Indonesian journalist and novelist Seno Gumira Ajidarma seen during last year's Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. (Photo courtesy of UWRF)

Indonesia's Literary Frontline Set to Attend 15th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

Jakarta. The organizers of the 15th annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival have released a full list of speakers and programs for the event, scheduled for Oct. 24-28.

More than 160 national and international speakers, including writers, journalists, academics, artists musicians and activists from 30 countries, have confirmed their attendance at this year's event.

Writers at the forefront of Indonesia's literary scene, such as Sapardi Djoko Damono, Leila Chudori, Aan Mansyur, Dee Lestari and Avianti Armand, are scheduled to attend.

Ndaba Mandela, the grandchild of Nelson Mandela, will be joining the festival, sharing his journey, bringing with him the lessons that come with his grandfather's legacy.

Leading the climate and environment discussions will be Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti, accompanied by young Dayak leader and environmental activist, Emmanuela Shinta, and Greenpeace Southeast Asia executive director Yeb Saño.

Those were but a few among many who have confirmed their attendance. With writers from dozens of countries, including Indonesia, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, the Philippines and Pakistan, the festival is set to be packed with meaningful discussions, debates and performances.

"After 15 years, we feel our festival has fulfilled its purpose of putting Ubud on the literary map, nationally and internationally, and sparking interest in Indonesian literature. Most visitors in the early days said they knew nothing about Indonesian writers and journalists, but this has slowly changed," said Janet DeNeefe, founder and director of the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.

"In 2018, we're not only celebrating our 15th year as Southeast Asia's leading festival of words and ideas. We're also celebrating the fact that Indonesia is home to world-class literature, art, film and food, and finally the world is taking notice," DeNeefe said.

Spanning 70 sessions over four days, the program will take place at three venues: Festival Hub at Taman Baca, Indus Restaurant and NEKA Museum, which are all within walking distance of each other.

Tickets can be purchased through the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival website, or in person at the festival box office at Taman Baca from Oct. 22. Use the code MPJG and get 20 percent off on four-day passes.