Ubud writer festival: Better planning needed

Dewi Anggraeni, a Melbourne-based writer and journalist, who was an active speaker and participant at Ubud writers and readers festival speaks out in today's Jakarta Post. She summarises what many felt after the conference:

We have to congratulate the organizers for having the courage to embark upon such a big venture and coming out at the other end without regret, as they are already speaking of next year's festival. It certainly would be a challenge to make the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival a Balinese fixture, rather than an international affair taking place in Bali.

She goes on and mentiones the organisatinal shortcomings of the festival, which were hardly taken seriously by the organisers.

A mismatch might have caused little more than a shrug or a "well, this is Bali" comment from locals or long-time residents of Ubud, but might have displeased those who had come from cultures where events like these are much more tightly organized.

In one of the last panels of the event Mary Northmore praised the importance of the event by asking: 'What shall we do tomorrow, after our last days have been so full of interesting events?'. We like to answer: Go on with the analysis of the event, establishing regular communication with participants and start to prepare the next one in a more organised fashion, maybe a bit more german-like organisation would be not so bad:)

Dewi's article is surely worth to be read in full!

Jean Couteou in discussion with Tjok Rai Kertayasa - Bali heritage fund, descendent of the royal family and owner of Ibah , Agung Rai - Agung Rai Museum of Art, Mary Northmore - Seniwati Gallery