Janet DE NEEFE writes from Ubud, Bali
2009 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Suka Duka: Compassion & Solidarity
October 7-11, 2009
The established will meet the new. The East will cross paths with the West. It will be a literary celebration like no other.
Suka-Duka is the theme of the 6th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival. Suka-Duka is an Indonesian philosophy that translates as compassion and solidarity. It defines the essence of shared support that communities in Bali offer in times of joy and sorrow. Invited guests include Noble laureates J.M. Coetzee and Wole Soyinka, Rendra, Vikas Swarup, Hari Kunzru, Mohammed Hanif, Laura Esquivel, N.H. Dini, Orange Prize-winner and Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Kate Grenville, Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Lloyd Jones, Seno Gumira Ajidarma, Christos Tsolkias and Abdourahman Waberi.
The human condition will be one of the underlying themes of the 2009 Festival with established and emerging writers confronting global issues of humanity, the endurance of the human spirit and the experience of the “other.”
Discussions on world religions, relationships, identity, freedom of speech and living under totalitarian rule will be delved into together with poverty and climate change. Hot debates addressing compassion and solidarity, and more specifically the subject of war and its impact on communities will take centre stage.
It will be a dialogue like no other with more than seventy writers, poets and artists from all corners of the world descending on Ubud and expanding visions and shattering ethnic stereotypes. Voices from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas, Europe, the Pacific Rim and beyond will share their thoughts in a dynamic exchange of words and wisdom. In 2009 we will delve deeper into the heart of Africa and engage writers from Zimbabwe, Somalia and The Congo, voices seldom heard.
Linger over a literary lunch or candle-lit dinner in some of Ubud’s elegant hotels and gracious homes featuring our acclaimed writers and visiting chefs. Enjoy poetry under the shade of a Buddhist stupa and late-night martinis and readings in one of Ubud’s legendary bars. Be dazzled by some of the finest performance poets in the region in grass-roofed venues surrounded by rice fields. Watch plays and theatre in Ubud’s temples set in frangipani and lotus gardens.
Join workshops that teach the craft of writing, in between book launches, performances, exhibitions, cocktail parties and celebrations that last into the early hours of the morning.
And if that is not enough, the 2009 Festival will take to the streets, once again, with a dazzling carnival of poetry and performance in one of Ubud’s charming side lanes.