Festivals On The Horizon!

At deadline, the ministry of tourism was holding to an October target for the reopening of Bali and Jogjakarta to foreign tourists. This means we can begin counting on certain late-in-the-year festivals, cultural events, and art exhibitions to go ahead.

Your planned attendance to this year’s cultural offerings obviously bodes well for the economic prosperity of the vast majority of Balinese families, so here are a few things you can plan for:

Bamboo Building and Design Immersioncourse at Bamboo U. Is there any more environmentally ethical building material than bamboo? Now that many of us have resolved to get more green, we can leave off the stone quarry, sand/cement, and rainforest wood bandwagon and learn how to use bamboo for that construction project! October 16 – 27 and December 4 – 15 are the upcoming intensive courses, and Early Bird pricing is on until 16 September.   bamboou.com

Actor Rukman Rosadi prepares to teach an acting master class at the Balinale. Phot credit : courtesy Balinale

The diverse jury of the Bali International Film Festival (Balinale) has extended the deadline for Indonesian filmmakers’ submissions to this year’s celebration of cinema. International submissions deadline has passed, but 20 June is the absolute last day to send in new films of Indonesian production. If you or a friend is an active Indonesian filmmaker, get your film in to the Balinale now! September 8 – 13, audiences will be transported and inspired by a variety of quality art films, animation, stunning documentary and state-of-the-art visual storytelling. This year, local filmmakers will get increased industry exposure and a fast track to the world festival circuit. I, for one, will be so ready to see film on a big screen again.Let’s not miss out!Balinale.com

Poet and memoirist Lemn Sissay pleases the crowd at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, 2019. Photo credit : Vifick Bolang

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 28 October – 1 November, this is a sumptuous feast for the senses neatly disguised as a world class literary event. Writers beg their publishers to send them here, it’sthat big a party! Sign up on the website for notifications and either become a volunteer (usually some time in late June or early July the volunteer signups begin) or get your early bird pass when released.

Enjoy live music, writing and art workshops, learning opportunities for children, literary lunches and cooking demos, raucous poetry slams, and some one-of-a-kind cultural tours. What a super way to celebrate the end of lockdown!

The event began as a highly effective antidote for the terrorist attacks of 2002, plumping up the numbers of Bali’s high-spending FIT visitors, and, once again, Bali needs this boost. UWRF hosts some of the world’s top activists, creative writers, and observers and explorers. Plan on getting in on the action. Ubudwritersfestival.com

ArtJog MMXX stands by its postponement to 2021, and young Indonesian artists may still submit works until 31 January. artjog.co.id/mmxx/

Virtual Festival NOW!Tribeca Film Festival has arranged with YouTube to create the WeAreOneGlobal Film Festival, and we can all be part of this milestone in the history of film. Imagine: attending an international film premiere in your own home! Black tie very optional. Joining such great film festivals as Sydney, Rotterdam, Tokyo, Cannes, and the Berlinale, get online now and subscribe to the notifications of these new movies. Some are family-oriented, some may appear a bit obscure, but all will have been chosen for their excellence in the liveliest art.

The talk segments are truly star-studded, with such luminaries as Ang Lee (director of Brokeback Mountain), Francis Ford Coppola, and my personal favorite, actor’s actor, Viggo Mortensen.

Connect on youtube.com/WeAreOne. Reserve the screenings you want now, since the festival has already started at Bali Advertiser issue date, ending 7 June. Viewers will be asked to contribute to CoVid19 relief funds, not a bad deal for attending a virtual Venice!

Why not make yourself a little Balinese popcorn to munch on while you are watching the flicks? Here’s a good recipe for stovetop popcorn; I swear by this method. Have a delivery service bring you a half kilo from a traditional market and pop away!


Missing the great outdoors? How about a virtual safari? Now is the time to enjoy a good live camera feed from the natural world outside our archipelago.   Explore.org has great live cams (its Sichuan, China, panda cam features a mother panda and her two youngsters, 5 stars on the cute meter). Several other excellent user-friendly feeds can be found on that website.

Africam is a website featuring a good array of wildlife cams. africam.com/wildlife/live-african-wildlife-safari-channels/     Also great is the wildlife watering hole at the Mpala Research Center in Kenya. Antelope, cavorting hippos, and elephants make for good viewing. youtu.be/6NIt6ibAD6I

This time of year in the northern hemisphere, nesting raptors tend to be flying from their nests, so I must find a substitute for myaddiction to the UC Berkeley Peregrine falcon nest watch. Let’s go check out the Loch Arkaig Osprey nest live camera at youtu.be/rgeLp2TX36c

Back to human culture. Here’s a link to a great online article by local arts chronicler and critic Richard Horstmanhttps://pluralartmag.com/2020/05/19/letter-from-bali-lockdown-in-paradise/?fbclid=IwAR3Tx1txu-MqQONuzbGvbGpU6kCA0rq7-zepCfBUaCm52Sc9VjlrDlMbTRA on what’s happening in the lives of Balinese artists during lockdown.

Some fascinating pandebesi (blacksmith) videos, beginning with a traditional forge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML-kx09IeGc

A little more arty, with some great Javanese scenery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBPV6TwDiRo

Dutch blacksmith uses a coal forge to craft a keris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RRF0iJRGKo

Regional art: Virtually visit a grand exhibition in Hong Kong!Garden of Six Seasons, curated by Cosmin Costinas, Executive Director and Curator at ParaSite, featuresworks by artists from all regions of the world. It will be part of the upcoming Kathmandu Triennale. It closesonSunday, 30 August, but ParaSite is developing ways for us to enter the show online for its duration.

Imagine entering a garden created by artists. This show promises to envelop the viewer in an invented environment going from a cellular scale to the vast universe, with insights on how culturesapproach mapping, encoding their closely held beliefs, and decorating their world.