Poster of the seventh edition of the "Hay Festival" in Arequipa, Peru.
Poster promoting the seventh edition of the Hay Festival in Arequipa, Peru.

Literature, the environment and science at the Hay Festival in Arequipa, Peru 

The 2021 edition of the Hay Festival to be held in the Peruvian city of Arequipa will feature more than 60 cultural activities.


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Arequipa, a city in southern Peru, will host the seventh edition of the Hay Festival. Between Nov. 1 and 7, Arequipa will become the virtual cultural center of Latin America and present more than 140 presentations by writers, artists, scientists and thinkers from 18 countries.

The festival will focus on literature, climate change, science, journalism, history, the digital world and the arts. Cultural activities will include the presence of important figures, such as Nigeria's Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ken Follet, Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman and Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari.

With Peru as the venue for this edition, the bicentennial history and current affairs of the country will be reflected on by distinguished guests, such as former president Francisco Sagasti and Afro-Peruvian singer and composer Susana Baca.

The festival will hold it's “online" version for the second consecutive year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will offer more than 60 free cultural activities celebrating literature, the environment and the sciences. A series of conferences, roundtables and dance and theater performances that will create a space for the exchange of ideas and be the starting point for a reflection on the most urgent challenges of the global reality.

Peruvian writer Santiago Roncagliolo will talk about his latest book Sobre el duelo (On Mourning), and will address the current context of the coronavirus pandemic alongside writer Alonso Cueto and psychoanalyst Moisés Lemlij. On the same day, Follet, author of the classic The Pillars of the Earth, will talk about his new novel, Never.

Science and the environment will be presented by Yuval Noah Harari, who will showcase the graphic version of his successful work, Sapiens, and discuss the most urgent challenges facing the planet with Venezuelan journalist Moisés Naím. 

Within the conferences and round tables, there will be an attempt to reflect on the present and future of Latin America. Journalists and politicians will discuss the complexity of polarization and social processes in the region.

In addition, activities for children and young people will include the participation of Spanish illustrator Amaia Arrazola and Peruvian writer Jorge Eslava.


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