Authors Feby Indirani from Indonesia, Sergio Chejfec from Argentina, and Veronica Stigger from Brazil will be speakers at Komunitas Salihara's Literature and Ideas Festival (LIFEs), slated for Oct. 7-28. (Photo courtesy of Komunitas Salihara)

Latin America Under Spotlight at Salihara's Literature and Ideas Festival


SEPTEMBER 20, 2017

Jakarta. Komunitas Salihara, a cultural center based in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, is set to host the Literature and Ideas Festival, or LIFEs, on Oct. 7-28, it said in a statement on Tuesday (19/09).

The festival evolved out of the Salihara Literary Biennale, which started in 2011. Whereas the biennale featured more reading-related programs, LIFEs aims to highlight discussions of ideas.

The theme of this year's LIFEs is "Membaca Amerika Latin: Viva Reborn!" ("Reading Latin America: Viva Reborn!"). Latin America has been chosen for its significant ideas, such as magical realism genre in literature, traditional and socialist political movements, liberation theology and dependency theology.

Ayu Utami, director and literary curator of LIFEs, said the region is always "loud and bold."

"Latin America can also be compared to Indonesia. With regards to the history of colonialism, military regimes and democracy, environmental issues and the meeting/interaction between Abrahamic faith and local beliefs."

One of the programs presented at LIFEs is "Diskusi Meja Bundar" ("Roundtable Discussion"), which will connect diverse cultural actors with a focus on a Latin American cultural discourse.

"Pentas Sastra" ("Literary Show") will bring together Indonesian authors and their Latin American counterparts on one stage. Following short readings of their works, they will talk about the latest issues in the developing world, including political and religious issues.

Ziggy Zezsyazioviennazabriskie and Feby Indirani are among the Indonesian writers who will share the stage with Carmen Boullosa of Mexico and her feminist works, as well as Héctor Abad Faciolince of Colombia, who is part of the post-El Boom generation, which defined Latin American literature in the 1960s to 1980s.

Visitors can also take part in workshops. "What's in a Name?," led by Argentinian author Sergio Chejfec, will help participants develop narrations from a name.

"Raden Mandasia" author Yusi Avianto Pareanom will also guide participants to elaborate upon the connection between coffee and fiction during the "Seruput Cerita" workshop.

In addition, there will be a book bazaar, a series of Latin American film screenings and several art performances and exhibitions.

The event will conclude with a lecture by Muhammad Chatib Basri, a former Indonesian finance minister.

Further information of the event is available on its official website.