Program Category: Main Program

From intimate in-conversations between leading authors, artists, thinkers and performers, to fiery debates on some of the region’s most pressing issues, the Main Program takes place from 24–27 October.

Spanning 70 sessions over four days, it’s held across three venues: Festival Hub @ Taman Baca, Indus Restaurant, and NEKA Museum, which are all within walking distance of each other on Jl. Raya Sanggingan. A free shuttle runs between each venue and Museum Puri Lukisan on Jl. Raya Ubud every 30 minutes, from 8:00am to 6:00pm.


Main Program | The Karma of Comedy

25 Oct 2019 10:15 /

From gentle mockery to caustic sarcasm, there’s a victim at the butt of most good laughs. Must comedy be cruel to work, and does that mean comedians have a free …

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Main Program | Yotam Ottolenghi: Simple

25 Oct 2019 10:15 /

“In this day and age recipes are abundant… I love that I can learn a little bit more, whether it’s political, philosophical, historical, or personal.” For Yotam Ottolenghi, food is …

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Main Program | Bali’s Art Activists

25 Oct 2019 11:45 /

The work of the island’s local contemporary artists and writers provides a window into Bali beyond the beaches and swaying palms. Meet a young writer and literacy activist fostering a …

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Main Program | Andreas Harsono: Race, Islam and Power

25 Oct 2019 11:45 /

Andreas Harsono has covered Indonesia for Human Rights Watch since 2008. His new book Race, Islam and Power: Ethnic and Religious Violence in Post-Suharto Indonesia is the result of his …

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Main Program | Lindy West: The Witches are Coming

25 Oct 2019 11:45 /

There’s no stopping feminist firebrand Lindy West as she takes on trolls, fat shamers, gender stereotypers, pop culture and politicians with biting clarity and sass. Hear from the writer Esquire …

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Main Program | Lessons Learned

25 Oct 2019 13:00 /

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in,” muses Murakami in Kafka on the Shore. Love a good true, transformative story? A …

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Main Program | Rhik Samadder: I Never Said I Loved You

25 Oct 2019 13:00 /

Actor, broadcaster and writer Rhik Samadder’s memoir about mental illness, bad acting, backpacking with his mother, and the infinite ache of being alive was described by The Guardian’s Kate Kellaway …

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Main Program | Indonesian, Elsewhere

25 Oct 2019 13:00 /

Around 9 million Indonesians live and work overseas, along with countless descendants of Indonesian migrants. Our panel of orang Indonesia living in diaspora recount their personal experiences of what it …

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Main Program | The Role of the Arts in Cultural Diplomacy

25 Oct 2019 14:30 /

“We’re fractured nations because we’re not reading or translating each other,” said Malaysian author Bernice Chauly during the UWRF17 panel on the 50th anniversary of ASEAN. Join our group of …

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Main Program | How Can Bali Survive?

25 Oct 2019 14:30 /

A small island of 4.3 million, Bali received almost 16 million tourists last year. Tourism-related business makes up 80% of the economy, making it an indispensable source of livelihood and …

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Main Program | Weapons of Mass Distortion

25 Oct 2019 14:30 /

Indonesia has 150 million internet users and 800,000 hoax-distributing websites, according to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. In a system swimming with fake news, what is the relationship …

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Main Program | Outside, Inside

25 Oct 2019 15:45 /

Migrants are frequently represented as outsiders in literature, powerless and vulnerable. Our panel is rewriting tropes of migration in groundbreaking ways, granting agency to people on the move and as …

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Main Program | Sartorial Art for Impact

25 Oct 2019 15:45 /

Meet our panel of creatives who tell stories with textiles. Whether advocating for the conservation of traditional Indonesian weaving, finding joy in bursts of color, or dressing to defy censorship …

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Main Program | Is All Contemporary Fiction Speculative Fiction?

25 Oct 2019 15:45 /

Speculative fiction has lurked in the shadows of the literary scene for years while realism hogged the limelight. Now, as the natural and political spheres crumble around us, speculative fiction’s …

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Main Program | Behrouz Boochani and Omid Tofighian: No Friend But the Mountains

26 Oct 2019 09:00 /

Behrouz Boochani fled Iran in 2013, seeking asylum in Australia, and has been detained on Manus Island ever since. He wrote the award-winning No Friend But the Mountains via WhatsApp, …

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Main Program | Sanam Maher: A Woman Like Her

26 Oct 2019 09:00 /

In 2016, Pakistan’s first social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was murdered: an ‘honor killing’ at the hands of her own brother. Journalist Sanam Maher was compelled to write Qandeel’s story. …

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Main Program | Language Life Support

26 Oct 2019 09:00 /

There are an estimated 7,099 languages spoken in the world. Political persecution, a lack of preservation and globalization mean that every two weeks another dies. With each death we lose …

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Main Program | Precious Peatlands

26 Oct 2019 10:15 /

Indonesia has 36% of the world’s tropical peatlands. Home to tens of thousands of endangered species, and more effective at storing carbon than forests, this crucial habitat is under severe …

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Main Program | Domestic Spaces

26 Oct 2019 10:15 /

The domestic, the interior and the personal have traditionally been relegated to the realm of women’s writing, which in recent years has been dismissed as too small to attract significant …

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Main Program | Vice Up Your Life

26 Oct 2019 10:15 /

The world as we know it was built on bad behavior, from dance and debauchery to trash talk and tripping. Our panelists dig deep to uncover the many and magnificent …

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