Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2005
The lush Balinese mountain village of Ubud (artistic heartland of one of the world’s richest and most hospitable cultures) will host the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival from 6 to 11 October 2005.
The Festival is being produced under the auspices of the non-profit Saraswati Foundation for the Arts, a Bali-based organization devoted to literacy education and the cultivation of artistic and cultural collaboration between east and west.
The 2005 festival theme, “Between Worlds”, emerged from the inaugural 2004 event, where issues of identity, faith, and global-local interface were repeatedly raised by authors juggling modern versus traditional ways, caught between religious or geographical boundaries, or straddling two or more cultures.
This year’s diverse and exciting program brings together over 100 speakers: novelists, poets, cultural observers and journalists, along with filmmakers and photographers from all over the globe, especially the Asia Pacific region.
Poetry and prose readings by some of the world’s most renowned authors will be complemented by public discussions, debates on literary and political topics, long literary lunches, challenging workshops, informative panels, astonishing traditional theatre and cool jazz improvisations.
Special international guests will include Michael Ondaatje, Sri Lankan Canadian author of Booker Prize- winning The English Patient, who will reveal the secrets of his magical prose and poetry in a discussion of his life and work.
Kirsty Sword Gusmao, Timor Leste’s First Lady, will discuss her best-selling memoir, A Woman of Independence, and life in the world’s youngest nation. Poet and President Xanana Gusmao will join her to read excerpts from her book, their secret letters and his poetry.
Nury Vittachi, one of the stars of last year’s festival and creator of the world’s favourite Feng Shui detective, will return from Hong Kong armed with fresh humor to discuss The Da Vinci Code from a Feng Shui perspective.
Amitav Ghosh, Randhir Khare and Chetan Bhagat will converse to the gentle chords of the Sarod in a session focusing on three generations of Indian writers.
Nationally, this festival provides a unique open space for Indonesia’s leading thinkers and literary pioneers to shed light on the social, religious and literary landscapes of Indonesia today. At the same time, it will showcase some of the country’s most promising new talents for an international audience.
Indonesian guest writers include: literacy champion and literary journal director, Taufiq Ismail; Islamic publisher and writer, Haidar Bagir; filmmakers Nia Dinata and Joko Anwar; esteemed Professor Budi Darma, fiction writers Nukila Amal, Eka Kurniawan and Mommar Emka; poets Sitok Srengenge and Sutardji Calzoum Bachri; teenage novelist, Laire Siwi Mentari and Rachmania Arunita; and emerging Balinese women playwrights, Kadek Sonia Piscayanti, Maliana and Eka Pranita Dewi.
Putu Oka Sukanta, an extraordinary mix of activist, writer, newspaper founder, acupuncturist and healer, will describe his latest work about the lives of prostitutes and his work with AIDS and drug abuse throughout Indonesia.
Ayu Utami, who created a literary sensation in Indonesia with her novel, Saman, will launch the English translation of this acclaimed and controversial story of female sexuality and the struggle between personal faith and political action.Other books to be launched include They Say I'm a Monkey and Nayla by Djenar Maesa Ayu and Bali Today, by Jean Couteau and Benito Lopulalan.
Beyond writers, the festival is honored to be hosting Nusantara Berkisah (the archipelago tells), a special set of panels, live performance and film sessions on Indonesia’s lived literature traditions, and the dynamic collaborations between artists, scholars and local communities that keep them alive.
Elizabeth D. Inandiak will share her passion for Serat Centhini�"the masterwork of mystic poetry of the courts of 19th century Java, which she has translated into French and Indonesian�"and perform excerpts from it with musician, Alex Dea.
Joining from Sulawesi will be some of the ‘keepers’ of Sureq Galigo�"the Bugis epic that inspired the Robert Wilson theatre piece, I La Galigo�"including Puang Matoa Saidi, head Bissu of Segeri, a ‘fifth gender’ priest who embodies, more than most, the very essence of a being between worlds. They will offer insider views of the sacred text, its place in their hearts, and their pivotal roles in the Wilson production, followed by a sounding of the text.
In short, there’s something for lovers of every style and genre of writing, in sessions on publishing, translation, erotica, food and travel writing, activism, spirituality, indigenous language and culture, and much more.
Beyond words, festival-goers will be treated to exquisite dances by troupes from Bali to West Papua, fine cuisine, an exhibition by two of the region’s most courageous photojournalists, and, above all, the warmth and generosity of the people of Ubud.
For program details, guest list, press and photo gallery, click:
There’s no other writer’s festival like it!
‘This Festival is a creative and practical way to bring healing to Bali, build cultural links and promote local development and literacy,’ says festival director, Janet De Neefe.
Other News / Articles
- Nusa Lembongan Island (15 September 2007)
- Bali Dances and Performances (24 December 2005)
- The History of Bali (20 December 2005)
- Tumpek Uduh or Tumpek Wariga or Tumpek Pengatag (05 September 2005)
- Saraswati Day - a day to honor the Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom (19 July 2005)
- Bali Culture and History (17 July 2005)
- Bali Paradise Island (15 July 2005)
- Elephant Cave Temple (Pura Goa Gajah) (02 July 2005)