Asean Literary Festival Brings the Region's Finest Writers to Jakarta

At this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, which runs from Oct. 18–23, Indonesia will showcase LitRI — a translation funding program for foreign publishers, intended to foster translation of Indonesian literature and other works into foreign languages. (Reuters Photo/Ralph Orlowski)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 4:55 PM April 26, 2016
Category : Life & Style, Arts & Culture

Jakarta.  Top writers and thinkers from across Southeast Asia will gather for the third edition of the Asean Literary Festival at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta on May 5-8.

This year's festival, themed "The Story of Now," brings into focus the way Southeast Asian authors "respond and adapt to the current global system," the festival's website says.

This marks the festival's continuing dedication to themes of democracy and human rights, as was also apparent in its previous instalments. The festival was initiated in 2014 by the Muara Foundation, a Jakarta-based nonprofit organization that aims to improve education and cultural literacy in Indonesia.

Programs throughout the four-day event range from panel discussions and readings, to workshops and children's programs.

Highlights include a conversation between two of Indonesia's poetry luminaries, Sapardi Djoko Damono and Joko Pinurbo; a panel about how Indonesia, Cambodia and Germany deal with traumas of the past through stories; a discussion about indie publishers and bookstores; as well as talks with revered writers Dewi "Dee" Lestari and Sujiwo Tejo.

A diverse array of writers and artists will also offer workshop sessions, including pianist Ananda Sukarlan on transforming literary works into music, and translator Anton Kurnia on translating literary works.

The festival's opening night will feature José Ramos-Horta, the former president of Timor-Leste  and Nobel Prize winner, who is slated to give a lecture on freedom and peace. A modern puppet show and a Korean orchestra will also add more festivities to the night.

For more information, visit or follow @ASEANLitFest on Twitter.

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