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Dee Lestari, Hanif Kureishi among speakers at upcoming UWRF

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, July 17, 2018  /  04:33 pm
Dee Lestari, Hanif Kureishi among speakers at upcoming UWRF

Bali's Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) this year is slated for Oct. 24-28, welcoming once again literary figures to the annual event. (Shutterstock/File)

Bali's 2018 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF) has announced its line up of speakers, which, among others, features writer Dewi "Dee" Lestari, often touted as a pioneer of modern Indonesian literature, and Balinese litterateur behind the Kelas Cerpen Kompas (Kompas Short Story Class), Putu Fajar Arcana. 

As reported by Antara news agency, UWRF is slated for Oct. 24-28. Another guest confirmed is Haidar Bagir, a writer, philanthropist and founder of one of Indonesia's largest publishers, Mizan Group. Haidar recently received the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Award after holding an interfaith dialogue, according to a press release. 

The event is also set to welcome poet and architect Avianti Armand, who led Indonesia's curatorial team for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice in 2014, as well as popular poet M. Aan Mansyur, who was among the curators at the Makassar International Writers Festival. 

Entering its 15th installment, the UWRF takes on the theme of "Jagadhita", taken from a Hindu philosophy on happiness and prosperity in the universe, as well as the human quest for harmony within the concept. 

Read also: Dee Lestari and her most challenging novel yet

Throughout the five days, the literary event invites its visitors to reconsider what kind of world humanity has created, as well as the events in the world that have or have not deliberately unfolded due to humans. 

"We will work together to solve problems and find solutions to the world we live in," UWRF founder and director Janet DeNeefe said. 

Since it was first held as a recovery effort for the first Bali bombing tragedy, UWRF has transformed into one of the leading festivals to exchange ideas and inspiration from around the globe, Janet said. Writers, scholars, artists, activists and academics have shared their stories and voices in the festival.

"At URWRF, cultural and geographical boundaries seem to disappear as our speakers and panel participants blend into a global community," Janet said. 

Other Indonesian figures set to attend the event include writer-director Kamila Andini, who recently won international accolades for her highly successful film Sekala Niskala (The Seen and Unseen) that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Tokyo Filmex and Generation Kplus Grand Prix in Berlin. 

Read also: 'The Seen and Unseen' interprets grief through subtly vivid sequences

Kamila will present with Indonesian director Richard Oh, who is set to premier his latest movie Love is a Bird at the UWRF. 

Also set to make an appearance is Indonesian sculptor Nyoman Nuarta, the artist and project leader behind the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue that is set to be completed following a 28-year delay. On Aug. 17, which would coincide with Indonesia's 73rd Independence Day, Bali will be home to the world's tallest statue. 

The upcoming literary event is also set to present international speakers, such as British playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and novelist Hanif Kureishi; Australian professor Gillian Triggs, who was Australia's Human Rights Commission president from 2012 to 2017; Australian novelist Kim Scott; Indian poet, novelist and dancer Tishani Doshi; as well as American author, director and medical doctor of Nigerian descent Uzodinma Iweala. Pakistani writer Fatima Bhutto is also set to make a return to the event after first appearing in 2008. (liz/wng)