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Hay Festival Segovia 2022: From books to Artificial Intelligence

Hay Festival Segovia 2022: From books to Artificial Intelligence

Spain’s largest festival of literature and the arts is back. From 15 to 18 September 2022, Hay Festival Segovia will transform the Castilian city into the world capital of debate and ideas.

What do the writer Carmen Mola, the historian Antony Beevor, the artist Kate Daudy, the Nobel Prize winner in Physics Konstantin Novoselov, the biologist Josef H. Rechholf, the writers Antonio Muñoz Molina, Mónica Rouanet and Ana Requena or the actors Leonor Watling, Víctor Clavijo and Carles Francino have in common? They are just some of the guests taking part in Hay Festival Segovia 2022.

“Every year we bring some of the most influential – sometimes revolutionary – names to Spain from a variety of spheres, encompassing literature, biology, art and Artificial Intelligence. Hay Festival Segovia is an international meeting point for the arts and sciences,” explains Sheila Cremaschi.

“This year we want to focus on the relationship between tradition and innovation and the interplay between the two. These will be the pillars around which the programme is developed.”

Sheila Cremaschi

For Hay Festival Segovia 2022, British artist Kate Daudy and 2010 Nobel Prize-winning scientist Konstantin Novoselov will transform the city, bringing together art, science and sustainability to shine a message of hope. They will use only natural, ethically and locally sourced elements to communicate these ideas.

They will create a sculpture with concave glass discs. As the discs wobble, they shimmer and reflect the light in such a way as to simulate a lake of glass in the Renaissance courtyard of the Torreón de Lozoya. Each disc designed by the artist is made by Vetraria Muñoz de Pablos, a team of glassworkers from Segovia, responsible for restoring and creating some of the most iconic stained-glass windows in our country, and keeping an endangered craft alive.

Look out for sheep, with words about cooperation daubed on their backs, flocking through the Plaza del Acueducto. As the sheep move together and apart and cross paths, different combinations of words will be created, drawing the public’s attention to humanitarian action.

In complement to all this, projection mapping designed by the artists on the same theme will cover the Cathedral’s flagstones every evening during the festival.

A preview of the programme

Russia, unequivocally at the centre of current affairs, will also be the subject of discussion by the British historian Antony Beevor and the writer Antonio Muñoz Molina. Writer Espido Freire and journalist and writer Alberto Rey will touch on themes including hypercommunication, overexposure, social networks and videos.

The writer Carmen Mola, the alter ego of three prestigious Spanish novelists, will talk about the adventure of working under a pseudonym up to the point of attaining the most prestigious prize in Spanish literature.

Can talent be learned and fostered? The philosopher and educator José Antonio Marina will address the issue, putting forth guidelines for discovering strengths and weaknesses and developing human abilities.

Erotic literature as a genre is currently experiencing an unprecedented renaissance, incorporating women’s rights, demystifying sex and abandoning stereotypes. Writers Emecé Condado, Alfonso Genique and journalist Aurelio Martín will discuss this revival.

Butterflies are disappearing and this means an ecological catastrophe is looming. Evolutionary biologist and guest of Hay Festival Josef H. Reichhof will address this topic together with IE University’s Global Director of Sustainability, Isabela del Alcázar. Among the projects sponsored by the university’s sustainability office is the Nurture Hub, a structure created by students that provides a space for relaxation, enhances biodiversity, raises awareness and attracts native pollinators such as butterflies to the campus. This will be the first in a series of events developed with AC/E to mark Spain’s participation as guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The feminist crime novel has arrived to shake up the genre. Psychologist Mónica Rouanet and journalist Ana Requena will talk about the effects of this new panorama.

Podcasts and audio content are the new protagonists of the digital age. Great actors alternate their work in front of the camera or on stage with performing behind a microphone. Actors Leonor Watling, Víctor Clavijo and Carles Francino will talk about the power of this form of acting with the support of the podcast platform Podimo.

