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July 27, 2013

The Ubud Writers Readers Festival : Asia-Europe Short Story Contest

The decennial anniversary of Ubud writers and readers festival proudly presents 

Long Way Home ― Asia-Europe Short Story Contest launched

 

  The Ubud Writers & Readers Festival and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) are pleased to announce their first partnership ― a short story contest titled Long Way Home, to be hosted via the culture360.org platform.

Happy Decennial Anniversary to Ubud Writers & Readers Festival  

October 11 - 15 , 2013 

OneWorld Community 

Breathe life in to your book  

Prelude to Ubud Writers and Readers festival 2013

 

The contest aims to support emerging writers in Australasia and Europe, and unveil new talents in the literary field from both regions. It also seeks to highlight different perceptions of Asia and Europe through creative writing and enhance cultural understanding.

Writers from ASEM member countries¹ are invited to submit previously unpublished works of fiction of 700 – 800 words in length. Each story must be written in English and address the Asia-Europe Short Story Contest theme of travel. Rather than travel writing, ASEF is looking for creative writing that uses the theme travel as the premise for a short fiction. It is of particular interest for ASEF to receive stories that highlight Asian perceptions of Europe and vice-versa. This competition seeks stories that give new perspectives on local culture, identities, and traditions in the context of contemporary societies and environments.

From the submissions, two winning short stories will be selected ― one from a European ASEM country, the other from an Australasian ASEM country. Both winning authors will receive SGD 1000 and travel and accommodation to attend the 2013 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Ubud, Bali from 11-15 October.

The winning entries will be chosen via a two-part selection process. First, the top five submissions from both regions will be shortlisted by a panel of prominent literary experts from Asia and Europe. The shortlist for both the European and Australasian short stories will be revealed online on the culture360.org platform and the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival website on 19 August.

From 19 August – 1 September, the public will be invited to vote for their favourite short story online at www.culture360.org. The two winners will be notified by 6 September 2013 and officially announced at the 2013 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival.

Long Way Home, the Asia-Europe Short Story Contest launched on 3 July 2013. Submissions close on 3 August 2013.

For more information about the Asia-Europe Short Story Contest, including submission guidelines, please visit www.ubudwritersfestival.com/2013-program/short-story-contest/


¹ ASEM member countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Vietnam.

Ubud ,Bali at a glance  
Ubud is a town on the Indonesian island of Bali in Ubud District, located amongst rice paddies and steep ravines in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency. in central Bali,and it is far from the hustling and bustling scene in Kuta, and is regarded as the cultural center of Bali. It is renowned for an arts and crafts hub, and much of the town and nearby villages seems to consist of artists' workshops and galleries. There are some remarkable architectural and other sights to be found, and a general feeling of well being to be enjoyed, all thanks to the spirit, surroundings, and climate of the place.  

Tour Orientation  and tourism

The main street is Jalan Raya Ubud (Jalan Raya means main road), which runs east-west through the center of town. Two long roads, Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Hanoman, extend south from Jalan Raya Ubud. Puri Saren Agung is a large palace located at the intersection of Monkey Forest and Raya Ubud roads. The home of Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati (1910–1978), the last "king" of Ubud, it is now occupied by his descendants and dance performances are held in its courtyard. It was also one of Ubud's first hotels, dating back to the 1930s.
The Ubud Monkey Forest is a sacred nature reserve located near the southern end of Jalan Monkey Forest. It houses a temple and approximately 340 Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) monkeys
Ubud tourism focuses on culture, yoga and nature. In contrast to the main tourist area in southern Bali, the Ubud area has forests, rivers, cooler temperatures and less congestion although traffic has increased dramatically in the 21st century. A number of smaller "boutique"-style hotels are located in and around Ubud, which commonly offer spa treatments or treks up nearby mountains.
The Moon of Pejeng, in nearby Pejeng, is the largest single-cast bronze kettle drum in the world, dating from circa 300BC. It is a popular destination for tourists interested in local culture, as is the 11th century Goa Gajah, or 'Elephant Cave', temple complex.
The Blanco Renaissance Museum is also located in the town.
and many others to explore.

