Shaping Up to be The Best Ever: 14th Ubud Writers and Readers Festival October 25-29, 2017 - Tourism Indonesia


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Shaping Up to be The Best Ever: 14th Ubud Writers and Readers Festival October 25-29, 2017

The 14th Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) returns to Bali October 25-29, 2017 with its well-deserved reputation as a global hub of education, inspiration and empowerment attracting more than 150 of the world’s leading authors, artists and activists from 31 countries presenting what promises to be the most diverse program yet in the event’s history.
From Indonesia to Iran, Canada to South Korea, the Philippines to Pakistan and dozens of countries in between, the five-day program of impassioned in-conversations, intimate literary lunches, and powerful live performances promise a world of stories, ideas and solutions at a time when amplifying diverse voices is more critical than ever.

Among the leading literary luminaries are the UK’s king of crime writing, Ian Rankin; Canada’s newest literary star, Madeline Thien; Revered Indonesian journalist and novelists Seno Gumira Ajidarma and Leila S. Chudori; Malaysian minority rights activist and author Marina Mahathir; and one of Indonesia’s most prolific and respected writers, feminist icon Nh. Dini.

They’ll be joined by one of the world’s best-loved authors Jung Chang, whose Family autobiography Wild Swans sold over ten million copies after being banned in China; eminent British writer, journalist and broadcaster Simon Winchester whose bestseller Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded has long been a firm fixture on bookshelves across the region; and one of Indonesia’s favorite and most prolific poets Joko Pinurbo.

French-Indonesian co-director of the Despicable Me franchise and the voice of the Minions, Pierre Coffin, will be on hand to delight the young and young at heart.

As ever, Southeast Asia’s leading journalists, writers, and activists will address the regions most pressing concerns, with the line-up including Andreas Harsono who has covered Indonesia for Human Rights Watch since 2008; Putu Oka Sukanta, the recipient if the inaugural Herb Feith Foundation Human Rights Education Award; factory worker-turned writer and social commentator, Lijia Zhang; Founder of the Georgetown Literature Festival, Bernice Chauly; esteemed writers and journalist, Michael Vatikiotis; and Nisi Hajara, Asia editor of Bloomberg News’ editorial page.

Amid political division, climate change will be tackled by industry leaders including acclaimed climatologist Tim Flannery; Head of the Climate Change Unit at the British Embassy Jakarta Tom Owen Edmunds; and Robert Crocker, a researcher in the field of design for sustainability.

As Latin America continues to make headlines, insights will be revealed by its prominent authors, poets and playwrights – Hector Abad from Colombia, Carmen Boullosa from Mexico, Sergio Chejfec from Argentina; along with journalist and art critic Victoria Stigger, and writer and artists Victor Heringer from Brazil.

The power of poetry in public discourse – both written and performed – will be a strong focal point of the Festival. Illustrious English poet, playwright and novelist Simon Armitage will be joined by Balinese poet and theater director Kadek Sonia Piscayanti; one of Portugal’s foremost contemporary writers m Ana Luisa Amaral; award-winning American writers and poet based in Japan, Leza Lowitz; Singaporean poet and photographer Marc Nair; the man credited as the catalyst for Australia’s Poetry Slam Champion, Arielle Cottingham.

After Iran was the guest of honor at this year’s Beijing International Book Fair, Iranian literatures – rooted in one of the world’s oldest literary traditions – will be explored by its rising star, Shokoofeh Azar, and the award-winning poet, playwright and literary translator, Sholeh Wolpe.

Upholding its reputation as a festival of fresh voices, UWRF will welcome “the wild child in the South Korean experimental literary scene”, Han Tujoo; editor of the first English language anthology of Tibetan fiction, Tenzin Dickie; and Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz , who wrote the Philippine’s first sole-author collection of lesbian-themed stories.

Alternative forms of storytelling will be explored by comic, artist and illustrator, and author of the first graphic novel to win the Singapore Literature Prize for Fiction, Sonny Liew; comic artists Rachel Ang, Art Director of Penciled In – a magazine championing the work of Asia-Australian writers and artists; Raziqi R, Mosmarth, Head of the Indonesian Comic Society; and Ary Wicahyana, who uses a traditional style if Balinese painting to address contemporary issues. Rocking against prejudice and smashing stereotypes, a performance by the groundbreaking all-girl Indonesian Muslim metal band Voice of Baceprot will present a little-heard perspective.

As Bali continues to top lists of the world’s favorite holiday destinations, travel and travel writing will be explored through the extraordinary stories of Paula Constant, who walked 12,000 km through eight countries; Indonesia’s leading travel writer Trinity; and Swedish writer Per Andersson, author of The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love.

Foodies will be sated by the insights of lifetime food traveler Joanna Savil and Britain’s leading expert on Chinese cuisine, Fuchsia Dunlop. They’ll be joined by Guardian Australia senior writers Brigid Delaney, whose recently released Wellmania takes a wry look at the global wellness industry.

The Festival continues to celebrate Indonesia’s burgeoning film industry with one of this year’s most anticipated releases, Istirihatlah Kata-kata (Solo, Solitude), directed by Yosep Anggi Noen, and hUsH, the latest film from one of Indonesia’s most controversial writers and filmmakers, Djenar Maesa Ayu.

“With the number of nations represented at this year’s Festival, it’s clear why previous UWRF speaker Dr. Anita Heiss called it ‘the most multicultural, political, and diverse events on the literary calendar,” said founder & firector Janet DeNeefe.

As a time when the severity of regional and global events leave us feeling disempowered, it is vital to hear as many different perspectives as possible and to share with the world Indonesia’s national motto – Unity in Diversity.”

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival Website

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