‘I am you, you are me’: migration, identity and extremism through the
lens of ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ at this year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival
Ubud, Indonesia –
Bringing together more than 160 of the world’s leading authors, artists, performers
and activists, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) will once again push big
ideas and global issues to the forefront of Bali’s cultural capital this 26–30 October.
After making headlines last year for its topical agenda, the Festival has today (24
August) announced its full line-up and five-day program of events, which will play out
across open-air in-conversations, lavish literary lunches, inspiring workshops,
captivating live performances, zine fairs, arts-and-crafts markets, exhibits, food tours,
cooking demonstrations and much more.
Amongst leading literary luminaries headlining this year’s Festival are muchcelebrated
author of The Mandibles, Lionel Shriver, fearless feminist icon Erica Jong,
acclaimed Indian novelist Amit Chaudhuri, multi-award-winning Pakistani writer
Kamila Shamsie, Indonesian author of the beloved Supernova trilogy series Dewi
Lestari, contemporary Australian author of Burial Rites and forthcoming publication
The Good People, Hannah Kent and newly-published memoirist of An Abbreviated
Life, Ariel Leve.
After a year in which borders and migration have dominated the headlines, the
Festival will dissect issues of identity and inclusion with speakers including Pakistani
stand-up comedian Sami Shah, Sudanese-American World Poetry Slam champion
Emi Mahmoud, Indonesian sex-traffic survivor and social advocate Shandra
Woworuntu, travel writer and author of the newly-published insights into the
fragmented Indonesian identity Augustinus Wibowo, and winner of the EU Prize for
Literature for his novel Exile, Turkish writer Ciler Ilhan.
How we encounter and counter extremism will also be a central theme in this year’s
UWRF, with speakers including Nigerian author of the upcoming The Chibok Girls
Helon Habila, ISIS, Syria and Iraq foreign policy writer Hassan Hassan, daughter of
leading anti-apartheid activist and political commentator, Gillian Slovo, and Polish
writer with a focus on conflict zones in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Africa
Focusing not just on the news but those telling it (and how), the Festival will also
bring together leading voices including former ABC TV 4 Corners and Foreign
Correspondent investigative reporter Andrew Fowler, respected Indigenous
Australian journalist and vocal human rights advocate Stan Grant, chief editor of The
Jakarta Post Endy Bayuni, award-winning Indian journalist and author Pallavi Aiyar
and political commentator, Editor in Chief of GQ Magazine Thailand, Voranai
Vanijaka and award-winning Indonesian journalist Leila S. Chudori.
Giving voice to the many identities of the rising ‘single lady’, the program will canvas
the changing face of feminism across the globe, with speakers including Singaporean
author of Sarong Party Girls Cheryl Tan, Indigenous Australian chick-lit writer Anita
Heiss, author, mechanical engineer and powerful social advocate Yassmin Abdel-
Set amongst Ubud’s lush jungles and expansive rice fields, travel will of course be a
central topic of discussion, with Lonely Planet Founder Tony Wheeler joining the
program, alongside an Australian writer who rode across Africa on a motorbike at just
28-years-old Heather Ellis, and the author who went in search of Chairman Mao’s
lost son in China, Richard Loseby.
The program will also pay tribute to the recent boom of Indonesian cinema, with the
industry experiencing a significant revival over the past two years. Appearing alongside
a special contemporary Indonesian film program will be film-maker of the 2016
Cannes Film Festival-screened Prenjak Wregas Bhanuteja, iconic Indonesian actor
and director Slamet Rahardjo, screenwriter of the newly-released Nay Djenar Maesa
Ayu and director of the HBO TV-series HalfWorld, Joko Anwar.
The full list of 160 participants, program sessions and tickets to the event are now
available via the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival website:
For more information about the UWRF or for interview requests, please contact our
International Media Consultant, Holly Reid, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on
+62 812 3819 9325. Hi-res festival imagery (please note photo credits) can be
downloaded for use via https://www.flickr.com/photos/ubudwritersfest/.
Media Accreditation to the event is now open via: