In it’s brand new home in the Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets, TEDxUbud once again brought ideas worth spreading to the stage with their sixth instalment of this special event series on 20th May, 2017. This year TEDxUbud, presented by Zurich Indonesia, focused on the theme “Make the light”, which was appropriate considering this was the first time the event had ever taken place in the evening. So, the speakers, with their bright, inspiring ideas, shone a light into the dark, Ubud night.
What was immediately apparent upon entry was that TEDxUbud had very comfortably settled into their new home. The Setia Darma House of Masks and Puppets sprawls over 1.5 hectares in the carving village of Mas, south of Ubud. Here, the audience was already enjoying the open green space, peppered with food and drink stalls, exhibitions, artistic showcases and more. It would be fair to say that there is not a TEDx event quite like it.
With true Pavlovian obedience, the participants flowed into the amphitheatre at the ring of a bell – perhaps even salivating in anticipation of what was to come. The amphitheatre itself looks out over a palm-lined valley, no better backdrop for a TED talk in Bali. The show began like all shows do on the island, with a Balinese dance.
Finally, the speakers took to stage, introduced by host Rio Helmi. First was singer and activist Kartika Jahja, a woman passionate about feminism sharing her beliefs on sexism in the 21st century, and what she was doing to fight this. Indonesians are strongly familiar with her viral song, Tubuhku Otoritasku (My Body, My Authority). Next was scientist Trudy Rilling-Collins, dubbed the Mosquito Whisperer, exposing the risks and shortfalls of chemical pest control. Continuing the environmental focus was Kevin Kumala, founder of Avani Eco, an eco-technology company providing sustainable alternatives to disposable goods. He shone his light on how he and his team were fighting the plastic epidemic in Indonesia and around the world. Human decision scientist Lana Kristanto from clean-energy company Kopernik explains the difficulty of changing people, even when they are provided with the tools to improve their lives.
The performances of the evening were certainly something to remember. Japanese dancer Jasmine Okubo choreographed an amazing ensemble called Kukusan Paon, featuring visual art and backup dancers from Bali’s deaf community. The second performance was by the shadow puppet master Made Sidia, who transformed a traditional performance to include a blend of live-action actors, shadow puppets and video projections. He and his team performed a classic story from the Ramayana Epic, a jaw-dropping display that received a standing ovation.
The last speakers were 2 manipulators of light. New media artist Joe Crossley uses amazing light projection mapping for inspiring creative projects, lighting buildings in morphing dancing colours; Singaporean entrepreneur Grey Tan told his story of creating the Tiny1, the world’s first astronomy camera, capable of capturing the light of the stars in the night sky.
All in all, each speaker and performer certainly shone that evening, sharing inspiration around the amphitheatre. However, whilst the speakers are the focus of TEDxUbud, in truth it is the whole experience that makes the day special. Everything from the venue, the decoration, the food and drink selections are meticulously chosen and curated. A well-deserved congratulations to the volunteer committee that pulls this off each year. Don’t miss it in 2018.
More info: www.tedxubud.com