Skip to content
Hay Festival Cartagena 2018

The 2018 Hay Festival in Cartagena

This celebration of culture, art, and social responsibility is set to launch its 2018 Hay Festival in Cartagena. Between January 25th and the 28th, this romantic city by the Caribbean sea will be transformed into a center for the sharing of tradition, experience, and viewpoints from all over the world as artists, writers, poets, and intellectuals gather to promote revolutionary new ideas and discuss universal problems that affect all of humankind.

If you’re already planning a vacation in Cartagena over this three-day span, you owe it to yourself to sit in on some of the talks and really expand your horizons. If you haven’t yet made plans to attend, there is still time (and space) but you have to hurry.

But what can you expect from the 2018 Hay Festival in Cartagena?

Program of Speakers and Events

Thursday 25 January

12:30 – 13:30 Teatro Adolfo Mejía
Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel are perhaps the most famous duo in Spanish-Speaking language today. They’ll sit down with journalist Roberto Pombo and speak about their unique careers and how their work has tapped into the collective imagination of generations.
12:30 13:30 Hotel Sofitel (Salón Santa Clara)
Fernando López and Jenny Valentine, both authors of some renown, will be speaking in frank terms with Carlos Sánchez about matters important to teenagers everywhere. Their talk will encompass both the sorrows of depression, self-harm, and suicide but also the wonders of exploring the world through literature and imagination.
12:30 – 13:30 UNIBAC
Giuseppe Caputo, Jesús Miguel Soto and Luciana Sousa will sit down and discuss the terrible levels of economic, gender, police and organized criminal violence in Latin America—among the highest in the world. These three of Latin America’s finest writers will speak about how the writings of the region’s writers are permeated in this violence and how the effect it.
17:30 – 18:30 Hotel Sofitel (Salón Santa Clara)
Carmen Boullosa, Mexican novelist, poet, playwright and essayist, author of the novel Texas: The Great Theft and, together with Mike Wallace, of the non-fiction work A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the “Mexican Drug War” will sit down with writer Edurne Portela (whose most recent work El eco de los disparos: Cultura y memoria de la violencia, a non-fiction book about the armed group ETA’s disarmament) to discuss the deep cultural and personal scars of scars of armed violence.
21:00 Plaza de la Aduana
Inaugural concert: The Suffers
This Texas band blends soul and rock to create a unique angsty yet danceable sound that carries powerful lyrics without becoming preachy. This concert opens the 2018 Hay Festival in Cartagena’s official music program.

Friday 26 January

8:30 – 9:30 Teatro Adolfo Mejía
This is the culmination of a year-long creation and submission process during which youngsters are able to put their thoughts and feelings down on paper and send them out for the world to see.
The winners of the 11th annual competition will read the stories to the public.
RCN – National Ministry of Education National Short Story Competition Prize Ceremony
9:00 – 10:00 UNIBAC
Talk about the role of male members of society in the fight for gender equality. This important discussion will explore the role of men (even boys) in the fight for equality between the sexes and how that fight is not just a women’s issue. Because men continue to hold many positions of power within society, they must share in the effort to make change happen or fail future generations of women.
12:30 – 13:30 Hotel Sofitel (Salón Santa Clara)
On Silence. Erling Kagge speaks about how the incessant hum and bustle of modern society has deafened us to silence—an essential component of our mental and physical wellbeing. This Norwegian adventurer and publisher will explore the importance of isolating oneself from the world and trace that necessity back through the ages.
15:30 – 16:30 UNIBAC
Agustín Fuentes, renown zoologist and anthropologist, in conversation with Hassan Nassar will explore how our human creativity sets us apart from the animal world. As a National Geographic explorer, Fuentes has had an opportunity to discover how the “Creative Spark” is essential to human nature.

Saturday 27 January

10:30 – 11:30 Teatro Adolfo Mejía
Michael Pollan, author and creator of the Netflix hit Cooked, will discuss how food provides a tool to help us unite nature and culture and becomes cooking becomes an essential human activity.
10:30 – 11:30 UNIBAC
David Rieff, Carmen Boullosa and Sergio del Molino discuss the rise of new nationalisms around the world and how these not-so-new ideologies can help or hurt the global community. Exploring the changes that have happened in Russia, the United States and Europe and how they have altered the global playing field, these experts will examine how the consequences of these political transformations affect individuals.
21:00 – 22:00 Teatro Adolfo Mejía
Haydée Milanés in concert. Her 2002 debut album Haydée (EMI Mexico) launched this glorious singer onto the world circuit and since then she has taken the world by storm. Now is your chance to listen to the sultry jazz tones that have captivated hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the world.
10:30 – 11:30 Hotel Sofitel (Salón Santa Clara)
Gabrielle Walker explores sustainability, clean energies and climate change, offering perspectives on this global issue which will touch us all. How can we balance our economic needs with the needs of mother nature and still survive?
These are just a handful of the dozens of talks, lectures, and performances scheduled for this action-packed three-day festival of the mind. You can see the whole lineup.

Get Tickets for the 2018 Hay Festival in Cartagena

If you’re looking for tickets to the 2018 hay Festival in Cartagena, there are multiple ways in which you can get your hands on them.

1) You can order tickets online
2) Pick them up and the various box offices across Cartagena
3) Purchase directly from the venue at which the specific talk/performance you’re interested in is taking place.

This year 20% of the capacity of the events will be offered free of charge to students until the quota is filled. To apply for these tickets, you must book online and share your student ID.

Articles from previous years

Need a place to stay during the 2018 Hay Festival in Cartagena?

Your Vacation Home in Cartagena Awaits

There’s no better way to experience this great meeting of minds in Cartagena than as a local would. Now is your opportunity to reserve an exclusive luxury vacation rental home in Cartagena for the week (or even longer). We offer free concierge assistance as well so you don’t have to struggle to get tickets, hunt for transportation to and from events, or worry about booking dining reservations.

Contact us today to book your home away from home and prepare to expand your mind.

Martha Hampton

Martha Hampton
Home Curator
Founder of Cartagena Colombia Rentals & Hampton Property Rentals LLC

Back To Top