Makassar International Writers Festival, Indonesia

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logoheaderĠimgħa mill-aqwa fl-Indoneżja għall-Makassar International Writers Festival, festival b’viżjoni kbira, b’sehem verament kbir tal-komunità lokali, u b’kontenut letterarju u intellettwali importanti. Grazzi lil Amirah Fuadiah tar-ritratti. Ħajr lill-Malta Arts Fund tal-appoġġ finanzjarju. Il-logo ta’ dan il-fond Malti deher fil-materjal promozzjonali kollu tal-festival, u fuq l-iskrin tal-palk ewlieni tal-festival.

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Thanks to the Faculty of Letters of the Hasanuddin University Makassar, Indonesia, for hosting our session on 4 June 2015 on “Places, People and Stories,” with the German novelists Leif Randt and Andreas Stichmann, the Indonesian writer now based in Bali, Oka Rusmini, and myself.

The session’s moderators were Indonesian writer M. Aan Mansyur and Bryan Whalen – International Program. A very large group of students filled the Prof. Mattulada Auditorium to discuss with us some of the most pressing issues related to literature today in a 3-hour session.

We discussed not only how place shapes our narratives but also how the nature itself of place in going through changes due to the information and communication revolution and how this is affecting what we write.

Thanks to Amirah Fuadiah for this photo.


My commitments at the

Makassar International Writers Festival

Tuesday 3 June 16.00

speaking and answering questions at the official press launch of the Festival

Wednesday 4 June 10.00 -12.00

Places, People and Stories: Leif Randt, Andreas Stichmann, Adrian Grima and Oka Rusmini

Hosts: M. Aan Mansyur and Bryan Whalen, International Program

Wednesday 4 June 20.00

Fort Rotterdam: Reading my poems on the main stage in the evening program

Thursday 5 June 15.00 – 16.00

Fort Rotterdam: Literature around the World with Adrian Grima, Marc Nair, Leif Randt, Andreas Stichmann

Moderator: Bryan Whalen

Saturday 7 June 10.00

Performing one poem in a primary school classroom on the island of Lae Lae.

 

Press Launch of the Festival

The director the Makassar International Writers Festival asked me to be one of the four speakers at the press launch of the festival on Tuesday 3 June in the afternoon. The other speakers were the director herself, a representative of one of the main sponsors, The Body Shop, and an Indonesian poet.

I spoke about why I chose to accept the invitation to read at this festial and answered questions by the press.

Before the start of the press launch

Public debate:

Places, People and Stories

Prof. Mattulada Auditorium Faculty of Literature, Hasanuddin University, Makassar

The Faculty of Letters of the Hasanuddin University Makassar, Indonesia, hosted our session on 4 June 2015 on “Places, People and Stories,” with the German novelists Leif Randt and Andreas Stichmann, the Indonesian writer now based in Bali, Oka Rusmini, and myself.

The session’s moderators were Indonesian writer M. Aan Mansyur and Bryan Whalen – International Program. A very large group of students filled the Prof. Mattulada Auditorium to discuss with us someof the most pressing issues related to literature today in a 3-hour session.

We discussed not only how place shapes our narratives but also how the nature itself of place in going through changes due to the information and communication revolution and how this is affecting what we write.

I prepared a two-page text for this session on which I based my interventions. This is an excerpt:

Places are stories, people are stories

So for places to become something for me, for places to touch me mentally and emotionally, they need to become people. I need to identify them with people.

But people are stories. This is the way we understand the world. This is the way we connect with the world, the way we get a grip on the world: through stories. Stories allow us to bring order to the complicated world we live in. They also allow us to bring order in the complicated world inside us, in our mind and heart. Stories normally have a beginning, a middle and an end. Somehow they help us to organize our world. They follow the logic of stories, not the logic of the scientific investigation.

 

Evening Reading on the Main Stage

I was one of a small number of writers who were asked to read their work on the main stage at Fort Rotterdam in the evening. I read three poems: one in Maltese and English, and two in English with the Bahasa Indonesian version on the screen behind me.

Literature around the World

Fort Rotterdam

This was a roundtable discussion with the participation of Marc Nair from Singapore, Leif Randt and Andreas Stichmann from Germany, and myself.

The moderator of this session I English was Bryan Whalen, but there was consecutive translation into Bahasa Indonesian.

School Performance of one Poem

On Saturday 7 June, the group visited the island of Lae Lae. This total area of the island is around 6.5 hectares and occupied by 2,000 residents. There is one primary school on the island and I was asked to perform one of my poems to a class. I chose “It-Traġedja tal-Iljunfant Li Ried Jidħol f’Gaġġa ta-Għasafar.”

Outcomes

My participation in this major international literary event, which is in itself made up of a series of events with the participation of writers from Indonesia and from around the world and thousands of people from the local comm

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