We’re thrilled to release our 2016 dates and theme, and we encourage you to start plotting your path to us now. We will fill Ubud with a starry array of world thinkers and artists this October 26 – 30, 2016, all celebrating the theme Tat Tvam Asi or ‘I am you, you are me.’
The powerful 6th century Hindu philosophy of Tat Tvam Asi – which may be recast as ‘I am you, you are me,’ or more literally ‘We are one’ – originally spoke of the relationship between the self and the supreme reality.
In Bali, we may see how the concept has evolved to become the beating heart of the community. It urges us to consider all humans as equal and identical, and that pain inflicted on others is pain ultimately inflicted on ourselves. This is a powerful ideology that can be seen as crucial to the collective identity of Indonesia – uniting people from incredibly diverse religious, ethnic, cultural and historical backgrounds to share common respect and understanding.
In a Festival of uncommon stories and meaningful connections, this theme is perhaps its truest representation. With the stories we tell each other, we conjure empathy that mirrors real life experience. That which we can imagine, we can understand. By reading a book, we reach across illusory divides and ‘You’ becomes ‘Me’.
From Ancient Rome playwright Terrance musing, “If I am human, then nothing human is alien to me,” to David Foster Wallace stating fiction is a way to “Become less alone inside,” with Tat Tvam Asi, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will continue to plumb the fascinating depths of truth, humanity, empathy, and existence. Join us.
With over 165 of the world’s leading writers, artists and thinkers taking part in 241 events across 50+ venues, and with audience attendance numbers at 30,620, 2015 was another landmark year for Ubud and the Festival.