Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to Hit the Books Again at Jakarta's Literary Biennale

For literature aficionados, the month of October has been one of tension, character and plot lines in spades — and the denouement is yet to come.

On the heels of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali, Komunitas Utan Kayu, a cultural enclave consisting of literary writers, intellectuals, artists and journalists, opens its fifth literary biennale on Tuesday.

With the theme “Merandai,” or traversing, the literary biennale seeks to inspire a cross-cultural exchange of ideas between literary artists from different cultural and geographical backgrounds.

The biennale, in collaboration with Festival Winternachten in the Netherlands, brings together 10 international and 23 Indonesian literary writers, including Dacia Maraini from Italy, Reggie Baay from the Netherlands and Drisana Deborah Jack from St. Martin, to read and discuss their work at Jakarta’s Theater Salihara. Among the Indonesian writers are AS Laksana, Leila S Chudori and senior poet-essayist Sapardi Djoko Damono.

Hasif Amini, the event’s deputy director, says the gathering aims to inspire a greater appreciation for both local and international literary works, and perhaps lead to new opportunities for artists.


Festival director Ayu Utami says the fifth biennale also crosses into new realms of the creative arts, placing visual arts and music alongside readings and discussions. Seventeen Indonesian painters and three independent bands from Bandung have been invited to interpret selected literary works in paintings and music. Musical performances will feature Tika and the Dissidents, Angsa and Serigala and Rumah Musik Harry Roesli.

Paintings presented by curator Wahyudin will be on display at Galeri Salihara from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily until Oct. 30.

The event will be open to the public from Wednesday through Saturday. Discussions in both Indonesian and English will feature a translator, and readings are to appear translated on LCD monitors.


Literary Biennale Schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 21
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Theater Salihara:
Reading and Discussion: Women — Heroines and Concubines. Featuring Dacia Maraini (Italy), Lily Yulianti Farid (Indonesia), Reggie Baay (the Netherlands), Wendoko (Indonesia) and Yanusa Nugroho (Indonesia)
9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Kafe Atap Salihara:
Reading, Music Performance and Poetry Slam. Featuring Hudan Hidayat (Indonesia), Iyut Fitra (Indonesia) and the indie band Tika and the Dissidents

Thursday, Oct. 22
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Theater Salihara:
Reading and Discussion: Spaces and Traces. Featuring Agus Sardjono (Indonesia), Alfred Schaffer (the Netherlands), Bernice Chauly (Malaysia), Gus TF Sakai (Indonesia), M Aan Mansyur (Indonesia), Leila S Chudori (Indonesia). Book launch, Leila S Chudori
9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Kafe Atap Salihara: Reading and Poetry Slam. Featuring Inggit Putria Marga (Indonesia), Jan Cornall (Australia), Ramon Damora (Indonesia) and Timur Sinar Suprabana (Indonesia)

Friday, Oct. 23
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Theater Salihara:
Reading and Discussion: History and Irony. Featuring A Muttaqin (Indonesia), AS Laksana (Indonesia), Drisana Deborah Jack (St. Martin), Handri TM (Indonesia), Vanni Bianconi (Switzerland), Warih Wisatsana (Indonesia)
9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Kafe Atap Salihara:
Reading, Music Performance and Poetry Slam. Featuring Ahda Imran (Indonesia), Beno Siang Pamungkas (Indonesia), Zeno Gabaglio (Switzerland) and percussion music by Rumah Musik Harry Roesli

Saturday, Oct. 24
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Theater Salihara:
Reading and Discussion: Traversing. Featuring M Iksaka Banu (Indonesia), Moon Chung Hee (South Korea), Triyanto Triwikromo (Indonesia), Sapardi Djoko Damono (Indonesia) and Sandra Thibodeaux (Australia)
9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Kafe Atap Salihara:
Reading, Music Performance and Poetry Slam. Featuring Jimmy Maruli Alfian (Indonesia), Hasan Aspahani (Indonesia) and the indie band Angsa and Serigala

Theater Salihara
Jalan Salihara No. 16
Pasar Minggu
Jakarta
Tel. 021 789 1202

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