In less than two months, the sixth edition of the Makassar International Writers Festival (MIWF) will be held in the City of Makassar, South Sulawesi. As the first and only international literary festival in Eastern Indonesia, MIWF brings writers and prominent speakers together to share experiences and ideas on a variety of topics. And now we are pleased to reveal the participating writers and speakers: from a talented and young spoken-word artist from Singapore to the most-celebrated Indonesian writers; from a defender of environment from Bali to a prolific and award-winning poet from Germany.
This year’s theme READ! (BACA!) is inspired by the emergence of community libraries in Indonesia, from a horse library in a small village of Central Java to a boat library in West Sulawesi. Through a series of panel discussions, workshops, readings, and open forums, the festival will explore how Indonesia and Indonesian literature as well as the reading habit have changed and developed over the years, as well as where it will be going in the future. In addition to the main theme, the festival offers various topics and issues to be discussed and an exciting line-up for the book launch programs! (We will reveal the final programs in early April, so please be patient…)
As the most anticipated literary and cultural event in Eastern Indonesia, with an annual following that exceeds 5,000 people, we are pleased to announce our participating writers: two award-winning spoken word artists Alia Gabres (Australia) and Deborah Emmanuel (Singapore); French journalist, writer and community activist now living in Yogyakarta, Elizabeth Inandiak; Indonesia’s most celebrated author Eka Kurniawan; young German poet Marius Hulpe; prominent Indonesian film producer and script writer Mira Lesmana; best-selling authors Dewi “Dee” Lestari, Ika Natassa, and Aditya Mulya; the much-loved Indonesian poet, Joko Pinurbo; the prolific award-winning script-writer and author Gina S. Noer; Indonesia’s leading travel writer and photographer Agustinus Wibowo; and our very own poets and authors from Makassar: M. Aan Mansyur and Faisal Oddang. This year, the heroes of a grass-roots literacy movement, Ridwan Alimuddin and Maman Suherman, will join us again to share the first year of their journey in building the independent library project Nusa Pustaka. We are also pleased to announce Ari Reda as our special guests for the festival’s most popular program Singing Your Poetry! Are you ready to sing along with them? The environmental defender and Al Gore’s climate presenter, Suzy Hutomo will also join us this year to spread the power of activism and a green life-style.
Last but not least, the most-anticipated writers in our festival are the five emerging writers from Eastern Indonesia! We will announce the selected writers in mid-April. So don’t forget to mark your calendar and prepare your literary journey in Makassar.
See you in May! See you in Makassar!
Lily Yulianti Farid
Founder/Director of MIWF