Janet DeNeefe Picks of the Festival

Posted: 13 October 2022

Janet DeNeefe, Festival Founder & Director of UWRF, shares which Festival events she’s most excited about. With in-deep discussions posing big questions and debates, take your pick, or choose all five for the literary long weekend of your bookish dreams.

I am really looking forward to the session about President Joko Widodo with Darmawan Prasodjo, Tim Hannigan, and Ari Dwipayana in conversation with Michael Vatikiotis. He’s been such an impressive, stable leader, and I am curious to know more about him.

I am also looking forward to the session about Munir Said Thalib, one of Indonesia’s most famous human rights activists, who was murdered in 2014. His wife, Suciwati Munir, has published her account of life with Munir and of the events after his death and will share her story alongside Matt Easton, whose book We Have Tired of Violence delves into the struggle to bring the ‘real’ perpetrators of Munir’s death to justice.

Carla Power, the author of two Pulitzer Prize Finalists in General Nonfiction, will speak on her new book Home, Land, Security and the complexities of race, language, and the climate crisis with Michael Vatikiotis. This is the type of session that our audience loves.

I am also excited to see Kylie Moore-Gilbert in conversation with Drew Ambrose. I think we all know her story of her fight to survive imprisonment in Iran. In light of the current nationwide protests in Iran sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini — a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman detained by police, this is an event that should not be missed.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Purbo Asmoro’s wayang performance. Purbo is a shadow puppet master known for combining classical forms and dramatic innovation of this traditional form of puppet theater, and we are honoured that he will be joining us, thanks to the support of Griya Seni Ekalaya.

You can catch Janet DeNeefe at the Festival at: