Why Islam and The Archipelago

The Festival Islam Kepulauan, centered around the theme “The Voices of Archipelago,” celebrates Javanese Ṣūfī poetry, specifically Suluk, which entails the mystical path of Sufis and aspirant Sufis. These poems, intended to be sung, represent the diverse paths toward the Creator. Many Nusantara—archipelagic—Suluk manuscripts, previously removed during colonial times, are now preserved in the Netherlands. The festival aims to rediscover and welcome back these forgotten Suluk, integral to Indonesia’s centuries-old Islamic practices. The Suluk holds the wisdom of the esoteric journey towards self-annihilation (Jv. kalepasan, Ar. fanāʾ), central to the practice of Islam in Indonesia. The event is an initiative by Lesbumi (Indonesian Muslim Cultural Artists Institute) of PCINU Belanda (The Special Branch of Nahdlatul Ulama in The Netherlands).

“The Voice of Archipelago” explores the magnificence of Suluk: reflecting the unique “island breath” harmonizing human life, the universe, and the divine. The festival aims to engage all elements under PCINU Belanda and invites participation (from) and collaboration (with) diverse Indonesian communities in the Netherlands and Europe, as well as the art-cultural and religious-based communities and institutions from Indonesia and the Netherlands. It emphasizes inclusivity, involving various communities, groups, and institutions regardless of their religion and beliefs.

1. Public Understanding: Articulating to the general public and Western society how the Nusantara community—people living in the archipelago—perceives and interacts with the divine through Suluk.

2. Suluk Importance: Highlighting the importance of Suluk, serving as a tool to provide access, particularly through songs and stories, to those unfamiliar with the Arabic language in which Islamic teachings are stored.

3. Celebrating Diversity: Bringing people together through Suluk recitations (singing), dialogues, Suluk and art exhibitions, and cultural performances to celebrate diversity.

The Festival Islam Kepulauan strives to be a bridge between cultures, emphasizing the importance of Suluk and its role in shaping Indonesia’s cultural and spiritual landscape.

JOIN THE EVENT Why attend the Festival

Inspiring Speakers

Join a safe space for dialogue with experts to discuss Islam, beliefs, traditions and cosmology with an open heart and mind


This is your opportunity to expand your network, strengthen ties and friendship between countries with various backgrounds

Diverse People

Get to meet and connect with others who share a passion for knowledge and embrace diversity

Good Food & Art Performances

Discover the richness of Indonesia’s diverse cultural performances, witness the works of art from inspiring artists while tasting delicious Indonesian culinary

EARLY BIRD TICKET Get Your Ticket for Our Closing Ceremony Event!

€ 6

LISTEN TO THE Event Speakers & Artists

Gus Mus

Advisor of the NU Executive Council

Gus Ulil

Islamic Scholar

Tanto Mendut

Artist and Cultural Figure

Erick Tohir*

Minister of State Owned Enterprises of the Republic of Indonesia

Tisna Sanjaya

Artist and Academia

Susi Pudjiastuti*




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