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Published on January 26, 2015

Bringing together the finest writers from across Southeast Asia, the ASEAN Literary Festival 2014 will again be held at Taman Ismail Marzuki Art CenterJakarta from 15th to 22nd March 2015.

Building on the huge success of the first ASEAN Literary Festival in 2014 when it adopted the theme : democracy and human rights under the banner of “Anthems for the Common People”, the 2nd edition of the ASEAN Literary Festival will take on how ASEAN’s literary works and its authors respond and adapt to the current global system, and deliver questions faced by themselves and their societies, with a bold tagline on “Questions of Conscience.”

“The theme is chosen in response to the global dynamics and progress, especially on consumerism and the rapid development of the information technology” stated  Director of ASEAN Literary Festival (ALF) Abdul Khalik as reported by

This year, over 20 countries (ASEAN and non-ASEAN) will participate in the event by bringing together some of the finest writers, artists, academics, publishers, and filmmakers. The number has grown from last year’s inaugural edition that featured 14 countries. The festival will also stretch from only 3 days last year to over a week. This year’s festival  has added variety to the programs which, aside from discussions and workshops, offer film screenings from participating countries and  special literary trips that will take participants to the most historical sites related to the development of Indonesian literature.

The festival will be highlighted by the ASEAN Literary Award which acknowledges and honors ASEAN writers who have consistently fought for freedom, justice, and humanity through their works. Last year, the ASEAN literary Award was presented to the late Wiji Thukul , an influential poet and human rights activist from Indonesia.

The ASEAN Literary Festival is the first cultural event where all ASEAN countries, that ,  sharing proximity, similarities in culture and literature as well as sharing history of being colonized, level of democratization and economic development, gather in one literary festival as one community of literature and culture.

The festival seeks to become a medium to boost the quality of the region’s literary works while being a bridges to get people of literature and the public at large within the region to know each other’s cultures, arts and literary works, boosting ASEAN to become a fully-fledged community.

The festival presents ASEAN’s poets, novelists, playwriters, critics, academics, scholars and artists to perform and discuss the role of literature to help member countries foster a just society, as well as boost human rights, freedom of expression and democratization.

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