Building the Path for Indonesian Literacy

Building the Path for Indonesian Literacy 


In the middle of this year, the National Book Committee is preparing several programs and activities which aimed at supporting literacy development in Indonesia from all aspects which include authorship, publishing, translation and product marketing. Marathon meeting is carried out every week by all work divisions in the National Book Committee to prepare several programs which aimed at improving the quality or extending the journeys of the Indonesian literary actors. 

Several programs have been carried out annually by the National Book Committee since its first establishment in 2016. One of them is Translation Fund Program (TFP) which for the last three years from 2016 to 2018 has funded the translation of 102 Indonesian books to foreign languages. In this year, the application for TFP is ended on July 31, 2019.  Seventy seven book titles were submitted this year, with the detail: 29 titles for complete book translation and 48 titles for book chapter translation; with four categories: fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and comics. Fictional work dominates this year’s application. The submitted works were to be translated into several target languages: Egypt, Albanian, Malay, Arabic, Korean, Nepal, Macedonian, and English. The list of translation grant recipients will be announced on August 17, 2019. 

Another annual program by the National Book Committee carried out since 2016 is Indonesia Writers’ Residence. Since the first year until 2018, the National Book Committee has sent 56 writers to several countries. Twenty countries have been selected as residence destinations since 2018, among them are Finland, United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, Mexico, France, Poland, Italy, Vietnam, German, Portugal, Cekoslovakoa, Peru, Bosnia, Scotland, Japan, Thailand, Suriname, and the Philippines. In this program, the selected Indonesian writers live in the chosen residency destinations, both in Indonesia and abroad, for several months to finish their writings according to the plan. Besides, they are also expected to build network inside and outside the country with fellow writers, translators, and publishers, and to promote Indonesian literature and culture in any related events held in the residential destinations.

LitBeat Literaction Festival is the next annual literary program hosted by the National Book Committee. First held in 2018, this festival is presented for literary actors and Indonesian public in general and expected to serve as a meeting space for creative workers in literary world to learn from each other and share ideas and experiences. Several issues concerning literary world are discussed in workshops, panel discussion, seminar, talkshowsharing session, dan art performance by inviting national and international experts. This year, LitBeat Literaction Festival will be held at the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia on September 2nd–September 3rd, 2019. 

The National Book Committee is proudly launching two new programs to reinforce the vitality of Indonesian literacy. Jakarta Fellowship Program, is an intensive residency program for foreign publishers in Jakarta for a week, coincide with LitBeat Literaction Festival. Held from the 1st to 7th September 2019, this program is aimed at encouraging fruitful collaboration between the foreign publishers and Indonesian publishers as the host. It also serves as an opportunity to share experiences and plan future collaboration. In this program, Indonesian publishers, as the host, are allowed to appoint foreign publishers as their long-term collaboration partners. The National Book Committee provides fellowship grant for the invited foreign publishers which covered airplane ticket, accommodation cost, and other needs during their stay in Jakarta. During the intensive residence period, the Indonesian publishers are expected to establish a fruitful business cooperation. The appointed publishers for Jakarta Fellowship Program 2019 are coming from France, Australia, China, Singapore, and Bangladesh. 

AKATARA IP Market - Pitching Forum “From Book to Screen”, the second new program by KBN, is an audition forum for writers, publishers, rights owners/heirs of novels, young adult books, and comics. In this program, they are encouraged to present the works to Indonesian producers to be adapted as movies. The producers’ favorite books will be awarded with T.U.T.A LAB AWARD, a supervision program for movie production and proposal to investors. The selected 30 applications from the first qualification will be announced on August 21, 2019 and exhibited in “The Market”, one of the events in LitBeat Literaction Festival. In the second qualification round, Asosiasi Produser Film Indonesia (Aprofi), Badan Perfilman Indonesia (BPI) and the National Book Committee will select 10 out of the 30 exhibited works. The short list will be announced in the closing ceremony of LitBeat Literaction Festival on September 3, 2019. The ten selected applicants are eligible to present the works in the Pitching Forum which will be held in Golden Ballroom, Sultan Hotel, on September 21, 2019.

By hosting the programs, The National Book Committee is looking forward to cooperating with Indonesian literacy actors in an attempt to develop and enhance the national literacy.


Dewi Ria Utari