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[407] 7pm COMPASS STUDIO £7

Billy Bragg talks to Oliver Balch

Hay Festival Youth Council

Three Dimensions of Freedom

How I Got Here

At a time when opinion trumps fact and truth is treated as nothing more than another perspective, free speech has become a battleground. While authoritarians and algorithms threaten democracy, we argue over who has the right to speak. The singer-songwriter and activist argues that, to protect ourselves from encroaching tyranny, we must look beyond this one-dimensional notion of what it means to be free and, by reconnecting liberty to equality and accountability, restore the individual agency engendered by the three dimensions of freedom. Sponsored by Shepherds Ice Cream

How I Got Here sessions are in-conversation events where Hay Festival Youth Council members interview Hay Festival speakers (speakers will be chalkboarded at the venue and updated on #HAYCOMPASS). These sessions are programmed and delivered by young people for young people. Free for 16–25-year-olds who register at Hay Festival Compass is supported by Hay Festival Foundation

8.30pm [313] 8.30pm BAILLIE GIFFORD STAGE £15


Steven Pinker

Jonathan Phillips

The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin In 1187, Saladin marched triumphantly into Jerusalem, ending decades of struggle against the Christians and reclaiming the holy city for Islam. Four years later he fought off the armies of the Third Crusade, which were commanded by Richard the Lionheart. A fierce warrior and savvy diplomat, Saladin’s unparalleled courtesy, justice, generosity and mercy were revered by both his fellow Muslims and his Christian rivals. Phillips offers a fresh and captivating look at the triumphs, failures and contradictions of one of the medieval world’s most influential figures. The Crusade historian looks at Saladin’s complicated legacy, examining the ways he has been invoked in the modern age by Arab and Muslim leaders ranging from Nasser in Egypt and al-Assad in Syria to Osama bin Laden.

The Raymond Williams Lecture: Enlightenment Now Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible? If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred and irrationality. Yet Pinker argues that this is an illusion – a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, happier, more peaceful, more stimulating and more prosperous – not just in the West, but worldwide. The leading thinker shows how we can use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe. We will never have a perfect world, but – defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction – we can continue to make it a better one.

[312] 7pm STARLIGHT STAGE £9 [314] 8.30pm LLWYFAN CYMRU – WALES STAGE £9

Henry Firth & Ian Theasby

Ian Robertson talks to Carolyn Hitt

BISH BASH BOSH! A celebration of the brand-new, plant-based cookbook from the vegan superhero chefs. Do you want a quick weeknight supper that gets more veg into your diet? A show-stopping vegan Christmas dinner? A fun, fresh meal plan to set you up with plant-based packed lunches? Whatever you’re after, BISH BASH BOSH! has the perfect recipe. Henry and Ian have created a food revolution through the world’s biggest plant-based platform. BOSH! are on a mission to show the world just how versatile cooking with veg can be.

Rugby: Talking a Good Game Ian Robertson joined the BBC during the golden age of radio broadcasting. Almost half a century after being introduced to the rugby airwaves by his inspiring mentor Bill McLaren, the former Scotland fly-half looks back on the most eventful of careers, during which he covered nine British and Irish Lions tours and eight World Cups. ‘Robbo’ is one of the great storytellers, with a wealth of insight and anecdotes about the greats of the game. Sitting in a field in Wales, he might even be persuaded to venture some predictions for RWC in Japan.

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Profile for Hay Festival

Hay Festival 2019 Programme  

Hay Festival celebrates its 32nd festival in Wales, 23 May–2 June 2019.

Hay Festival 2019 Programme  

Hay Festival celebrates its 32nd festival in Wales, 23 May–2 June 2019.