Ubud is so crammed with attractions it can almost seem like a visual assault at times. Try to make sure you allocate at least a week for your visit here, and take your time to explore properly. Visitors who jump up to Ubud for just two or three days of their Bali holiday, stand little chance of understanding much of what is going on around them.
The key historical sites are located out of town, some as far as 20 km away, and you might find it worthwhile joining a tour to visit these. If you do visit attractions such as Goa Gajah, Gunung Kawi, Pura Kehen and Tirta Empul under your own steam, try to find a knowledgeable guide when you get there. Whilst you will certainly appreciate the beauty of these places, their cultural and spiritual significance may be lost without a guide. 

The EPL Phenomenon
Blame Elizabeth Gilbert. Those of you who managed to make it through the turgid best-selling novel Eat, Pray, Love, might have an inkling of what is coming up. Ubud features quite heavily in our heroine's search for fulfillment, and the knock-on effect in the town has been huge. Acolytes have swarmed to Ubud looking for (and sometimes finding) places and people referenced in the book. The actual characters mentioned are surely sick and tired of rather desperate looking thirty-something single women turning up on their doorsteps. The economic benefits of the novel to the area ratcheted up a whole other notch in mid-2009, when the eponymously named movie was shot in and around Ubud, Julia Roberts and all. Just be aware though that Ubud cannot necessarily guarantee a remedy for every mid-life crisis.  


Source : http://wikitravel.org/en/Ubud


Local Youths gather for environmental concert in Ubud rice field

by Lawrence Lilley and Sri Wahyuni on 2013-07-29
On Friday, local youths gathered in the rice paddies of Junjungan, by Loden House art space in northern Ubud, for the “Bali Not For Sale” concert. The event was a cooperative effort, organized by young people from Rumble Cloth and Walhi’s Eco Defender program, Anak Alam and BOG-BOG cartoon magazine, in order to protest against the increasingly rapid and frequent conversion of rice fields and areas of greenery into tourist accommodations.

A stage was set up and thick cables were draped atop a section of mud, and a variety of local bands, including Superman Is Dead, performed. The idea for the concert started from discussions between the aforementioned groups and Gede “Sayur” Suanda, the proprietor of Loden House who initiated the Not for Sale movement in 2010, in collaboration with renowned artist I Wayan Sudarna Putra

Sayur explained, “We were both concerned about the future of the Balinese people and our rice fields, and created the sign on my land as a visual protest. It took one month to make the letters out of recycled wood. We’d like to recreate the sign in more places, where landowners are committed to saving their land from conversion.”

He thinks that Balinese people have been given access to global products, but without the corresponding global perspective in which to see things. “They don’t see that maintaining the rice fields is a more important future investment. But people really come to Bali to see the rice fields, not the villas! The government’s lack of concern for the preservation of rice fields is worrying. By allowing land prices to rise, the economic incentive for farmers to sell their land increases.”

Bands began performing at 4 p.m., but creative activities had been organized earlier in the day by Sanggar Dewata Indonesia and Anak Alam, including a scarecrow-making competition. Scarecrows were used to remind people of the broader, ancient Balinese tradition of giving the greatest respect of all in society to the rice fields.

Anak Alam is a community group that was started in 2009 by Pande Putu Setiawan. It was set up to assist children in the smaller, neglected villages by providing textbooks, uniforms and scholarships. From this July until December, Anak Alam intends to visit 100 schools in Bali and Nusa Penida.

Echa, a student at Udayana University, joined Anak Alam in May after talking to Anak Alam members who had set up a stall at a concert she attended in Denpasar. “I felt so sorry for kids in other parts of Bali who don’t have access to an education or books, and it’s very exciting being part of a group that’s trying to help them.”

Celebrated punk veterans Superman Is Dead headlined the concert, delivering a unique acoustic set, donning straw hats, along with their black singlets and tattoos. After the crowd-pleasing ballad “Lady Rose”, frontman Jerinx declared, “Today these songs are dedicated to the lands of Bali. Our cultural traditions may become legends, but our rice fields must not!”

“Bali Not For Sale” was organized to make a point about the need to limit the conversion of rice fields for villa construction. Thus, it is ironic that the organizers were obliged to cut the event short, apparently because of concerns from the village administration that local villa owners might be disturbed if the event were to continue later than 7:30 p.m.

