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Demons, Islands, Butterflies – the poetry of Indonesia

Maschinenhaus (Kulturbrauerei) (Knaackstraße 97, 10435 Berlin)

Nights of the Ramadan & Berliner Literarische Aktion e.V. present at the Maschinenhaus of the Kulturbrauerei on June 14th at 8pm a PARATAXE Weltliteratur Salon:

Demons, islands, butterflies – the poetry of Indonesia

An evening with the poet Dorothea Rosa Herliany (Java) and the performance poet Samar Gantang (Bali). The Berlin writer Martin Jankowski introduced the artists and their works and lead through the evening – an extraordinary discovery trip into the present literature of the most populous Muslim-influenced democracy on earth – the tropical equatorial archipelago Indonesia.

DOROTHEA ROSA HERLIANY (born 1961 in Magelang, Java) is the most important Indonesian poet of the present and is considered the female voice of the Indonesian contemporary literature. She has published 20 books, including poems and children’s books. She has received the highest awards of her country, especially the Best Book of Poetry (Jakarta Arts Council), the Best Author (National Language Center) and the Khatulistiwa Literary Award, as well as the Cempaka Award. Guest stays, among others, To the USA, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. In 2016, she won the Indonesian Book Prize Khatulistiwa again with her first novel “Isinga”. In Germany, a highly praised second volume appeared in 2015 with translations of her texts “Hochzeit der Messer”.

I Gusti Putu Bawa or SAMAR GANTANG, who in the literary scene of Indonesia is famous for his powerful Balinese mantra chanting (“Modre”). He is a popular and highly praised poetry artist, very well known especially in Bali and Java. Although very spectacular, his performances, deeply rooted in the Balinese tradition, are not originally designed for the stage but certainly spiritual acts: the Balinese, and above all their spiritual leaders, hold a dialogue with evil and good spirits alike, as well as with the outside world and the spiritual realm. The mixture of prayer and dialogue should have a purifying effect for man. Gantang has published many poetry books and short stories in Balinese and Indonesian, and has received numerous prestigious literature awards. To honor its importance, the state television broadcaster Balis TVRI has set up a special program, called Gatra Bali, in which he writes one of his poems for “five minutes each day”. For the first time, Samar Gantang is guest in Berlin especially to present also German translations of his unusual poetry.

A multilingual evening with performance, readings and conversations in English, Indonesian and Balinese language – with translations into German.



Samar Gantang

Dorothea Rosa Heliany


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