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Ubud Writer and Reader Festival is one of the biggest international literature festival. I have been joining in UWRF since three years ago, to talk about forest fire and haze in Central Kalimantan where the situation was so much worse that what everyone saw in media. Since then, I constantly attend the festival.

This year the theme of UWRF is Jagadhita, The World We Create. This theme speaks to me as it is exactly what we want to see happen in our community, especially when we talk about indigenous people. For centuries Indigenous people around the world had been framed into what the colonialism wanted to have and see; primitive, marginalized, abandoned. But the earth does not let it happen anymore.

It is important for the non-indigenous to understand clearly on how to walk together with the indigenous, if there is a pure intention to support and help. However it is more important for indigenous people to rise and stand on their feet, as they usually did, and realize that they, or we, have power more than we ever know. The challenge is how to set our power in the proper place and position. This process is what I call ‘being adaptable.’ Without losing our nature and identity, indigenous people especially those who are in this archipelago are still able to face the modernization and ready for indigenous decolonization. Then, connection with nature and ancestors become very critical concern that an indigenous should not lose.

Jagadhita is such a powerful word to represent the beauty and the struggle of indigenous people. When we are in the position to be victim of the supreme forms of capitalism, we choose to be a hero for the sake of our communities and in our own place. I am going to talk in two main programs and Festival Club. Click here to see the schedule and program.

Earlier Event: July 4
Later Event: November 26