The pandemic has impacted on the waterline of cultural festivals, which have the physical encounter with large audiences as a reason for being, forcing them to change on the fly. Touched but not sunk, most of the events scheduled for this year will bet on a completely virtual format as an outlet for their schedules, most of them already advanced when the virus began to spread in a massive way. The tenth Mexican edition of the Hay Festival, the British event based in Querétaro, the center of the country, for five years, presented its programming this Tuesday. The central trunk will be literature, on which important bets in science and economics will also gravitate, in addition to the already usual blocks of human rights, journalism, music or cinema.
From September 2 to 7, conferences, workshops and even concerts will be held under the title Let’s imagine the world together. More than 70 events in total, which can be accessed for free and where the shadow of the covid-19 will be lengthened. And not only for having conditioned the format of the festival. “It is a subject that will be dealt with in a transversal way during the program,” said during the presentation of the program, also telematics, the director of the festival for Latin America, Cristina Fuentes La Roche, who detailed the tables and debates focused specifically on the subject: The book presentation A day in the life of a virus: from DNA to pandemic, by the Spanish physicist Miguel Pita; or the conference The world after the coronavirus, by the Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska.
The commitment to science and the humanities will feature two Nobel laureates, the American economist Paul Krugman and the Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize 2014. They will also feature the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet; the Mexican environmentalist Julia Carabias or the anthropologists Carlos Castaño Uribe, Roberto Junco and Fiorella Fenogli. Spanish philosopher Adela Cortina will talk with Alejandra Haas about her book Aporophobia, rejection of the poor.
Among the literary voices, another Nobel laureate stands out, Mario Vargas Llosa, who will talk about his new work on the work of Borges. Salman Rushdie will talk with Carmen Boullosa about his new book,. Quixote, a contemporary satire of the Cervantes classic. They will also feature the American novelist Siri Hustvedt, 2019 Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, and an impressive grid of authors in Spanish: Ida Vitale (Uruguay), Mónica Ojeda (Ecuador), Mexicans Emiliano Monge, Valeria Luiselli, Eduardo Rabasa or Daniel Saldaña Paris; the Spanish Juan Gómez Bárcenas or Elizabeth Duval; the Argentine Camila Sosa Villada, among others.
As a novelty, and taking advantage of the opportunities of the new digital format, the festival will recover some of the most outstanding talks in past editions. John le Carré, Olga Tokarczuk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Margaret Atwood will return to the fore in the Hay Festival Classics section. Within this section, you will relive the conversation held in the Cartagena edition of that January between Dilma Rousseff and Javier Moreno, director of EL PAÍS, one of the media partners of the event. Also, the Hay Festival is in celebration this year. Together with the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), it was recently awarded the 2020 Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities.