Monday 10 September 2018 to Tuesday 25 September 2018

Living side by side in Europe is the motto of this year’s Hay Festival Segovia. Once again, the programme offered by the British Council at the festival will feature prominent thinkers, artists, writers, journalists and professionals who will share with the audience their interpretation of the meaning of social belonging, freedom of expression and gender equality.

The public will be able to listen to prestigious authors such as Sabrina Mahfouz, on the role of women in the Islamic world in the 21st century, Ken Follett, the multi-award-winning Sarah Hall, the young promise of British literature Julianne Pachico, the journalist Afua Hirsch, and the intellectuals AC Grayling and Antony Beevor.

We will also have the opportunity to converse with Hanif Kureishi, Stephen Frears, Vanessa Redgrave, Simon Schama, Paul Preston, Gilles Tremlet, Catherine Nixey and many more.

In addition, this year the British Council will offer a programme of free events, at the Plaza San Martín, which will combine the best of literature with participatory activities that include music, dance and readings, as well as a concert with the British Council School Big Band.

Another highlight for the British Council at this year’s Festival is our participation in a collaborative project, organised by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), with the audiovisual exhibition Spoken Word: the force of urban words, a set of videos with works by some of the most outstanding emerging British poets.

  • Exhibition Spoken Word: the force of urban words
    10-30 September. Palacio Quintanar. 
    A set of videos with works by five of the most outstanding emerging British poets: Kayo Chingonyi, Caleb Femi, James Massiah, Hollie McNish and Musa Okwonga.
  • Afua Hirch in conversation with Peter Florence
    19 September, 19.30- 20.30. Espacio Telefónica (Madrid)
    The acclaimed journalist, author and broadcaster Afua Hirsch, a regular contributor to the Guardian, has sparked a passionate debate on the notion of British identity in her latest moving, personal and provocative book Brit(ish), On Race, Identity and Belonging. The festival will provide Hirsch with a platform to present her ideas and the results of her research, with the aim of arriving at a better understanding of the current situation of the United Kingdom with respect to the rest of the world, along with Peter Florence, Founder and Director of Hay Festivals worldwide (more info).
  • A. C. Grayling- Coexistence in our modern world 
    21 September, 12.15. Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Refectorio
    Renowned philosopher A. C. Grayling returns to Segovia with a provocative lecture on our society and threats to coexistence. He addresses the major challenges that the new digital era and social and political changes exert on the structures of our societies. Will social media or populism break democracy? Moderated by Peter Florence (more info).
  • Antony Beevor- The Second World War
    21 September, 13.30. Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Aula Magna
    Antony Beevor is internationally recognized as one of the most important historians of the Second World War. His access to a large amount of classified information about the war has made for meticulous descriptions of its most significant battles. His award-winning books include Arnhem, Ardennes, D-Day: the Battle for Normandy and Stalingrad. This event, hosted by the journalist Miguel Mora, is presented within this year’s educational framework: encouraging young people to read (more info).
  • Hannah Collins, A.C. Grayling and William Kingswood in conversation with Santiago Íñiguez- The impact of the arts, culture and the humanities on coexistence and cosmopolitanism
    21 September, 17.00. Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Refectorio
    Santiago Íñiguez, President of IE University, and an internationally-renowned expert on education, brings together three authoritative voices on the role of culture in society. The award-winning photographer and artist Hannah Collins, the international philosopher A.C. Grayling and the composer and musician William Kingswood debate the impact of the humanities on our daily lives (more info).
  • Round table- Coexistence in Europe: past, present and future
    21 September, 18.10-19.00. Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Sala Capitular
    EUNIC Spain, Network of European Cultural Institutes, has organized this round table in which the authors taking part will discuss the issues of diversity and coexistence facing contemporary society. They include Riikka Pelo (Helsinki, Finlandia), Dorota Masłowska (Wejherowo, Polamd), Radka Denemarková (Kutná Hora, Czech Republic), Michael Krüger (Wittgendorf, Alemania) y Sarah Hall (Carlisle, Reino Unido).  Translated into more than a dozen languages and considered by Granta as one of the 20 best young writers of 2013, Sarah is a multi-award-winning author of five novels (more info).
