Notice regarding select Festival program changes

Posted: 23 October 2015

It is with great disappointment that the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival must today (Friday 23 October) announce the cancellation of select 2015 program sessions.

Three panel sessions dedicated to discussing the 1965 Communist repression and an art exhibition and book launch The Act of Living will no longer be taking place across the Festival period. In addition the film screening of Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence has also been cancelled, as well as two book launches, The Crocodile Hole and Bali 1964-1999. 

This comes after increased scrutiny from local authorities who have the power to revoke the Festival’s operating permit, issued by the national police. The Festival has been involved in extensive negotiations with local authorities, but ultimately was advised that should certain sessions proceed, it would run the risk of the entire Festival being cancelled, which spans over 225 events.

After much consideration and discussion, with deep regret the Festival has decided that it cannot jeopardise the entirety of the event at this late stage.

We sincerely apologise to our Festival attendees, the many people who have put in extensive time and resources into these sessions, including Joshua Oppenheimer, the Herb Feith Foundation and of course the people whose lives were impacted by the issues under discussion.

We also take this opportunity to thank the many committed supporters of the Festival, who graciously donate their time and resources to ensure the longevity of the Festival.

We sincerely hope that as the Festival continues to create open spaces for constructive conversation in the years to come, so too will Indonesian authorities embrace this. Despite this setback, we are extremely proud to be presenting one of our most Indonesia-focused programs to date, which highlights the incredible diversity and richness of the archipelago.

If you have any queries regarding this, please get in touch via our Festival Office.

To see a summary of schedule changes (including these) please head here.