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6 October 2012
Behind the scenes at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival
Two participants in Asialink’s arts residencies program from Australia have been working hard behind the scenes as part of the dedicated team behind the internationally renowned Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (UWRF).
Lisa Dempster, who’s from the state of Victoria, and Ali Donnellan, from Queensland, have been sharing their knowledge and experience in the Australian arts and literary sector with the UWRF team, while learning about Indonesia, its culture and its literary scene and making new strong professional relationships with their colleagues in Bali.
Lisa is currently the Director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival and will take up a new position as Director/CEO of the Melbourne Writers Festival in October. She is a professional writer and editor with five book titles, including Neon Pilgrim and The Melbourne Veg Food Guide. As part of her Asialink arts management residency, Lisa will be sharing her knowledge of managing writing festivals while gaining valuable professional skills and literary networks.
In Australia, Ali works as the Cultural Partnerships Manager at the Brisbane Powerhouse where she works in partnerships and collaboration. In Ubud, Ali has been supporting the development of international networks, partnerships, and working with the festival's youth outreach program across the Indonesian archipelago.
“This has been an incredible experience for both of us. We have had the opportunity to work with many inspiring Indonesians who are involved with the literature and writing here in Indonesia,” said Lisa. “My understanding of contemporary Indonesia and Indonesians is far greater now than it was before I arrived.”
“When we return to Australia, the contacts we have made will enable us to broaden the scope of the work we do there to incorporate Indonesian elements, whether that be opportunities for collaboration or the participation of Indonesian writers in festivals in Australia,” said Ali.
“I am really excited by what I have seen here in Indonesia, particularly in Bali. I think Australian audiences would be just as thrilled as I have been to have the chance to hear more from these writers about contemporary Indonesian literature and this country’s rich literary traditions,” she said.
Each year, the Asialink Arts Residency Program sends around 30 writers, performers, artists and arts managers from Australia to undertake residencies in Asia. This year, there will be five Asialink residents in Indonesia for periods of up to three months involved in research, cultural exchanges, international collaboration and creative development in writing, the performing arts and arts management.
Vicki Miller, First Secretary (Cultural) tel. (021) 2550 5260 mob. 0811 959 0304