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Colombia’s Hay Festival 2024 Brings Global Minds Together


Colombia's Hay Festival 2024
The Hay Festival Colombia 2024, Hay Sign: Credit: hayfestival /Sam-Hardwick

The Hay Festival Colombia 2024, a renowned international celebration of literature, arts, and science, will take place from January 20 to 29 in Jericó, Medellin, Cartagena, and Barranquilla. This event, featuring over 160 participants from 25 countries, underscores Colombia’s role as a cultural nexus and promotes a global exchange of ideas and artistic expression. The festival’s diverse and inclusive programming emphasizes its commitment to fostering cultural connections and intellectual discourse on a global scale.

Diverse Programming and Collaboration

In Cartagena, the festival will run from January 25 to 28, hosting guests from various fields of science and culture. Cristina Fuentes, the director of the Hay Festival, highlighted the participation of authors Javier Moro, Julio Navarro, and Palestinian Adania Shibli, along with thinkers Rebecca Solnit and Nobel laureate in Chemistry, Venki Ramakrishnan. The event will also feature two editorial collaborations: “Shared Truths” (Verdades compartidas) with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and Planeta, and “Explorers, dreamers and thieves” (Exploradores, soñadores y ladrones) in partnership with the British Museum and Anagrama.

Music will be a significant part of the festival, with performances by artists like Teresita Gómez from San Andres. To increase accessibility, some events will be streamed online for free, allowing global participation. The festival’s programming will cover a wide range of topics, including the environment, science, history, journalism, and community-focused activities.

Regional Celebrations and Expanding Impact

The Hay Festival will kick off with its sixth edition in Jerico from January 19 to 21. The event will feature over 33 activities, including talks, concerts, film screenings, workshops, and poetry galas. New formats like Jardín de las Ideas and Un café con will be introduced to engage young audiences and offer intimate conversations with authors. Key participants include writers Selva Amada and Adriana Villegas, as well as musicians from the Medellin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Paola Mejía Guerra, responsible for Culture at Comfama, emphasized the festival’s growth since its inception in 2019, noting the record attendance of over 10,000 in 2023. The festival has become a vibrant platform for arts, music, science, and literature, reflecting these fields’ diverse and pluralistic nature.

Following Jerico, Medellin will host the Hay Festival from January 23 to 24. In partnership with Elapuer, an initiative to strengthen creative and cultural enterprises, the festival will promote and showcase local cultural and creative ventures. This includes a LAB-style training cycle for entrepreneurs in the editorial, musical, and audiovisual sectors, contributing to their sustainability and growth.

The Hay Festival Colombia 2024 promises to be a dynamic and inclusive celebration of ideas and culture, spanning multiple cities and featuring a diverse array of participants and activities. Its commitment to accessibility, regional engagement, and the promotion of creative industries highlights its significance in Colombia’s cultural landscape.

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