Artist Kate Daudy, scientist Konstantin Novoselov (Nobel Prize in Physics 2010) and the President of the Association for Aid, Exchange and Development (AIDA), Javier Gila, will talk about the interconnections between art and science, cooperation and humanitarian aid. The British- Russian Nobel laureate, acclaimed for his discovery of graphene, will also lead a debate with Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, CEO of IE IE University, on the role of the scientist in turbulent times, reflecting on the geopolitics of technologies against obsessive nationalism.

The writer Nuria Barrios takes a new look at the craft of translation, which she says is “the only way humans have of reading and writing at the same time.”

Hay Festival Segovia 2022 also makes time for workshops on literature. The first one, Autobiografías Mínimas (Minimal Autobiographies), will enable participants to become authors of their own autobiographies. The workshop will be directed by Beltrán Gambier (founder of the magazine Intramuros) together with the journalist Laura Garrido.

Spain and Portugal: a poetic journey

Together with the Portuguese Embassy in Spain, Turismo de Portugal, Município de Bragança and Freguesía de Río de Onor, Hay Festival Segovia 2022 has organised one of its Dialogues with the Earth in the Portuguese town of Río de Onor, twin of the Zamoran town of Rihonor de Castilla, the same village divided by the legendary “raya,” the border between Spain and Portugal. The official presentation of the full festival programme will take place at this event and the names of all the participants will be revealed.

Guided by the journalist and writer Agustín Remesal, those attending the day will get to experience local traditions, with food, stories, bagpipes and masked men, or carets, and learn about the uniqueness of life for people living in a village within two countries.

Supporters of Hay Festival Segovia 2022

Fundación Telefónica, IE Foundation, Fundación Banco Sabadell, British Council, British Embassy, Embassy of Portugal in Spain, Turismo de Portugal, Embassy of Belgium, Wallonie Belgique Tourism and the Netherlands, are taking part in bringing special acts and events to the festival programme.

With the support of the Junta de Castilla y León, the festival also reaches beyond the city, with events organised throughout the autonomous community from March onwards. The aim is to bring the festival to the whole region.

Hay Festival Segovia 2022 enjoys the invaluable and permanent support of the Ayuntamiento de Segovia, the collaboration of Correos and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), the publishing groups Penguin Random House and Grupo Planeta, the publishing houses Edhasa, Roca Editorial and Páginas de Espuma, IE University, Fundación Loewe, the podcast platform Podimo, Fundación Deporte Joven del Consejo Superior de Deportes and the Centro Español de Derechos Reprográficos (CEDRO).

About Hay Festival Segovia

The Hay Festival was born in 1987 in a small town in Wales, Hay-on-Wye, bringing together international names from the world of literature and music as a meeting point for debate and thought. In 2020 it was awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities.

The first Hay Festival Segovia was held in 2006, bringing together some of the world’s best writers and thinkers, and has been held in September every year since. It offers a wide-ranging cultural programme with a strong presence of architecture and the visual arts.

This festival inspires, explores and entertains, while inviting its participants to imagine the world as it really is and as it might be. In 2022, the main theme of Hay Festival Segovia is Tradition and Innovation. Events will be live at different locations in the city.

Since 2009, IE University has been academic partner of Hay Festival Segovia. The support of the IE Foundation has allowed the Segovia campus to transform each year, on the days of this meeting of ideas, into one of the important venues for these events of great cultural impact. Since its inception, the Segovia edition of the festival has been directed by María Sheila Cremaschi. Historian and Master in Cultural Management and Policies. She began her cultural activism In her native Buenos Aires, where she set up a theatre, and in 1994, together with Beltrán Gambier, she founded the magazine Intramuros in Madrid. Cremaschi has received several international distinctions for her work, among them the City of Buenos Aires Merit for Young Talents in 1988 and the Media Impact Award from the International Press Club of Madrid in 2008. Five years later, she was named member of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II. In 2015, King Felipe VI awarded her the Cruz de Isabel La Católica, and in 2020, the Hay Festival (Wales, UK, Latin America and Spain), along with the Guadalajara Fair (Mexico) received the Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities,

Tickets for the events at Hay Festival Segovia 2022 will be available starting May 10 here.