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INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS

sacrifice in the late fifteenth century. ‘Juanita’, now on display at a local museum, was perfectly preserved in the ice. One of the joys of attending these other Hay Festivals is discovering the different ways that the context shapes the conversation. In Latin America, the tensions between native communities, modernity and colonialism are hot topics. In both Arequipa and Cartagena, the indigenous Canadian writer for young adults, Cherie Dimaline, talked eloquently about these issues in a way that made me reflect on what they might mean for my own country of Wales. If the appearance of Vargas Llosa made the headlines in Peru, it was heartening to see two great female writers steal the show in Colombia. Hay’s longest-running festival outside of Wales, Cartagena de Indias was originally the result of a quest to include Gabriel García Márquez in the programme. Graffito images of Márquez may still adorn the former Caribbean slave port that the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude made his home, but in 2019 the crowds had come to see Zadie Smith and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie spent some time visiting the Nelson Mandela barrio in an Afro-Colombian city still plagued by inequality and division, before giving

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the inaugural Gabriel García Márquez lecture – the keynote talk of a diverse festival that also included human rights lawyers Shirin Ebadi and Philippe Sands, American economist Deirdre McCloskey and Cuban writer Leonardo Padura. Another feature of Hay’s international festivals is a willingness to keep experimenting: with new approaches, new ideas, new locations. This year, Cartagena spawned satellite events in Medellín and Jericó, an hour’s flight inland from the coast in a very different part of Colombia. And so, as this year’s main festival approaches in those fields in Wales, replacing Christmas with all the familiar trimmings – venison burgers and Shepherd’s ice cream, lightweight raincoats and sunglasses, Panama hats and wellies – and we dream about sinking into those Penguin Classicthemed deckchairs on the temporary village green, half of my heart will be aching for jet trails across azure skies, even when those familiar grey clouds spell home. Dylan Moore is the Creative Wales Hay Festival International Fellow 2018-19/Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival 2018-19. He is also editor of current affairs magazine, the welsh agenda. His book of travel essays, Driving Home Both Ways (Parthian) is out now.

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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.

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