'Blora Literature, World Literature'

12 - 15 September 2018

Blora, Central Java

Blora is the name of a regency in Central Java, Indonesia, located at the northeastern border with East Java. The eponymous capital is located 127 kilometres east of Semarang, the capital of Central Java. Blora is well-known as the town mentioned in the title of author Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s collection of short stories Cerita dari Blora (Stories from Blora), first published in 1952.

Cerita Dari Blora, which would be held in 12–15 September 2018, incorporates “Stories from Blora” as its theme to honour Pramoedya’s intellectual achievements as an important personality in modern Indonesian literature, as well as to promote the cultural potential of Blora Regency, especially its “stories”, including folklore and traditional arts.

The festival would feature workshops of Blora arts—kentrung, tayub, wayang kerucil, barongan—all part of Blora folklore, as well as book discussions and a prose writing class for young people, with famous literary authors as tutors. The class would focus on writing poetry, short stories, and editing. It would be accompanied by a study of Pramoedya’s works, in order to appreciate and propagate his critical thinking and humanist spirit.

Cerita Dari Blora, which is initiated by cultural activists and the Blora regional government, will begin with the revitalization of the PATABA Library. PATABA stands for “Pramoedya Ananta Toer Anak Semua Bangsa” (“Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Child of All Nations”). It is Pramoedya’s family library, located at his childhood home in the midst of Blora town. The nonprofit library was initiated by Pramoedya and his brothers Koesalah Soebagyo Toer and Soesilo Toer. It was established in Pramoedya’s memory on the day he died, 30 April 2006. The small library aims to educate the nation by developing a literary culture. Its motto is “A Developing Indonesian Public is a Reading Indonesian Public, which is to become a Writing Indonesian Public.”

Cerita Dari Blora is designed to make the power of stories enhance Blora’s cultural resources.