KEMBALI 2020: A Rebuild Festival for Bali

More than just a Festival, KEMBALI 2020: A Rebuild Bali Festival (KEMBALI20) is aimed at boosting Indonesia’s creative industries of literature, art, and gastronomy to give a voice to Bali’s young entrepreneurs while embracing extraordinary international talent.

From 29 October – 8 November 2020, experience Bali like never before with over 120 authors, artists, journalists, farmers, chefs, and activists. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati – an independent, not-for-profit foundation in Ubud, Bali – has postponed two renowned international events: Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) and Ubud Food Festival (UFF).

The Foundation then took the best of the two Festivals and reimagined these elements into a new, interactive, digital celebration of literature, arts, culinary, and culture.

After engineering the full lineup and over 60 digital programs, KEMBALI20 is launching a series of free events, including Teater Kuliner cooking challenges, Music & Arts performances, and Film Screenings.

The free events are accessible on the Festival’s official website and Youtube channel. 

“Kembali” means “return” and declares that the Festival is back! Accordingly, the Festival will bring Bali back in a way that has never before been experienced. “We’re not showing you the tourist destinations or popular spots to take pictures, but we want you to see the island in its truest form,” commented KEMBALI20 Founder and Director Janet DeNeefe. Adding: “The community, the land, the authenticities that are often unseen by the public, we are sharing the best of Bali.”

For Music & Arts, KEMBALI20 presents the Annual Poetry Slam, one of UWRF’s most sizzling events in a digital format. Collaborating with Bali’s only dedicated poetry slam collective, Unspoken, this event is set to be a Festival highlight. After the passing of the late, great Sapardi Djoko Damono, Balinese dancer Dewa Ayu Eka Putri will also show a touching tribute to the legendary figure in Indonesian literature.

Other events include experimental theatre, Laksmi Pamuntjak’s reading of Fall Baby, Ubud contemporary dance, poetry, and music. In an exciting celebrity-versus-chefs cook-up, the Festival’s Teater Kuliner will present Susi Pudjiastuti, former Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, who will cook alongside Chef Bart van Olphen, one of the world’s most passionate sustainable fishing advocates from Amsterdam. They are teaming up to cook a traditional Middle Eastern fish dish, Chraime.

Indonesian rock star Kaka Slank has also accepted the virtual cooking challenge from leading Indonesian Chef Aga Alvian. They each will whip up their versions of a vegan burger.

The Film Screenings allows the audiences the opportunity to interact directly with filmmakers, producers, and authors. The Festival is screening an exclusive premiere of Our Mothers’ Land, a documentary that follows journalist Febriana Firdaus’ journey in highlighting women in Indonesia. She examines the lives of women who have risen to lead social movements while facing violence, imprisonment, and judgment from conservative societies as they fight for their rights.

Determined to document and celebrate Balinese’s resilience and adaptation during the pandemic, the Yayasan Mudra Swari Saraswati team set out with local filmmaker Wayan Martino to collect stories from farms learning centers, and home industries. During the Festival, enjoy five inspiring Stories from the Field, a chance for the global audience to see more to Bali than just beaches and rice paddies.

The audience is invited to explore an eco-house in Bengkala village, the Pedawa Village in North Bali. Bengkala is known for its palm sugar and local mythology, efforts to involve the local community in vanilla farming, its coffee trade, and the sacred nature with which locals regard traditional Balinese cuisine.

“We are proud to present the Stories from the Field series – an honest and beautiful portrayal of Balinese culture and people,” said Janet DeNeefe. Adding: “From our very first year, all of our initiatives are dedicated to our community, and we hope to do the same this year. KEMBALI20 aims to help fulfill Indonesia’s creative needs while showcasing its cultural diversity to the world.”

Kembali 2020: A Rebuild Bali Festival will be held from 29 October to 8 November 2020 in a digital and on-the-ground format, accessible to all through its donation-based sessions.

From Bali Discovery

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Welcome to the the Bali Tourism Board, the voice of Bali's tourism industry! As one of the prime tourist destinations of the world, the extraordinarily unique island of Bali virtually ensures a great holiday for backpackers and VIPs alike! From hostels to award-winning world-class resorts, Bali has it all! Come and experience Bali's one-of-a-kind culture and the natural hospitality of her people.

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