After the show, Jerinx said, “We’re losing hope with the government. Many people still see this little island just as a resource to exploit for money, and many Balinese continue to be seduced by the culture of materialism, selling their land for unnecessary possessions. But we’re trying to build a new mindset among the youth. Trying to show that activism can be popular and fashionable, and that fighting for the environment is cool. We are more than just a punk band, we’re an identity. We don’t want to be fools. We’re not slaves. This is our home.”

Jerinx has been working, particularly utilizing social media, in order to unite local bands and community groups, encouraging them to work together. His impassioned sentiments may be summarized as follows, “Together we stand. Divided, we may be sold.”

As the toll road reaches completion, and other projects to further destroy the Benoa ecosystem proceed, the recent flurry of youth-initiated environmental campaigns has come at the right time.

Source : Bali Daily  

The advantages and disadvantages of Land reclamation around the globe


‘I am not selling Bali out’: Pastika
by I Wayan Juniarta on 2013-08-03
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika has responded to mounting public criticism over his controversial letter permitting the massive reclamation project in Benoa Bay by declaring that he did not sell the island out to big investors.

“I am doing it solely for the future of this island,” he said during a gathering with local journalists on Friday.

Pastika pointed out that vocational schools and universities on the island had churned out thousands of fresh graduates on an annual basis. Without employment opportunities, however, these young graduates would only increase the unemployment rate, and, in the longer term, contribute to the island’s poverty level.

The reclamation project and the development of various tourism facilities on the reclaimed land would create at least 200,000 new job opportunities, Pastika estimated.

“I have ensured in the permit letter that the investor and managing company are obliged to employ local workers,”

Pastika pointed out that once all the facilities, which would include a giant theme park, hotels and convention centers, a sport stadium, an international hospital, and a planned F1 circuit, reach their operational stage, the local administration would enjoy daily revenue from taxes amounting to Rp 5 billion.

“In five years, not only will we be providing more jobs to the growing pool of fresh graduates but we will also significantly increase provincial revenue, which in turn, would enable the local administration to fund an increasing number of pro people programs,” Pastika detailed.

Pro-people programs, including free universal healthcare services, financial aid of Rp. 1 billion each for poor villages as well as home renovation packages for low-income families, are the cornerstones of Pastika’s administration. He funded the programs by pursuing a two-pronged strategy: Increasing provincial revenue and implementing cost-cutting measures at provincial agencies previously known for their sluggish and oversized bureaucratic structures.

While the pro-people programs, locally known as Bali Mandara, are widely praised and won Pastika his second term in last May’s gubernatorial election, his policy on reclamation has drawn a growing chorus of rejection from various corners of society.

Pastika issued a permit for PT Tirta Wahana Bali International to reclaim and manage an area of 883 hectares in Benoa Bay after receiving two supporting documents: a feasibility research document from Udayana University’s team of experts and a recommendation letter from Bali Legislative Council (DPRD).

The reclamation would take place on Pudut Isle, a tiny island partially submerged due to severe abrasion, and the area surrounding it.

Environmentalists and scholars feared that the reclamation would inflict massive, irreversible ecological damages that could affect not only Benoa Bay but also other regions in Bali. Tourism operators and associations, currently plagued by low occupancy rates and paralyzing tariff wars, accused that the reclamation would further aggravate the island’s oversupply of rooms, thus, rejected the project mainly on the basis of self-preservation. In recent days, the people of Benoa had begun voicing their rejections to the project.

Pastika attributed the growing opposition to widespread misperception triggered by the local media’s sensationalist approach toward the issue. He pointed out the “Bali Not For Sale” slogan, the common battle cry among activists opposing the reclamation, as an example of the misperception.

“Who put Bali on sale? The investor would not get any ownership rights over the reclaimed land. Those 883 hectares of reclaimed land will be the property of the provincial government, the property of the Balinese people. The investor will only get the right to manage it for a specified and limited period,”

“Bali will see its territory expanded. Instead of watching hectares of rice fields disappear, we will have an investor who builds tourism facilities on a reclaimed land,”

Pastika also pointed out that out of 883 hectares of reclaimed land, 400 hectares will be forested, 300 hectares will be allocated for public facilities and only 100 hectares will be used for tourism facilities.


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