'Karma' is the theme of the 16th annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, set to take place at various locations in Ubud, Bali, on Oct. 23-27. (Photo courtesy of Ubud Writers and Readers Festival)

Calling All Readers! Ubud Writers and Readers Festival to Kick Off This Month


OCTOBER 02, 2019

Jakarta. "Karma" is the theme of the 16th annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, set to take place at various locations in Ubud, Bali, on Oct. 23-27.

There will be 180 speakers from 30 countries participating in the literature festival, ranked among the world's five best by Britain's The Telegraph.

Visitors will get to enjoy more than 170 programs, including panel discussions of various issues, film screenings, art exhibitions, book launches and writing workshops. Here is a glimpse of the events:

Main Event

There will be several free events after the gala opening on Oct. 23. The main event, which will start on the second day, will see three discussion panels: The Price of Democracy; Asia-Pacific Futures on the Page, Stage and Screen; and Karma and Kindness. It will continue with a talk titled Indonesian Emerging Writers 2019 and Islam Today.

Other than that, there will be Life After #MeToo, which explores life after the worldwide movement, and Precious Peatlands that talks about peatland conservation.

The festival will also explore Balinese arts, poetry, social and environmental affairs. Fashion enthusiasts can also join Sartorial Art for Impact, which will discuss textile and fashion arts that are socially aware.

Special Events

Special events will include Indonesian pianist Ananda Sukarlan entertaining visitors at Padma Resorts Ubud. Other notable figures, such as British chef Yotam Ottolenghi, will have separate special events at Casa Luna and Indus Restaurant.

In the writing department, visitors can attend workshops with writer Famega Syavira Putri and standup comedian James Roque. Writers Pailin Wedel and Patrick Winn will present Investigative Writing. Other fun workshops not to be missed are Batik Painting, Herb Walk, and Culinary Jalan-Jalan.

There are still hundreds of attractive programs and art installations, film screenings, live music and after-dark events.

The Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is one of the biggest literature festivals in Southeast Asia. It was first held in 2004 by nonprofit organization Mudra Swari Saraswati to restore the island's tourism industry after the first Bali bombing.

Last year's edition saw attendance by the vanguard of Indonesia's literary scene, including Sapardi Djoko Damono, Leila Chudori and Dee Lestari.

For more information about the events, check out the festival's schedule. Tickets can be obtained through the festival's official website. Use the code MPJG and get 20 percent off four-day passes.