Category Archives: Ubud Writers and Readers Festival

Coconut as Superfood

Indonesia is home to some of the world’s most nutritious superfoods. Last month we spoke to tempeh expert Professor Winarno about the nutritious, versatile Indonesian staple, and this month we’re cracking open the coconut craze with Indonesia’s Ambassador to the World Food Travel Association, Ibu Amanda Katili Niode from Gorontalo, Sulawesi.   Ibu Amanda, what are the nutritional benefits of coconut? What makes it a superfood? Coconut (Cocos nucifera) is high in energy, fibers, vitamins (C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6), and minerals (copper, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc). It contains lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid that ... [ Read More ]

Tempe – a Superfood

Indonesia is home to some of the world’s most powerful superfoods. Tempe (spelled without the ‘h’ in Indonesian), one of its staples, has often been hailed as ‘Indonesia’s gift to the world’ – starring in gourmet burgers and salads from Melbourne to Manhattan. The archipelago is also blessed with a basketful of other miracle crops, such as cassava, coconut and jackfruit. In the lead up to UFF17, we’ll explore Indonesian superfoods which have not only fuelled the nation for centuries, but which also have a very bright future in the global market. To launch the series we sat down over ... [ Read More ]

January 18, 2017

UFF17 welcomes the famed ‘Spice Sisters’, a Papuan jungle chef, the world’s foremost tempeh expert and the husband and wife duo behind Bangkok’s Bo.lan Returning for its third year this 12–14 May, the Ubud Food Festival (UFF) announced today a sneak peek of Indonesian and international chefs ahead of its full program launch in March, which will be infused with this year’s theme ‘Every flavor is a story’. As Indonesia’s leading food festival, UFF brings together the archipelago’s most celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, producers, professional food enthusiasts and food lovers for a three-day culinary adventure with Indonesian food as the star. ... [ Read More ]

Inspired lists: A guide in hard times by Shelley Kenigsberg

It’s the ‘holiday’ season soon, when many of us are keen (and able) to take a break from the year’s work, projects. We’re ready to recover from the fallout of the year’s challenges: reports of war or natural disasters or crazy political fights or monstrous events worldwide. Yet, in the holiday lead up, we’re besieged again. This time, it’s lists: the 100 best books of the year; the 20 best albums; 2016’s 25 best blogs; the 10 best Xmas dessert recipes and, in an attempt to eschew ‘regular’ numbers, the 12 most covetable gifts of 2016 or—fill in the blanks. ... [ Read More ]

Considering The Memoir

Considering The Memoir Reckoning: A Memoir- Magda Szubanski ‘A brave and tender book about everything that matters most in life.’ Cate Blanchett By Uma Anyar   Magda Szubanski, the much loved and admired Australian actress and comedian, was one of the headline speakers at the 2016 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. The spacious Neka Gallery venue was already packed with curious and supportive fans when I arrived a few minutes after the introductions. It was standing room only but no one complained as we all wanted to hear Magda talk about her memoir, Reckoning. The line between an autobiography and a ... [ Read More ]

A Conversation with ISWADI PRATAMA By Sarita Newson

Iswadi Pratama, the well-known Indonesian dramatist, director, and founder of Teater Satu, a theatre cooperative based in Lampung, Sumatra, is one of Indonesia’s foremost poets. His theatre troupe Teater Satu has been lauded as Indonesia’s best by Tempo magazine. Sarita Newson [SN]: Iswadi, you have brought your troupe several times to perform at the Ubud Writers Festival and in 2016 we were honored by your presence again. You spoke on a panel, and also ran a workshop at the Fringe Festival for local youth. Can you tell us a little about the Workshop that you conducted at the recent festival? Iswadi Pratama [IP]: The ... [ Read More ]

Lucky 13: Empathy, Forgiveness, and Compassion By Renee Thorpe

“This year, our festival becomes a teenager.” UWRF Director Janet deNeefe’s proclamation to the opening day crowd came with the knowing smile of experience.  In the lively days that followed, the 13th annual gathering was a youthful pastiche of hope and outrage, high emotions and energy, and thirst for information.  There were free performances, sold-out workshops, sumptuous foodie events, and exciting literary experiences for children.  We had conversations – on foot, during bicycling, or under a joglo roof; there were new books and new names, all of it giving the four days a back-to-school buzz. Tat tvam asi was the Sanskrit theme, colorfully emblazoned ... [ Read More ]

Supporting the vibrant future of Indonesian literature and the arts

The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival may be a truly international melting pot of big ideas and extraordinary stories, but its mission is firmly grounded in supporting the next generation of Indonesia’s authors and artists in bringing their voices to the world. Across open-air panel discussions, live performances, workshops, film screenings, art exhibitions, and makers markets kicking off 26 October, the Festival’s five-day program not only celebrates Indonesia’s vibrant artistic landscape, but also creates opportunities for aspiring creatives to hone their skills and connect with the global industry. In the Festival’s main program, leading national authors, artists and advocates – ... [ Read More ]

A most compelling play on light and dark: Hanya Yanigahara’s A Little Life by Shelley Kenigsberg

If you’re planning to attend this year’s Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, you’re in for some extraordinary sessions, not least those that uncover the power and deep comfort of the 2016 theme—Tat Tvam Asi, translated, most accessibly, as I am you; you are me. This Sanskrit phrase embodies a commanding idea in a world besieged by the bind of the binary. It seems that every day, I (‘we’?) face choices (practical, psychological, spiritual) between doing one thing or another, being one way or another, voting one way or…. There’s opposition in so many things—the light or the darkness, freedom or shackling. So, having ... [ Read More ]

Coming alive after dark at this year’s Ubud Writers & Readers Festival

With Seminyak and Kuta to rival, Ubud is usually associated with lazy days as opposed to late nights. The artistic hub of Bali has instead earned a reputation for creative expression, making it the perfect setting for the annual Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (26–30 October).   This year, the Festival will host five days of ‘after dark’ events to bring the village to life, with a full program of arts, live music, performance and poetry taking place at various venues across Ubud. Kicking off the Festival’s program will be Pecha Kucha at Betelnut (26 October), where presenters will take to ... [ Read More ]