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Three Indonesian writers to speak at George Town Literary Festival in November

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, October 4, 2019  /  03:29 pm
Three Indonesian writers to speak at George Town Literary Festival in November

Themed Forewords/Afterwords, Malaysia’s largest international literary event will reflect upon the past 100 years as we approach the year 2020.  (Shutterstock/FotoDuets)

Celebrated poet Sapardi Djoko Damono, prolific writer Goenawan Mohamad and young writer Norman Erikson Pasaribu will be among a line-up of speakers at the annual George Town Literary Festival (GTLF) that is slated to return on Nov. 21-24 in George Town, Penang, Malaysia. 

Themed Forewords/Afterwords, Malaysia’s largest international literary event will reflect upon the past 100 years as we approach the year 2020. 

"Some of this year’s conversations will reflect on pivotal moments in modern history that have left an indelible mark on our society. One hundred years ago, the end of WWI precipitated profound changes around the world, not least in the realm of culture and ideas, such as the May Fourth Movement in China and the birth of Bauhaus in Europe. This year we also look back on 50 years since the 1969 racial riots in Malaysia, 40 years since the Iranian Revolution and 30 years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall — incidents that continue to shape the ideological contours of our contemporary reality," read a statement received by The Jakarta Post.

Other prominent writers scheduled to headline the event are 2019 Man Booker International Prize winner Jokha Alharti, 2019 EBRD Literature Prize winner Hamid Ismailov, Japanese poet Hiromi Ito, essayist and intellectual Eliot Weinberger, Djiboutian-French author Abdourahman Waberi and contemporary Chinese poet Xi Chuan and historian on modern China Rebecca E. Karl. 

Read also: Jakarta’s literary festival to highlight Southern identity

This year's event will be led by festival codirectors Pauline Fan, a writer and literary translator, and Sharaad Kuttan, who has 30 years of experience curating conversations on various platforms. Meanwhile, author, entrepreneur and restaurateur Shankar Santhiram will serve as guest curator. 

The 2018 edition of the festival, which featured up to 64 events, reportedly welcomed over 6,000 attendees. For this year, the GTLF will present conversations, panel discussions, readings, performances, screenings and workshops, among other activities.

For the very first time, the festival is also holding weekly creative workshops for students every Saturday from Oct. 5 to 26 in libraries across the city, with lessons in creative writing, screenwriting for film, spoken word poetry and publishing. 

The festival is generally open to the public, except for writing workshops by festival headliners. (kes)

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