  • British Council Big Band concert
    21 September, 19.30h. Plaza San Martín
    The British Council School’s Big Band returns to the Hay Festival this year to offer a festive and eclectic program that will pay tribute to some of the great successes of world music, such as the Pink Panther and Star Wars soundtracks, and the iconic song Over the rainbow. Don’t miss this free, one-off outdoor concert (more info). 
  • Listen to Europe. Readings in the "Plaza"
    21 September, 20.15. Plaza San Martín
    We’re celebrating Europe as a home, and a place of peaceful coexistence, through a rich, sonorous and diverse series of readings that brings together a range of up-and-coming and established European authors. With the participation of Sarah Hall (more info).
  • Julianne Pachico and Sarah Hall in conversarion with Ludovic Assémat
    22 September, 11.00-11.50h. Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Sala Capitular
    Translated into more than a dozen languages and considered one of the 20 best young writers of 2013 by Granta, Sarah Hall is a multi-award-winning author with five novels under her belt. Julianne Pachico is one of the rising starts of British literature. Her first novel was finalised for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year award. Sarah and Julianne share a love and talent for short novels. At the Hay Festival Segovia, they will debate the genre in an era dominated by images and messages limited to 280 characters (more info).
  • Antony Beevor in conversation with Jesús García Calero- Revisiting the Battle of Arnhem
    22 September, 13.30. Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Refectorio
    Internationally recognised as one of the most important historians of the Second World War, Beevor shows his mastery as a great storyteller by reliving the truth of the Battle of Arnhem. Based on original documentation, used for the first time, Beevor reconstructs the devastating air battle of Arnhem, the final German victory. Beevor talks with Jesús García Calero, cultural editor-in-chief of Spanish newspaper ABC, about soldiers’ first-hand accounts and the newspaper accounts civilian suffering (more info).
  • Sabrina Mahfouz in conversation with Ludovic Assémat- This is not a border
    22 September 16.30-17.20. Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Sala Capitular
    The programme "It's time to talk" welcomes Sabrina Mahfouz, one of the most powerful voices in the British artistic scene. Raised in London and Cairo, she has been identified as a 'modern Renaissance woman' by The Scotsman and 'one of the rising stars of new British playwrighting' by The Herald. Her work includes the plays With a Little Bit of Luck (Paines Plough) and Clean (Traverse Theatre); the poetry collection How You Might Know Me (Out-Spoken Press); and the literary anthology The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write (Saqi Books), which is currently longlisted for the Grand Prix Literary Associations Prize. She will be interviewed by Ludovic Assémat, from the British Council (more info).
  • Teresa Martín-Retortillo in conversation with Andy Mackay
    22 September, 19.15h. Campus de Santa Cruz la Real, IE University, Sala Capitular
    Teresa Martín-Retortillo, expert in executive education, President of IE Exponential Learning and Adviser of Bankinter will speak with Andy Mackay, director of the British Council Spain about the future of learning in our societies (more info).
  • A Literary Ball
    22 September, 21.40. Plaza San Martín
    For the first time ever the British Council will host a stage in Plaza San Martín, where we will present a series of literary dances in which the audience can enjoy public readings. At the same time, they can learn the steps of some of the world’s most representative dances with two of the writers attending this year’s festival: Sabrina Mahfouz and Julianne Pachico. The sound of words and music will give rhythm to this unique, playful and inspiring activity (more info).
  • Readings in the garden- My own and others
    23 September, 11.00-12.00h. Jardín Romeral de San Marcos
    The writer Sabrina Mahfouz will take part in this latest edition of ‘My Own and Others’, a series of open-air readings that reaches its ninth edition at Hay Festival Segovia. Sabrina will read either her own texts or texts by her favourite authors during a stroll through the magical Romeral de San Marcos Garden (more info).