The Maldives will hold a Hay festival starting October 14 with the intention of celebrating “ideas, conversations and fun”.
The festival will bring together international and local experts in literature, art, science, drama, music and poetry, according to a statement from the President’s Office.
Maldivian writers including Ogaru Ibrahim Waheed and Fathmath Nahula will join historian and biographer Jung Chang (author of Wild Swans and Mao), novelist Ian McEwan (author of Atonement) and environmental campaigners Montagu Don, Tim Smit, Mark Lynas and Chris Gorell-Barnes.
Mauritian-born, electronic fusion artist Ravin will perform and local bands will include Fasy Live. Lectures will also be delivered online by prominent artists, scientists and historians.
“The Maldives has been a multi-party democracy for only two years and this new freedom has opened up a host of new opportunities both culturally and politically,” the statement said.
Some events will be held on the Presidential Retreat on Aarah, allowing rare public access to the island.
The Hay Festival began in the Welsh book town of Hay-on-Wye in Brecon Beacons National Park in the UK, and has fostered the exchange of ideas for more than twenty years.