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The melodious chants of Frau and Palestinian writers at the Opening of the First JILF 2019

I am very happy, thank God I was able to be present at the opening of the Jakarta International Literary Festival (JILF) which took place at the large Taman Ismail Marzuki theater, Central Jakarta, Tuesday (20/8/2019) night. This is one of the coolest events in Jakarta that should be attended and enlivened. This is the first time JILF has been implemented after waiting for three years.

Acting Chairman of the Jakarta Arts Council (DKJ), Danton Sihombing, said that JILF was initiated by the DKJ Literature Committee. This year’s JILF with the theme of Interpreting (Re) Boundaries or (Re) Defining Borders wants to open the fences that limit literature between southern countries and the international world.

Dalton said that his party wanted JILF to have a differentiating value from other international literary festivals so that it could be a comparison. One of the efforts was to create a copyright market and there were several transactions.

Literary Yusi Avianto Pareanom as the Director of the JILF Festival said JILF was initiated in 2016 and three years later it could only be implemented. “Three years of seducing, convincing, sometimes a bit threatening. Finally, this year, thank God, it worked,” he explained.

Yusi said that with this festival, his party wanted to introduce writers who came from the southern region because many writers from Malaysia, Thailand, and others were not very well known even though their works were worth reading. Likewise, Indonesian writers and their works want to be introduced to a broader level.

The opening of JILF 2019 was enlivened by indie musicians Frau or Leliyani Hermiasih. A cool musician that I have always wanted to see live performance and surprisingly, she was soo magical.

Frau performed three songs, one of which was written by Koesalah Soesilo Toer to commemorate the victims of the 1965 genocide. He also performed the song Sari Menari and the first song he performed I forgot the title hehehe. I was amazed. She left me in awe. Really cool Frauuuuuu.

Frau usually sings to Oscar, her piano. But this time Oscar didn’t participate and Frau was accompanied by a piano named John.

At the heart of the opening ceremony were speeches from Palestinian writer Adania Shibli. Shibli’s keynote speech was entitled I am Not to Speak My Language. I didn’t follow the speech until the end because I had to catch a bus. Hehe. But thankfully I got the contents of the speech.

Besides various cool discussions, around the JILF venue there is also a book bazaar. Don’t miss this cool event. When will you? For those around Jakarta, kuy cuss !!

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