Who would know the Festival’s program better than the staff? In this series, we interview UWRF staff about what events they want to see or who they’re most excited to meet. This week we chat with Gustra Adnyana, who has been in the Festival’s Program area for ten years.
Gustra joined the Festival in 2009. During UWRF you may actually rarely see him, as he’ll be outside the Festival’s Main Venues, working on the Children & Youth and In-School Programs, and even out of the island for the Satellite Program, connecting writers and literary communities in other islands. Gustra also runs the cute coffee shop/library in Ubud, Littletalks.
Acehnese writer Azhari Aiyub won the Poets of All Nations’ Free Word Award in 2005. Perempuan Pala and The Garden of Delights & Other Tales is his collection of short stories. In 2018, his novel Kura-Kura Berjanggut received the Khatulistiwa Award for prose. His works are published in various languages.
“Azhari wrote a novel over 12 years, which has 960 pages. Like a fairy tale, Kura-Kura Berjanggut makes me want to read it over and over. I always love novels with a historical background. I will be there for his panels Talking ‘Bout A Revolution and Imagining The Past.”
Art Exhibition | Gundala: A 50 Year Journey
Gundala was first created and published by Hasmi in 1969. Now, 50 years after his first appearance, Gundala is still one of the most famous and best-loved Indonesian superhero characters. This exhibition will showcase the art of Gundala from Hasmi, the original creator, and many young artists who now continue the legacy.
“Indonesia does not have many legendary local superheroes. But Gundala is very different. For me, Gundala is one of Indonesia’s superhero figures that is timeless. I feel honored that this year the Festival will become one of the venues for the Gundala comic exhibition, which will run from 24 October–27 October at Taman Baca.”
Main Program | Tony Wheeler: On Travel
Described by The New York Times as “the trailblazing patron saint of the world’s backpackers and adventure travelers,” Lonely Planet Co-founder Tony Wheeler’s new book On Travel is a celebration of the good things it brings. But with overtourism endangering cultures and fuel emissions endangering the planet, can we travel with a clear conscience? Tony shares his thoughts on travel today.
“Overtourism is becoming one of the most hotly debated topics today, especially in Bali. For me, someone who lives in a major tourist destination, this topic is a long-awaited one. I am sure this session will be crowded. Get there early to secure your seat!”
Children & Youth | Eco-Friendly Ogoh-Ogoh
Let’s make an ogoh-ogoh with Marmar! Marmar is a traditional Balinese architect and is leading the movement for eco-friendly ogoh-ogoh. Learn about basic bamboo weaving and using recycled paper to create your monster. Help save the environment with your creativity!
“At UWRF, there is much, much more than just literature, and the Festival offers many free sessions and classes, for example, this one. Marmar is a role model for young people in Bali in the making of ogoh-ogoh. This will be fun to attend after a full day of panel discussions.”
Film Screening | Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku (Memories of My Body)
Legendary director Garin Nugroho’s new film explores the winding inner journey of a Javanese Lengger Lanang dancer. Before its Indonesian premiere it had already won various awards in the international film scene, including at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and Festival of the Three Continents in France in 2018.
“All Pak Garin’s films for me are beautiful artworks, from Daun Di Atas Bantal, Opera Jawa, and the most riveting of all, Setan Jawa. I learn a lot from his works, so of course, I do not want to miss the screening of his new film at the Festival.”
Main Program | You Can’t Be What You Can’t See
You can’t be what you can’t see – for children, stories play a fundamental role in illuminating things once unseen and recognizing subjects once taboo. Superheroes and everyday heroes, underdogs and activists come to life as our panel of writers and illustrators leads the charge to ensure diversity and representation in books for little ones.
“I’ve always dreamed of writing books for children. Thanks to the Festival, hopefully this session will be the trigger for me to continue my dream.”
If you think Gustra’s picks are interesting click here to purchase your 4-Day or 1-Day Main Program Pass, or register for the Children & Youth session. All the other events Gustra mentioned are totally free! See you from 23–27 October.