Wallacea Week 2018

Greetings from Jakarta, where we are beginning our short Indonesian tour. First off, we’re in Jakarta for the British Council’s Wallacea Week 2018, where Will is doing an event this evening (17th October) with the fabulous Indonesian travel writer Agustinus Wibowo. The event is at the National Library of Jakarta, and entry is free.

Java, Bali, Myanmar: Wind&Bones in Southeast Asia

This October, we’re going to be heading to Southeast Asia for a number of months, where we’ll be working on a range of new projects.

After an event at the British Council’s Wallacea Week in Java, where Will is talking about his book Stealing With the Eyes, and discussing travel writing with Indonesian writer Agustinus Wibowo, we’ll both be at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali where – amongst other things – we’ll be running a workshop on the ethics of writing (about which, see our previous post).

From there, we’ll be heading on to Myanmar, where we’re doing a writing residency and running a series of workshops at the Parami Institute in Yangon. In Myanmar, we’re also planning to get involved in a number of other projects in the realms of literature, education, creativity and social justice.

Whilst on the move, we’ll also be writing. Hannah’s book-length collection of short stories, In Their Absence, is due out from Roman Books later in 2019, so she’ll be finalising the manuscript for that, as well as working on new material; meanwhile, Will intends to work on his current non-fiction work-in-progress (about which more in the next couple of months).

Whilst in Southeast Asia, we’re absolutely open to new possibilities and collaborations. So if you are in the region, and are doing anything that relates to our work, we would just love to hear from you.

Wind&Bones in Ubud

This autumn we’ll be in Ubud for the 2018 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Will’s book on Indonesia, “Stealing With the Eyes: Imaginings and Incantations in Indonesia” – about the tangled ethical dilemmas of anthropology in the easternmost islands of Indonesia – has just been been published by Haus Publishing, so he’ll be doing a couple of events to talk about the book.

Whilst there, Will and Hannah will be jointly running a Wind&Bones (or, in Indonesian, Angin dan Tulang) workshop on the ethics of writing. This is a topic that is often curiously under-explored in creative writing courses – which is in stark contrast to journalism courses – and so it should be a fascinating few hours of discussion and hands-on exploration.

The workshop is on the 28th October, so if you are around in Bali, then come along.

Picture credit: Michelle Maria

Residency in the Sofia Literature and Translation House

We are now back in the UK after spending several days in Sofia at the end of our Bulgaria trip, on a mini-residency at the Sofia Literature and Translation House. It was the perfect place to do catch up on a bit of writing and reading. Whilst there, Hannah got to work on a short story pamphlet commission, and Will continued with research on a number of his non-fiction projects. Meanwhile, we both also had more of a chance to catch up with friends, to explore Sofia, and to meet some local writers, artists and activists.

The Literature and Translation House is run by the Next Page foundation, under the leadership of the wonderful Yana Genova, who was a superb host, and who offered us all kinds of insights into the wider Bulgarian literary scene. Yana also very kindly set up an informal discussion meeting with a number of people working at the meeting places between the arts and social justice. Among the guests were Anguelina Ranguelova from the Pavilion 19 project, which works on theatre and storytelling with underprivileged young people (in particular from the Roma and asylum-seeker communities) in the area of the Zhenski Pazar, or the women’s market, and Evgeni Dimitrov who works on projects at the Centre for Inclusive Education, as well as on his remarkable project “The Invisibles” (see the link here), which has many resonances with Hannah’s work on missing people.
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Workshops in Varna, Bulgaria

Earlier this week, we were in Varna, Bulgaria to run some workshops for writers at the LECTI (Language Education Culture Tolerance Information) centre, a project that works in developing links between cultures and languages across Europe and beyond. Our workshops were on short-form writing (fiction and non-fiction – why should flash fiction writers have all the fun?) and on the arts of editing. It was a delight to work with a small, diverse group of talented and enviably multilingual writers – one participant was writing in her fifth language.

In the workshops, we looked at generating ideas, at how good writing arises out of the writer’s own idiosyncratic experiences and perspectives, and at how through writing it is possible to bring to light both the differences and commonalities in human experience.
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Wind&Bones in Bulgaria

We’re now in Bulgaria, where next week we’ll be doing workshops in Varna at the LECTI (Language Education Culture Tolerance Information) Centre. After that, we’ll be heading back to Sofia for a mini-residency in the Sofia Literature and Translation House.

If you are in Varna and would like to come along to our workshops, head to event.lecti.eu to sign up. And if you are in Sofia at in the middle of August, and want to talk to us, get in touch.

On Radio Leicester

Last night (31 July), Hannah was on Radio Leicester’s arts show “The A-Word” to talk about writing, LGBTQI+ issues, and our work at Wind&Bones with refugees and asylum seekers.

She was joined in the studio by Rosemary, a lesbian Nigerian poet and asylum seeker now living in Leicester. You can find out more about the show on the BBC website.

Suspended, at Leicester Cathedral

Along with fellow writer Alexandros Plasatis, at the end of July 2018 we’ll be co-running a workshop at Leicester Cathedral to run alongside Arabella Dorman’s exhibition, Suspended. The workshop will take place on the 26th July, and then on the following day we will be involved in running a creative writing performance event in the cathedral.

Image: Leicester Cathedral