Welcome to our #UWRF22 highlights section! This is where we pay tribute with weekly drops to highlight the brilliant minds who shaped our creative, imaginative, and personal selves at our 2022 Festival.
Listen to conversations recorded live, which explore the role of the written word in upholding humanity’s values and freedoms through our Festival team: Uniting Humanity.
WOMEN IN FICTION
To celebrate the birthday of female Indonesian heroine, Raden Adjeng Kartini (1879-1904), who fought for gender equality and the right to education for all, our #UWRF22 Highlight Session will bring you a panel discussion on Women in Fiction. Women throughout history, and even now, face discrimination in the literary world. In the late 18th and 19th centuries, writing as a profession was primarily considered unsuitable for women. Many women wrote under male pseudonyms, such as George Eliot, whose real name was Mary Ann Evans. Today, the number of women publishing fiction in the Western world has increased. This poses many questions, such as: do women still have to deal with social barriers in writing careers? What about women of colour pursuing writing careers? Do they face unique challenges because of their race? Listen to journalist Annika Blau, Indonesian author Ramayda Akmal, novelist Diana Reid, and author Kirstin Chen discuss these issues and questions.
THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF DISINFORMATION AND MISINFORMATION
It is no secret that politicians wield disinformation as a political tool, to drive people apart and control them. For example, the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar was partly incited by Facebook posts. There were even conspiracy theorists who denied that the COVID-19 pandemic existed, which led to people disregarding masks, among other things. Online disinformation seems to influence peoples’ public and private views on a range of issues, from politics, public health, the environment, and religion. Join Indonesian-Australian journalist, Tito Ambyo, The Conversation Indonesia Publisher and CEO, Prodita Sabarini, Lowy Institute Researcher, Lydia Khalil, and Human Rights Watch Indonesia Researcher. Andreas Harsono, tackle this issue comprehensively in conversation.
IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL VATIKIOTIS
In a conversation moderated by Janet Steele, Vatikiotis will talk about his new book, Lives Between the Lines: A Journey In Search of the Lost Levant. It’s a fascinating memoir, detailing the author’s Greek and Italian forebears who lived in Egypt and Palestine, respectively, that spans from the mid-1800s to the end of the Second World War in 1945—which has many echoes and lessons for today. The Middle East is understood today as a place of endless conflict. But back then, it was a bastion of tolerance and pluralism. This book highlights how European colonial projects shattered that peaceful coexistence once and for all.
FROM BOOK TO SCREEN
Adapting a book into a film can be a delicate process. Authors might take too much control in the process, and fans might be disappointed by the screen adaptation’s end result. In this week’s #UWRF22 Highlight Session, listen to American novelist, Kirstin Chen, as well as Indonesian writer, Ahmad Fuadi, and film director, Kamila Andini, as they discuss this issue with interviewer Julia Winterflood. Both Chen and Fuadi have had their books adapted into a TV series and a film respectively, whilst Andini has directed a screen adaptation of a novel.
CONNECTING LIFE WITH WORDS: THE WOMEN POWERING POETRY
In this week’s #UWRF22 Highlight Sessions episode, indulge yourself in an emotional journey alongside three international female poets who share their stories about their creative lives with a celebrated Balinese poet. In the conversation is the female Balinese poet, Kadek Sonia Piscayanti, with Venilla Rajaguru from India, Afra Atiq from the United Arab Emirates, and Bejan Matur from Turkey. They explore the power of emotions, as well as how they’ve transmuted their personal life’s pains and pleasures into creativity.
SPECULATIVE FICTION: EXPLORING OUR FUTURE
Speculative fiction immerses us in a vision of the world that could become true from a plethora of latent possibilities. Speculative fiction uses storytelling as a tool to educate and influence people’s perspectives by creating a world that expands on contemporary society. Renowned authors Laura Jean McKay, Norman Erikson Pasaribu and Sequoia Nagamatsu will speak to the power of speculative fiction to pose the question: what if?
REPRESENTING WOMEN IN CINEMA AND POPULAR CULTURE
This week’s #UWRF22Highlights episode seeks to mark International Women’s Day by featuring a discussion on Women Representation in Cinema and Popular Culture. You can listen to Indonesia’s two prominent female film directors, Nia Dinata and Kamila Andini, as well as female Indonesian visual artist, curator, and craftswoman, Ika Vantiani, as they talk about their creative evolution and challenges they face regarding sexism and censorship in the local film and popular culture scene. Renowned Indonesian music journalist, Meita Kasim, moderates the discussion in this episode.
WHERE IS INDONESIAN ART GOING
In this week’s #UWRF22 highlight episode, the Indonesian artist, Saras Dewi, and the Director of Museum MACAN, Aaron Seeto, come together to discuss the journey in tracing the development of contemporary art in Indonesia. Join the Social Affairs Editor, Jewel Topsfield, who is asking questions on how contemporary Indonesian art identifies in the midst of a cosmopolitan and cross-border art climate.
COMBATTING RACISM THROUGH CREATIVE PRACTICE
In this #UWRF22Highlights episode, join Miles Merrill in an important and critical conversation with the Australian Poetry Slam Champion, Huda Fadlelmawla, as well as West Timor-based writer, Felix K. Nesi, and the broadcaster/comedian, Sami Shah. The participants give their unique perspectives on race, racism, and racial justice.
REKINDLING DORMANT LANGUAGES
The 21st of February is International #MotherLanguageDay! To celebrate the power of mother languages, we are presenting another #UWRF22 highlight session. This time, featuring Irish Novelist, Audrey Magee, who’s ‘The Colony’ novel got shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2022. As well as the celebrated Indonesian Writer, Saut Poltak Tambunan, and Indonesian Writer and Translator, and selected Festival Emerging Writer, Putu Juli Sastrawan.
MUSIC THAT DEFINES US
Join music editor Lauren Ziegler for a special in-conversation with Meita Kasim, Sally Breen, and Gede Robi. It’ll be a powerful and accessible exploration about music, and its key role in social activism and human rights movements. In this special episode, the three guests share how music has influenced their lives, their passions, and fuelled their creative pursuits.
INTELLECTUAL JOURNEYS WITH BRIGID DELANEY AND ERIC WEINER
The third highlight episode features Australian author and columnist, Brigid Delaney, as well as American former foreign correspondent and travel writer, Eric Weiner. In this special meeting of minds, the duo discusses with Gill Westaway their latest works. They also share their perspectives in their eternal search for spirituality, cultural enlightenment, and bliss. You can listen to this episode on Spotify or watch it on YouTube.
THE TWO SIDES OF THE WELLNESS INDUSTRY
Listen to an engaging conversation with Huda Fadlelmawla, Bandana Tewari, and Fariha Roisin who share their unique perspectives with Eva Fernandes, on the wellness industry—which has become a multi-billion-dollar business that claims to improve our health, happiness, and longevity!
IN CONVERSATION WITH KYLIE MOORE-GILBERT
In this session, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a scholar of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, who shares her incredible story of survival after being accused of espionage and sentenced to an Iranian jail for 804 days.