At the press briefing before the opening, Ubud Writer and Reader festival founder and director Janet De Neefe answered questions on whether the sponsorship would jeopardize the festival’s integrity.
“Of course it’s important for us to maintain our identity but also we expect involvement from Citibank. Hopefully it’s a win-win situation. I swear when Citibank committed to us I was sleeping better than ever. Last year was the most dreadful year for the festival — how many times did I go to Jakarta looking for money. You can’t imagine how hard it was last year for us — so when Citibank came aboard I just said ‘hurrah!’,” she said.
Citi country officer Shariq Mukhtar said the company believed supporting a literary event was the right thing to do. “We feel as good corporate citizens we have a responsibility to see how we can help Indonesia and Indonesians move forward,” she said. “With our ability to promote Bali and other regions, we can communicate a positive image of this beautiful country.”
Irish Booker prize-winning writer Anne Enright who will participate in literary sessions at the festival said writers were not the type of people who would do what they were told.
“I don’t believe in cultural embargoes of any kind. I’d go anywhere. I’d talk to anyone, thank you, because I think it’s all part of exchange and growth. It’s good,” she said.
Source: Jakarta Post And here the full article.