MUDRA Swari Saraswati Foundation is proud to announce the return of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF). Once again, writers, readers, activists, artists, and performers will converge on Ubud, Bali’s cultural highland, to engage in thought-provoking discussions on the issues that bind humanity together and, conversely, what pulls us apart.

This year’s theme is ‘Memayu Hayuning Bawana’, an ancient Javanese philosophy that means the principles by which we care for, protect, and beautify our universe.

Bawana, refers to ‘our world’, which is not only a physical space but also a cultural and deeply spiritual realm. ‘Memayu’, is the way we sustain the beautification of our planet on our eternal path to universal harmony. UWRF translates this philosophy into ‘Uniting Humanity’, which will unfold as a series of programs responding to humanity’s capacity to strengthen our ties as individuals and the world as a collective.

UWRF 2022 will explore the power of storytelling to ask how we can bring together the common threads of different cultures and perspectives to pave the way for a deeper understanding and mutual respect. How can we stop the threats of persecution, conflict, and human rights violations? Critical topics will include the role of literature in upholding humanity’s values and freedoms, to achieve equality for women and diverse-gender people, and further exploring environmentally sustainable practices.

To accompany the UWRF theme, Balinese artist Ni Luh Pangestu expresses the sentiment of connectivity through the medium of printmaking. Intricate lines form a figure whose lifeforce is woven into the landscape to create a rich and animated realm. In her response to the theme.

“This work was created by combining the techniques of carving, manual colouring, and digital colouring. The ‘cukil’ trail becomes the dominant element that forms the work. The practice of carving is a meditative process that requires a high level of concentration using a knife or sharp weapon. We are given the ability to make them, and we need intelligence in using them not to hurt each other but to create something useful, to create unity, to create harmony,” Ni Luh Pangestu said.

Meanwhile Janet DeNeefe, UWRF Founder and Director, said is delighted to welcome visitors back to Ubud for intimate discussions from key speakers who “tell stories about themselves, their community, and their place in the universe, and how these stories connect us across cultures. We are thrilled to have the UWRF 2022 festival take place in-person, where we can engage on a deeper level. []