, the Junta de Castilla y León is developing an innovative program that will allow other communities in the province of Segovia to share the experience of hosting national and international figures from the arts.

Inspired by the Jaipur Festival’s Book Market, this year’s Hay Festival Segovia brings together 25 professionals from the world of culture and books, whose contributions will be broadcast via streaming and podcast. In addition to Sanjoy Roy -director of the Indian Festival that serves as inspiration-, Pallavi Aiyar and Rafael Minder, the meeting brings together Ana Gavin, director of International Relations at Grupo Planeta; Miguel Aguilar, literary director of Debate publishing house; Carlota del Amo, director of Corporate Communications at Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial; Marta Williams, expert in women’s leadership; Carlos Hernández-Lahoz, international consultant, member of the Board of Trustees of the Princess of Asturias Awards and promoter of cultural activities in the Bierzo area of northern Spain; Goyo Ezama, general manager of the newspaper El Norte de Castilla, part of the Vocento group; Fuencisla Valverde, bookseller, who for 35 years has been running El Diagonal, a bookstore that is a focus of sociocultural animation in Segovia; Alberto Espinar, agricultural engineer and a regional councilor for Innovation and Culture; Pablo Pérez, economist and spokesman for the PP in the Segovia City Council; Emilio Gil, designer, Gold Medal for Fine Arts; Manuel Mateo, writer, editor and director of Publishers Weekly magazine in Spanish; Sonia Mulero, director of the Banco Sabadell Foundation and member of the Board of Trustees of the Fundació Escola Eina; Geoffroy Gérard, general director of the IE Foundation; Daniel Fernández, president of Edhasa and Castalia publishing houses and current president of the Spanish Center for Reprographic Rights (CEDRO); Almudena Bermejo, entrepreneur and expert in cultural and sustainability projects; Carlos Rod, co-director of the independent publishing house La Uña Rota; Beltrán Gambier, jurist and lawyer and director of the magazine Intramuros; Juan Zafra, director of the magazine Telos; Valerio Rocco, philosopher and director of the Círculo de Bellas Artes; Xavier Vidal, director of the Nollegiu bookstore, an emblematic cultural center in the Poble Nou neighborhood of Barcelona; Jesús Prieto, jurist and expert in cultural law; Patrici Tixis, director of communications of Grupo Planeta and president of the Spanish Publishers Guild, and the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Junta de Castilla y León, Javier Ortega.