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Ancient Futures Festival gives Bali food for thought

Richard Horstman
Richard Horstman

Artivist, observes and reports on developments in the Bali and Indonesian art scenes

Denpasar  /  Thu, April 27, 2017  /  02:30 pm
Ancient Futures Festival gives Bali food for thought

Native Columbian cultural authority and medicine man Anthar Kharana shares his wisdom during a workshop. (Ancient Futures Festival/File)

The international festival scene is a constantly evolving phenomenon, often reflecting changes in culture that are aligned with shifts in human consciousness. Festivals increasingly offer opportunities for personal engagement, the sharing of ideas, networking and debate, attracting seekers, and the like-minded, to ‘safe havens’ that uphold the open-hearted expression of creativity.

Some of the new emerging micro-festivals are a direct response to the current global political, socioeconomic and environmental disorder. Ancient Futures: NewEarth Festival, a new micro-festival held from April 5-9, near Ubud, Bali, was an innovative gathering, connecting a small group of individuals and communities from around the globe who desire personal and collective transformation.

The five-day event at the NewEarth Nation Haven, Villa Akasha, in the village of Keliki, north of Ubud, was set on a six-arena site built from bamboo and biodegradable materials. It featured bio-resonance architecture, especially designed to enhance the spirit of connectivity and community. The number of attendees topped 350 during the evening celebration of music and performances.

Native Columbian cultural authority and medicine man Anthar Kharana shares his wisdom during a workshop.(Ancient Futures Festival/File)

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Combining wisdom and knowledge from the past and present, while emphasizing earth and environmental awareness, the Ancient Futures program featured a world-class line-up of speakers, innovators, artists and musicians. Visionaries and influencers within the field of sustainability, community and wellbeing, such as Dr Nancy Ash, Dan Winter, Dr David Luke, Thomas Joseph Brown and the Founder of NewEarth Nation, Sacha Stone, facilitated talks and workshops.

“There is now an archetype of festival that has become standard with its approach to combining music, creative expressions, and consciousness,” said NewEarth Haven operations director Brian Kelly. “The difference with Ancient Futures is it being tied to bringing out information and the sharing of truth, while anchoring a new paradigm of information. We are a response to the festivals that have developed into a party atmosphere with drugs and escapism.”

As an interactive platform to share experience and ideas, a key focus of the event was the Symposium, which represented a diversity of disciplines and hosted more than 20 talks, panel discussions, workshops and films. German web technologies expert Fabian Vogelsteller discussed cryptocurrencies and the self-regulating networks at the core of blockchain technologies, along with smart contracts. Dr. Nancy Ash from the New Earth University hosted Altruistically Building Community. Topics included Introduction to Ayurveda, Art & Consciousness, Learning From The Ancients To Find Solutions For the Future, Accessing The Creative Spirit and Conscious Living: A New Paradigm For The Future of Media.

Festival crowd at the NewEarth Haven.(Ancient Futures Festival/File)

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In Quantum Art and Rapid Learning, Australian researcher and cross-genre new media artist Joe Crossley outlined the enormous potential for large-scale visual art projects involving video mapping, a technique that combines technology with cutting-edge visual experiences. Topics such as computer singularity, cell art, new media potentialities and quantum computing fascinated the audience.

Paradigm Metamorphosis, hosted by Thomas Joseph Brown, an independent researcher into spiritual science and metaphysics, free energy, lost sciences, and more, provided amazing insights into new paradigm information and learning. Another highlight was How Communication Can Drive Our Culture Towards a Sustainable Future: Non-Violent Strategies to Resolve Conflict, presented by Casey Davidson of the Zeitgeist Australia Movement, a worldwide movement for social change (zeitgeist in German means spirit of the times).

The Symposium was connected with a program of workshops from respected cultural authorities and facilitators. Morning yoga classes were followed by transformational breathing, meditation, sounding healing sessions and later in the day, cacao and fire ceremonies. Demonstrations of live painting were conducted by visionary artists Luke Brown and Mark Lee. Nighttime celebrations included world music featuring Fanna-Fi-Allah Sufi Qawwali, Tora, Dirtwire, international DJs, and dance and spectacular performances, such as Bboy Neguin, one of the world’s leading breakdancers. High vibration festival food was created on site within the NewEarth Haven kitchen, while the festival adopted a no alcohol on site policy.

Opening and closing ceremonies were officiated by Ida Resi Alit, the youngest female Balinese High Priestess of Hindu Dharma. Other offerings from Indonesian and Balinese culture included Jane Chen singing sacred versus and chants from the 13-16 century East Javanese Majapahit Hindu Empire, a presentation on Bali’s ancient traditional water management system, the subak, and a dynamic evening performance of the Balinese kecak fire dance.

A panel debate hosted by NewEarth Nations founder Sacha Stone (center) included Michael Tellinger, Fabian Vogelsteller and Te Kaha as guests.(Ancient Futures Festival/File)

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New technology and innovation was accompanied with the sharing of traditional knowledge from a Council of Wisdom Keepers, where representatives from the indigenous native cultures from around the world communicated their knowledge in talks, healings and ceremonies. The Panel Debates, hosted by Sacha Stone, streamed over the internet, with daily themes were aligned with the elements of earth, water, air, fire and ether. Cultural leaders and experts in various fields shone light on topics crucial, complex and enlightening; South African author scientist, explorer and founder of the global UBUNTU Liberation Movement, Michael Tellinger being a highpoint.

The Ancient Futures closing ceremony on April 9 was marked with the first public demonstration of a free energy technology device, the QT~Pi. In his concluding remarks, Sacha Stone said, “The essence of what we are bringing to bare with this experiment is a collective envisioning of a world that transcends time, money and fear into art, beauty, consciousness and expansiveness.”

“This is the very first of the annual gatherings to be held in Bali. We will soon launch Ancient Futures in other global locations featuring this world-first festival model,” Brian Kelly said. “Ancient Futures celebrates the potentiality of where humanity is heading.” (kes)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.