Ubud Writers and Readers Festival | GHM Journeys

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2015

22 September 2015

October brings with a number of festivals and celebrations across the world, but if there is one not to miss, it’s the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival that runs from 28 October to 1 November 2015 in Bali’s central highlands. Featuring a long list of international and local authors and artists, this showcase engages visitors in literary bliss through a number of intriguing events.

UWRF-2014-Event-02

Previous renditions of the festival have featured events such as ‘One Woman: A Baby & A Backpack’ at the Yoga Barn. The diverse offering of events caters to artists, authors and literature enthusiasts, and at the same time, features a number of the unique venues that call Ubud home. (Photograph by Matt Oldfield courtesy of UWRF)

Come the end of October, Ubud, the capital of Bali’s cultural heartland, will be hosting the 12th annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. A coming together of both international and local authors, artists, historians and social commentators, this cultural celebration was begun in response to the island-rattling Bali bombings that took place in 2002. An environment for artists and enthusiasts alike, the Ubud Writers Festival has evolved over time into one of the premier literary festivals the world over, and last year checked in over 26,000 guests. Featuring a collective of thinkers and doers from over 25 countries, the event will last for a jam-packed five days of discussions, workshops, speeches, tours and performances from 28 October until 1 November 2015.

Culinary demonstration and class at The Kitchen at UWRF 2014 (Photograph by Matt Oldfield via UWRF)

Kitchen sessions at UWRF 2014 allowed guests to dive into the extraordinary flavours of Balinese cuisine. Centred around the literary arts, but not shying away from traditional arts like cooking and dance, the UWRF brings a diverse line-up of shows and participatory events for attendees from around the world. (Photograph by Matt Oldfield courtesy of UWRF)

Kicking off with a traditional Balinese dance, this year’s festival – themed 17,000 Islands of Imagination –will feature a number of respected international figures such as reverend daughter of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu, North Korean escapee, author and human rights activist, Hyeonseo Lee, 2015 Miles Franklin Award-winner Sofie Laguna and a long list of others. But the highlight and focus shifts this year towards the crop of local figures of importance like Putu Oka Sukanta and Linda Christianity who have helped develop, contribute to, and curate the wealth of artistic endeavours coming out of the equatorial nation.

Gods, Ancient India & World Music hosted by Bar Luna at UWRF 2014 (Photograph by Matt Oldfield via UWRF).

‘Gods, Ancient India & World Music’ hosted by Bar Luna at UWRF 2014. A number of readings and literary workshop are scattered over the multiple-day itinerary and are hosted by some of the world’s premier literary minds. (Photograph by Matt Oldfield courtesy of UWRF).

Each day of the festival will kick off around nine in the morning and will typically run a full day until five in the evening with a number of breaks along the way. Hosted at local venues NEKA, Indus Restaurant, Taman Baca, and Joglo @ Taman Baca (all roughly a 20-25-minute drive from The Chedi Tanah Gajah), the event seeks to not only enrich visitors’ minds, but also the businesses that call this lush leafy central Balinese town home. While a number of free events are available, authorised access is needed to get into the meat of this festival and can be purchased in the form of daily passes, or as a full four-day pass on the festival’s website.  

Anne Ostby’s Town of Love hosted by Bar Luna at UWRF 2014 (Photograph courtesy of Matt Oldfield via UWRF)

Anne Ostby’s ‘Town of Love’ hosted by Bar Luna at UWRF 2014. Venues this year are scattered about Ubud and seek to enrich the local community of independent business that make Ubud home. (Photograph by Matt Oldfield courtesy of UWRF)

An event not to be missed, the annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival has earned itself the critical acclaim of many from within the literary world, and continues to grow yearly in both size and scope. So if you happen to find yourself on the Island of the Gods anytime soon, be sure to visit the literary gods who are making their way to Ubud.

(Featured image: With a number of events that range in nature from speeches given by world-renowned authors and artists, to literature-centric workshops, the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival offers attendees the opportunity to get a closer, hands-on look into the minds of some of the world’s literary giants. Environment Day hosted at Fivelements, Mambal – Photograph courtesy of Ulrike Reinhold via UWRF)

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Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2015
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October brings with a number of festivals and celebrations across the world, but if there is one not to miss, it’s the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival that runs from 28 October to 1 November 2015 in Bali’s central highlands. Featuring a long list of international and local authors and artists, this showcase engages visitors in literary bliss through a number of intriguing events.
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