Bigger than Ever, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is Back and is Happening Now!

The Southeast Asia’s largest literary festival, Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is back bigger than ever and is happening now during the four-day long weekend, 27th until 30th of October 2022. 

After a quiet two years of absence due to pandemic, the UWRF’s programme this year brought the theme “Memayu Hayuning Bhuwana”, an ancient Javanese philosophy that means the principles by which we care for, protect, and beautify our universe. UWRF translates this philosophy into ‘Uniting Humanity’.

In parallel to that main theme, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2022 unites more than 150 writers and thinkers partaking and over 50 thought-provoking conversations that look at how powerful storytelling can be in reinforcing humanity’s values and freedoms. The programme highlights its role as a powerhouse for diverse debate and dynamic intercultural exchange.

From the UWRF 19th edition Press Call held yesterday, 26th October 2022 at Indus Restaurant, Ubud, Janet DeNeefe, the Festival’s Director and Founder says, “We couldn’t ignore the invasion of Ukraine because of its immense global repercussions. The idea of Poetry for Peace, bringing writers and artists together, reflects the way the Festival has always operated.” 

She also added, “We like to surpass expectations with our increasingly diverse programs that aim to inform and please our audiences.”

Press Call All Panelists at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2022
Press Call Panelists at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2022
Press Call Speaker at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2022

The Festival will offer a series of panel discussions that reflect this year’s theme and elevate the voices of those affected by acts of persecution, conflict and human rights violations.

Highlighting include The War in Ukraine, a discussion featuring Ukrainian writers Oksana Maksymchwk and Maz Rosochinsky, about the seismic ripple effect of the war on our post-covid world, and Uniting Humanity: Poetry Of Peace, a powerful evening of spoken word, storytelling and wisdom in a prayer for peace. 

In-Depth Workshops and Discussions

The Festival will also present a range of events that explore many aspects of varying cultures and perspectives to create deeper understanding and mutual respect. 

This includes an in-person discussion with British activist and interdisciplinary artist
Osman Yousefzada, who will share from his first book about trauma he incurred from migration, racism and poverty in Britain over the last few decades. 

“Themes of uniting humanity through a dialogue of our dualities and belonging are important to my work and writing and to be able to participate in this Festival with other thinkers and writers is a joy”, said Osman.

The Papuan journalist and novelist, Aprila Wayar, who were also one of the panelists presented on the Press Call will also be appearing as part of this year’s main program line-up to discuss the creative tactics she developed to improve literacy in Eastern Indonesian and to increase faith in the concept of literature as a vehicle for change throughout the homeland. 

“I hope this year’s Festival will mark the revival of literature and the world of literacy in Indonesia, as well as a more powerful post-Covid world, Wayar said.

Poster of Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2022

Inspiring Sharing Session with The Authors

There will also be an interesting and inspiring discussion with Australian author Tim Baker, on how writing can be deeply cathartic and help us to make sense of our lives, our relationships and ourselves in the face of trauma.

About his new book Patting the Shark, in which he perilously journeys back from a stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis. 

“Bali and Ubud in particular feels like the perfect place to be talking about writing as catharsis because the experience of being here is so deeply healing. One of the reasons I was so excited to come to Ubud to discuss my book is that the Balinese understand holistic health, mind, body and spirit, so I feel I am in a very supportive environment to talk about these often delicate and sensitive issues,” he added.

Not to mention, a special event with rising Indonesian musician, Rara Sekar, will be held in the permaculture garden of Mana Earthly Paradise.

This is going to be a rare opportunity to watch her latest solo music project performance in the middle of the garden. “I always strive to maintain a positive relationship with myself, society and nature while maintaining a perceptive and reflective awareness wherever I work”, says Rara.

Rara Sekar UWRF 2022

Poetry Reading, Book Launch and Music Performances

There will also be poetry sessions, literary lunches, long table dinners, walking tours through rice fields and villages, book launches, cocktail parties and music performances.

The Chairman of Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati, Dr. Drs I Ketut Suardana,M.Fil.H expressed his happiness knowing that the writer and reader community can finally unite again here in Ubud and revel in books and stories and ideas under the theme Uniting Humanity, which he said that it reflects so much of the Festival’s spirit. It’s a highly diverse event that connects people.

Some sessions are open for public and some are ticketed. Buy the tickets by clicking this link. As there is also some giveaway Festival Passes, winners can email to ticketing@ubudwritersfestival.com.

Check out more details and daily schedule on Ubud Writer & Readers Festival website.

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