Island Inspiratif: Summa Durie

Posted: 24 July 2017 Author: sikuska

Bali’s creative allure is undeniable. Drawing people from across the Indonesian archipelago and the globe, the island has long been a hub of innovation – constantly evolving and always invigorating. In our new series, Island Inspiratif, we talk to authors, artists and entrepreneurs who have made Bali home, and what it is about the island that gets their creative juices flowing. In today’s blog, we chat to former International Program Manager of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, and now International Curator for Rumah Sanur – Creative Hub, Summa Durie.

Summa, please tell us about what you do in Bali.

I’m the International Curator for Rumah Sanur  Creative Hub, which is space that nurtures the next gen of Indonesian creatives. It is a place for creatives to connect, collaborate and celebrate, and my role is to bring international artists and thinkers in as artists-in-residence, workshop leaders or to create longer-term collaborations.

With Rumah Sanur, I’m also working on bringing Peter Gabriel’s festival WOMAD (World of Music, Art & Dance) to Bali in the next year or two. We’ve just locked in some exciting new partnerships with Mash Design (think Motel Mexicola) and the awesome producers of TEDxUBud to present WOMAD in Bali. More details about dates and the site coming later this year!

What brought you to Bali in the first place?

Bizarrely, or not, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival  it seems to bring a lot of talent to this island! I programmed three Ubud Writers & Readers Festivals from 2013-2015, and as a non-traditional literary-curator was super proud to have developed the festival’s arts program and create a focus on issues and themes specific to Indonesia.

What is it about Bali that has kept you here? 

Quite simply the people, the place, the culture and also my husband who is half-Balinese/half-Javanese and is also one of the Co-founders of Rumah Sanur. I’d also have to add my Bali dog Henry now – once these special mutts get into your heart/home you’re stuck here (watch out!).

What are some tips you’d give to people thinking about basing themselves here for a while? 

  1.  Learn the language or at least try – you’ll have a completely different experience
  2. Get outside the ‘bule bubble’ – again learning the language helps with this, but if you’re going to be here recognize where you are, which is not simply *insert your home town* in Bali.
  3. Get outside the ‘Bali bubble’ – there are 17,000++ islands in this archipelago with many diverse cultures; Bali makes a great home base, but make sure you get out now and then to experience the rest of Indonesia.
  4. Have your paperwork in order and know the rules  things may seem relaxed here, but know immigration can strike at any time and spending time in jail for overstaying your visa or not working on the correct visa is no fun (so I hear).

What’s your favorite secret (or not-so-secret) place in Bali? 

There are so many beautiful places in Bali; I’m a big fan of sleepy Candidasa, or Amed/Tulumben for diving, but I’d have to say right now my favorite place would have to be Sanur beach in the very early morning when there is no one else on the beach and it’s just me, my Bali dog and the sunrise.

You can connect with Summa on Instagram and Twitter with the handles @summa_ and @rumahsanur. 

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