Padura in the Hay Festival 2017

The Cuban writer returns to Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, for a festival that promotes not just literature, but also cinema, visual arts, music, journalism, geopolitics and the environment.

Leonardo Padura was one of the writers invited to the 20th edition of the Hay Festival held this year in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, considered one of the most important cultural events of the language in the Latin American sphere.

Held January 26-29, the meeting gathered more than 150 participants from diverse regions of the world with special relevance in the sphere of literature, science, education and culture in general.


Padura’s principal presentation in the Hay Festival 2017 was announced as one of the main courses of the event since it was said that it would be a conversation by the Cuban with renowned Colombian writer HéctorAbabFaciolince, author of such famous works as El olvidoqueseremos.

The dialogue held in the Adolfo Mejía Theatre, full of public, was favourable for the Cuban to delve into diverse aspects of his life and especially the literary aspect of his work, well-known among Colombian readers. At the end of the interview the documentary Vivir y escribir en La Habana was screened, also dedicated to Padura’s work, which is always linked in one way or the other to the evolution of Cuban society.


In addition to the large crowds for book signings and the numerous interviews given to the Colombian and international media, Padura participated together with other writers and intellectuals in a panel dedicated to celebrating the 500 years of the Luther Theses to reform the Catholic Church and in whose spirit an interesting exercise of presenting new reforms for “reimagining” the current world was proposed to the participants.


This is the second time Padura attends as a guest the Hay Festival, an event born very modestly in Hay-on-Wye, a small Welsh town with 1,500 inhabitants which has more than 40 bookstores.


The first event was held in 1988 and since 1996 it achieved international dissemination when it started being organised in countries like Spain, Mexico, Brazil and Peru with the aim of promoting cultural exchange, education and development, while the Hay Festival is not limited to literary diffusion but also opens its doors to cinema, visual arts, music or journalism, in addition to making incursions into issues like the environment and geopolitics.


Throughout its history, the Hay Festival has been attended by top-level writers, like Colombian Gabriel GarcíaMárquez and Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, among others.


Last year the organisers made a first attempt to bring the Hay Festival to Cuba, though it did not take place for diverse organisational and logistical reasons. (2017)

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