KEMBALI 2020: A Rebuild Bali Festival offers a reimagining of Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and Ubud Food Festival in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Experience the richness of Balinese culture and beyond, through the coming together of authors, advocates, journalists, artists and culinary figures from across the globe in a digital format.
To give you a taste of this experience, here are nine events that shed a spotlight on the shifts that are happening in Bali, with its art, culture and traditions. The Festival will be streaming on ubudwritersfestival.com from 29 October to 8 November.
Legendary Balinese cultural preservationist Made Taro received the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. His son, Gede Tarmada, is carrying on the tradition. Join them to learn about Bali’s traditional games, songs, and folklore, and why they feel it’s crucial to keep them alive.
Citizen journalism in Bali has never been stronger. The community-based journalism portals Bale Bengong and Tatkala provide a platform for local writers to discuss a vast range of topics, including current affairs, politics, art, and culture. In this age of fake news, credible voices and expert opinions are vital. Meet some of the leaders of Bali’s thriving citizen journalism scene.
3. Main Program: Poets in Paradise, 3 Nov, 15:00-16:00
Meet the men who made Bali romantic. Wayan Jengki Sunarta weaves poetic works of art; Tan Lioe Ie is the first poet in Indonesia to use symbolic Chinese images in his poetry; and Warih Wisatsana from West Java made Bali his home after his first poems were published in the Bali Post. Explore the island through their creative minds.
4. Main Program: The Language of Movement, 5 Nov, 13:00-14:00
Although Indonesia is renowned for its many types of traditional performing arts that continue to be performed today, the contemporary dance and theater scene is also thriving. Join these talented dancers and theater directors to explore Indonesia’s colorful and diverse performing arts scene.
5. Main Program: Oka Rusmini: Men Coblong, 5 Nov, 13:00-14:00
Starting out as a column in the Bali Post, writer and journalist Oka Rusmini’s “Men Coblong” offered a feminine perspective on mothers and women. The character of Men Coblong, a middle-aged woman with a son, voices her responses to religious sensitivities, culture, politics, and everyday life. The book weaves together short stories and incisive essays that bite with satire and challenge ‘facts’ in fiction.
6. Main Program: Art as Hope During a Crisis, 6 Nov, 13:00-14:00
Art provides us with hope and guidance during a crisis. It enables us to explore what it means to be human, and to unite people and ideas. But COVID-19 has meant that artists across the world are restricted from physically sharing their work, and often from earning a living. Hear from these Balinese artists about how the pandemic has impacted and inspired their practice.
7. Main Program: Conserving Ancient Texts, 7 Nov, 10:00-11:00
In South and Southeast Asia, technical and spiritual knowledge was traditionally inscribed on dried palm leaves, known as lontar. Bali is home to thousands of these palm leaf manuscripts, but the ability to read, understand, and transcribe them is fading. Meet a group of Balinese cultural experts who are dedicated to identifying and conserving lontar right here in Bali.
8. Main Program: Bali’s Young Writers, 7 Nov, 12:00-13:00
What does Bali look like through the eyes of some of its most promising young writers? As one of the world’s top travel destinations, countless words have been written about the island by foreign writers, but it’s still rare to hear the perspectives of Balinese writers themselves, especially younger authors. Explore Bali’s literature scene and unique local perspectives with these talented young voices.
9. Main Program: Balinese Language Today, 8 Nov, 10:00-11:00
Many Balinese have remarked that increased time at home due to health protocols has resulted in a renewed focus on traditions and culture, with Balinese language being one of them. Meet a group of language experts who are working hard to popularize Balinese among the island’s younger generation through new and exciting ways.
Full lineup, Main Programs, Workshops and Book Launches now live on our website. By contributing to the Yayasan Patron Program, you’ll be supporting the world of literature and art in Indonesia. Sign up to our enews and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.