The Festival

The 19th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) is one of the major annual projects of the not-for-profit Foundation, Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati. It was first conceived in 2004 by Janet DeNeefe, co-founder of the Foundation, as a healing project in response to the first Bali bombing.

The Festival is known as the biggest Festival of words and ideas in Southeast Asia. It helps to promote Ubud as an art and cultural centre, showcases Indonesian writers on an international stage, and helps young Indonesians to reach their potential through educational programs and literature.

Proceeds from ticket sales are also used to cover free public events, free workshops for local children and high school students and their teachers, and to subsidise attendance of residents who otherwise could not afford to attend.


From 27-30 October 2022, writers, artists, activists, and performers from Indonesia and beyond will converge for the 19th UWRF to share stories and ideas exploring this year’s theme: Uniting Humanity.

This year’s theme is ‘Memayu Hayuning Bawana‘, an ancient Javanese philosophy that means the principles by which we care for, protect, and beautify our universe.

Bawana refers to ‘our world’, which is not only a physical space but also a cultural and deeply spiritual realm. ‘Memayu’ is the way we sustain the beautification of our planet on our eternal path to universal harmony. UWRF translates this philosophy into ‘Uniting Humanity‘, which will unfold as a series of programs responding to Humanity’s capacity to strengthen our ties as individuals and the world as a collective.

Learn more about this year’s theme and artwork

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