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‘Visions for the Future’ project selects 28 women, one from each EU country

Europa28 – designed to be a platform that offers new perspectives on global problems – selects The Shift News founder Caroline Muscat from Malta.

Caroline Muscat (right) during a debate on censorship at Hay Festival 2018 with Paul Caruana Galizia, BBC Europe editor Katya Adler, and Index on Censorship editor Rachael Jolley. (Photo: Hay Festival)

The Shift News’ founder Caroline Muscat is one of 28 women chosen – one from each EU Member State – to participate in Hay Festival Europa28, a project that brings together women’s visions for Europe in the lead up to the European Capital of Culture in Rijeka in 2020.

The organisers of Europa28 have selected  28 prominent female authors, thinkers, writers and scientists across genres and generations, to discuss their visions of the future for Europe.

Europa28 will be celebrated at Hay Festivals until 2020, with many of the 28 participants speaking at events at the festivals worldwide. The festival has welcomed some of the best names in the field since it was born in Wales in 1988. Former US President Bill Clinton described the festival as “The Woodstock of the mind”.

“These 28 women represent a kaleidoscope of the brightest minds of our time,” the Hay Festival said during the project’s launch.

Each participant selected will also be commissioned to write an essay on the theme of ‘visions for the future’, which will be published in an anthology in English and Croatian. Caroline Muscat will be contributing to the ‘Politics and Economy’ category. She was selected for her “expertise and unique insights as a journalist”.

Photo: Hay Festival Europa28

Cristina Fuentes La Roche, International Director of Hay Festival, said Europe was a continent in constant change, noting it has been the birthplace of some of the most unifying art exercises in the world and the most terrible ideologies.

“The project seeks to discover new ideas and art that can guide us forward in this moment of political and cultural division. Thanks to this group of inspiring women who share their perspective as models to lead the next generation. Our new anthology and upcoming events will be spaces to think and to have hope,” Fuentes La Roche said.

The project will culminate at the Hay Festival in Rijeka, Croatia, between 3 and 5 of June 2020. The agenda comprises three full days of talks, debates and performances. The women selected for the project will also take part in a number of other Hay Festival events around the world, over the next 12 months.

In March 2020, the short stories and articles by the 28 women will be compiled in a book that will be published in the UK and in Croatia.

The Director of Comma Press, that will be publishing the book, said it would be a “platform for literature that offers new perspectives on global problems”, adding that the writers would “examine both the idea and the reality of Europe”.

Originally located in Hay-on-Wye in Wales, the Hay Festival has expanded internationally to a number of ‘sister festivals’ that take place all over the world, including The Maldives, Kenya, Lebanon, India, Peru, Spain, and now also Croatia.

Writers and artists who have participated in previous editions of the festival include Ian McEwan, Michael Morpurgo, Salman Rushdie, Tim Minchin, Martin Amis, Paul Theroux, Carol Ann Duffy, and Louis de Bernières. Speakers have included Harry Belafonte, Stephen Fry and Germaine Greer.

‘Hay Festival Europa28 – Visions for the Future’ works in collaboration with the Festival of the European Short Story and Rijeka University. It is funded by [email protected] and the European Union, Creative Europe.

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