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Jum'ah, 16 Dzul Hijjah 1441 (Thursday, August 6th, 2020)
October 7th, 2011 07:10
Ubud Literary Festival Sees Strong Attendance
Ubud Literary Festival Sees Strong Attendance

Ubud, Indonesia - The ANZ-Ubud Writers and Readers Festival saw a strong attendance on its first day on Thursday with all the three main venues swarming with visitors, including Indonesians and Westerners.

The festival’s creative producer, Jeni Caffin, went so far as to announce that it was the strongest attendance she had ever seen in the history of the festival.

“I came out at 9 a.m. in the morning and saw hundreds of people clustered in the box office trying to get in,” she said.

The large attendance created a minor traffic snarl on Jl. Sanggingan, where the festival’s three main venues — Left Bank, Indus and Neka Museum — are located.

“I went from Left Bank to Indus and to Neka and they were all full and I have never seen it before at the festival,” Caffin said, adding that some people opened their program book and declared that they didn’t know which program to choose because all of them were great.

She also noticed another achievement of this year’s festival.

“The fabulous thing is the fact that Indonesian and Western audiences are more integrated this year and that’s what the festival is all about: Sharing the culture,” she said.

The festival features 168 events at 57 venues across Ubud and involves 130 authors from 27 countries. Most of the panel discussion sessions are held at the three main venue.

The festival’s founder and director, Janet De Neefe, was elated by the strong attendance.

Smiling, she watched as wave upon wave of visitors entered Indus to listen to the performance of Paul Kelly, one of Australia’s greatest songwriters.

All available seats were taken and yet that did not stop the audience from filling the venue to the brim.

Moderated by the island’s promising DJ Marlowe Bandem, the session was both enlightening and entertaining, with soft spoken Kelly reading parts of his long awaited “mongrel memoir” How To Make A Gravy before picking up his guitar and serenading the audience with his best musical pieces.

Some 300 meters to the north, similar enthusiasm also filled the open hall at Neka Museum as visitors flocked to a debate titled Indigenous Voices: Longing and Belonging, during which the speakers discussed indigenous people’s perceptions of the concept of land and how those perceptions related to literature, philosophy and religion.

The session featured Indonesia’s leading dramatist Putu Wijaya, Samoan’s novelist Albert Wendt and Australian author Anita Heiss.

“The word for placenta in Samoan language is the same as the word for land,” Wendt said, stressing that it was an acknowledgement of the land’s virtues as the source of nourishment and life for mankind.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com
Photo: http://cityguide.kapanlagi.coml

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