The Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias is the most important literary event in the country and one of the most prestigious in the continent. This global cultural event, born in the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye, arrived to Colombia in 2005. BBVA sponsored the “Grandes Escritores” (Great Writers) section, and brought Salman Rushdie, author of the Satanic Verses, to the country for the first time.
Salman Rushdie with Peter Florence - BBVA
Over the eight years as sponsor of the Great Writers section, BBVA has managed to secure the presence of prominent writers, besides Rushdie, such as English writer Ian McEwan and Juan José Millás, from Spain, or Carlos Fuentes (R.I.P.) - who in 2012 was honored in different stages across the Heroic City of Cartagena, in what would turn out to be his last visit to Colombia.
In 2013, the honor guest was Mario Vargas Llosa and in 2014, Ricardo Piglia, who, during a conversation with writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez, sprinkled with personal anecdotes from his childhood and youth, he took the audience on a journey through the books of his life, and assured that everyone has a book that marked a moment of their lives.
Argentine writer Ricardo Piglia, another one of BBVA's guests at the Hay Festival, during his conversation with Juan Gabriel Vásquez, in the Adolfo Mejía theater in Cartagena - BBVA
With Le Clezio’s participation in 2015, BBVA managed for the second time to bring a Nobel laureate to the fair. This year, with Hanif Kureishi, BBVA joined the voices that, from diversity, speak to the world about geopolitics and its impact on the current state of affairs.
A social space
BBVA found in this literary celebration a space to raise awareness about the actions it develops in the framework of its Corporate Responsibility plan. Every year, the bank’s Chairman and CEO, Óscar Cabrera Izquierdo, and the ambassador of its education programs, former goalkeeper Óscar Córdoba, lead an agenda where BBVA takes part in the main events and discussions of the Hay Festival, which are attended by customers and journalists. Also, the institution hosts a number of events, including school backpack giveaways, conversations with some of the people from the actions of the programs, the foundations and the communities.
Additionally, BBVA takes the opportunity that the festival offers to make important announcements about Corporate Responsibility investments, aimed at furthering the programs it develops in the country.
Gina Parody, Minister of Education, and Óscar Cabrera Izquierdo, BBVA Colombia Chairman and CEO, during the press conference presentation of the Corporate Responsibility plan 2016. - BBVA