Leading voices and dangerous conversations to be heard in Ubud

This year the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival brings with it the spirit of coming home, pulling together the best Indonesian, South East Asian and international voices as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary from 11-15 October. ‘I am thrilled at the strength of this year’s program, from our international guests to the discussions that will be held to mark this milestone Festival.

This year the Festival ‘comes home’ and focuses on emerging and established Indonesian writers, as well as our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region’, says Festival Founder & Director Janet DeNeefe. This October, the Festival will welcome more than 180 brilliant writers, performers, artists, musicians and visionaries to the magical setting of Ubud, to speak across all forms of storytelling – from travel writing to songwriting, plays, poetry, comedy and graphic novels.

Joining the line-up – and in his first Festival appearance in the region ­– is bestselling UK author Sebastian Faulks (Birdsong, A Possible Life), Lionel Shriver (We Need to Talk about Kevin), publishing entrepreneur and Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler, legendary Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig will make an appearance and Festival favourite Richard Flanagan will return.

The Festival will also welcome 2013 Man Booker long-listed authors Ruth Ozeki (A Tale for the Time Being) and Tash Aw (Five Star Billionaire) as well as India’s ‘first literary popstar’ Amish Tripathi. Other international guests include David Vann (Legend of a Suicide), two-time Miles Franklin winner Kim Scott (That Deadman Dance), American talent Nami Mun, and one of France’s most prolific writers Alain Mabanckou.

These international names will be joined by a world-class line-up of Indonesia’s finest and most successful writers and thinkers. Preeminent Indonesian poet and man-of-letters Goenawan Mohamad, award-winning writer Ayu Utami, bestselling writer and celebrity singer Dewi Lestari, celebrated filmmaker Garin Nugroho, Laksmi Pamuntjak, Ahmad Fuadi and more than 45 others ensures the 2013 Festival represents the best of Indonesian literature.

‘Since founding the Festival in the dark period after the second Bali Bombings, it has always been my hope and dream that the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival would provide a platform to launch and promote Indonesian writing on the world stage. Ten years on, with more translations of Indonesian work and more Indonesians appearing at literary events around the world, this is happening before my eyes’, said Janet DeNeefe.

In 2013 the Festival will honour Indonesia’s women’s rights pioneer R.A Kartini with its theme ‘Through Darkness to Light / Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang’. Taken from the title of a book of letters that Kartini wrote before her death in 1904 and which formed an important basis of the women’s liberation movement in Indonesia, the theme is also a fitting way to commemorate how far the Festival – and Bali – has come in the past 10 years.

The 2013 Festival will also celebrate dangerous ideas and the lengths that writers are prepared to go for their beliefs. Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho is an internationally awarded writer who has endured torture, rape and incarceration for exposing politicians involved in international child sex-trafficking networks.

Together with Egypt’s progressive female thinker Mona Prince and Indonesia’s leading expert on the jihadi movement, Solahudin, these writers join with former Sinn Féin director of publicity Danny Morrison in what is sure to be a compelling session about dangerous ideas and how to communicate them. Expect fascinating cross-cultural conversations, high profile international authors, and the opportunity to discover new and exciting local voices at this year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

source : bali travel news

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