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"Hay Festival", 2019 edition.
2019's Hay Festival. Photo: [email protected]

Mexico's Hay Festival reflects on the country's pandemic experience

The new normal puts the pandemic at the center of the Hay Festival, with a hybrid edition that reflects on the cultural consequences of the health crisis.

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”Hay Festival” Querétaro is a cultural festival with activities for all audiences while celebrating the arts and sciences with inclusive, accessible and fun events. This year's edition will be held in hybrid format in September, and its goal will be to generate a dialogue for the understanding and transformation of current affairs, reflecting on the pandemic and its effects on society and on creative, artistic and cultural processes.

Roundtables on the conditions necessary for literary creation, and the health and economic impact of the pandemic, will be some of the topics addressed in an edition dedicated to culture and literature with a social perspective.

Some topics will be addressed from a personal perspective by Latin American writers. For example, the talk "Reality overcomes fiction: writing during the pandemic," brings together Colombian Pilar Quintana, Mexican Carmen Rioja, Peruvian Santiago Roncagliolo and Queretaro writer Imanol Martinez to discuss their creative processes during the pandemic. 

"Learning from the pandemic is a mission that must also be born from the word and that is why at Hay Festival Querétaro this theme will be one of the main themes of this year's guests."

For their part, academics, managers and journalists will talk about the effects of the current crisis and its impact on the most disadvantaged sectors of the world in the talk, "What can we learn from the pandemic," using Mexico's situation as an example. 

The event will take place from Sept. 1 to 5 in Querétaro, and the edition intends to be a tribute to all the people who have died of COVID-19, not only by putting the situation at the center of the discussions, but also through the activity, "Global reading for pandemic casualties."

"Hay Festival Querétaro invites reflection and thought through words, reflecting on the most urgent current affairs and generating these dialogues in order to imagine and create a better world," read a festival press release. 

The Hay Festival also has star guests, such as Mexican playwright and journalist Sabina Berman, who will present her most recent novel together with journalist Gabriela Warketin. The event will be a hybrid between digital and in-person and all activities will be free with limited places, so it is necessary to book spots online.

This year, the Hay Festival in Mexico, celebrates its sixth edition, but the festival has already 16 successful editions in Spain, and is also held in Colombia and Peru.

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