Thu, 28 Aug 2003

Teater Utan Kayu presents international literature festiveal

Tantri Yuliandini, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Enriching the country's cultural scene this year, Teater Utan Kayu (TUK) is organizing its first Utan Kayu International Literature Festival in three cities until Sept. 1.

"So far Indonesia doesn't have any routine activity in literature. This year, Teater Utan Kayu will for the first time organize a literature festival that will be held biannually," head of the festival, Ayu Utami, said.

The festival, this year themed Iman! (Faith!), highlights the violence that has increased around the globe, inviting the public to revisit their personal faiths, Ayu said.

"Whether traditional, modern, religious or secular, because writers from many nations -- whether they realize it or not -- are all struggling with it (faith)," she explained.

Conducted in a series of activities in Bali on Aug. 22 to Aug. 24, Surakarta in Central Java on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26, and finally in Jakarta on Aug. 28 to Sept. 1.

The Utan Kayu International Literature Festival follows the annual The Hague festival, Winternachten Festival, overseas project, which was previously held in Durban and Capetown, South Africa, in March.

A workshop on Creative Sound Poetry has already been held in Kuta, Bali, between Aug. 22 and Aug. 24, in cooperation with the Vienna Poetry School. Best creations from the workshop will be presented at the closing of the Utan Kayu International Literature Festival at Jamz Cafe, Jakarta, and recorded on audio CD.

Poetry readings will be held at Taman Budaya Surakarta in Surakarta, Central Java, on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26, which featured literati from the Winternachten Festival, including Changa Hickinson and South African writer K. Sello Duiker, as well as local poets Mustofa Bisri and Ahmad Tohari.

A sound poetry exhibition based on the Vienna Poetry School collection, titled Voices on Paper, will be held on Aug. 25 to Aug. 31 at Galeri Lontar.

"It's contradictory because it shouldn't be possible to present sound poetry on paper. But it appears that European sound poets could not dismiss paper altogether," Ayu said in a statement, explaining that the exhibit will include music scores used in sound poetry.

Finally, the festival will end in Jakarta with a discussion and poetry reading participated in by 28 literati from Australia, Austria, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, Suriname, St. Maarten, Antilles and Indonesia.

"Besides poetry reading, a presentation of some collaborative projects will be the festival's strong point," Ayu said, citing one of Eva Christina Zeller's poems in her Requiem collection being used as foundation for Tony Prabowo's contemporary music and sung by Ubiet.

The Voices on Paper exhibition is open at Galeri Lontar, Jl. Utan Kayu 68H, East Jakarta, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. until Aug. 31. Teater Utan Kayu International Literature Festival in Jakarta will open on Aug. 28, and will last until Aug. 31. Tickets are available at Teater Utan Kayu, Jl. Utan Kayu 68H, East Jakarta. For more information call 021-8573388.