Bridging Central Asia with Europe: Second Open Central Asia Book Forum & Literature Festival
Although a month has passed holding of Second Open Central Asia Book Forum & Literature Festival that was held between 7-11th November 2013 in both London and Cambridge, writers of Central Asia are still citing this event in their articles and discussion. The first event of this kind was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in 2012. Central Asian writers consider such opportunities as window of bringing their works to Europe and appreciate such projection. This year event was a big success as around 500 visitors attended 12 events spread over four days, including 2 Central Asian film previews, culture and tourism presentations, publishing roundtables, book readings and launches, award ceremonies and receptions.
15 guest speakers participated in the events, coming from 8 different countries, each with their own expertise and ideas, and they also participated in a Literature Festival on the evening of 8th November, held at the Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centre, allowing festival attendees the chance to hear about their work and meet the authors in person. The guest speakers were:
1. Nick Rowan ( England )
2. Erkin Agzam ( Uzbekistan)
3. Hamid Ismailov ( UK –Central Asia )
4. Shahsanem Murray, UK (presenting Begenas Sartov, Kyrgyzstan )
5. Svetlana Rakhimova ( UK –Uzbekistan )
6. Laura Hamilton, UK ( presenting Kazat Akmatov, Kyrgyzstan )
7. Robin Thompson, UK ( presenting Galina Dolgaya ,Uzbekistan)
8. Mevlut Ceylan ( UK-Turkey )
9. Ak Welsapar ( Sweden –Turkmenistan)
10. Rakhima Abduvalieva ( Germany – Kyrgyzstan )
11. Chokan Laumulin ( UK – Kazakhstan )
12. Alexey Ulko , Uzbekistan
13. Felicity Timcke South Africa
14. David Mashuri , Kazahstan
15. Frau Koch aka Dinara Bahritdinova , Uzbekistan
Similar to 2012, a literature competition was held in which 168 submissions were made across 3 categories (Literature, Translation and Illustration) with the ultimate winner, Abdulla Isa from Azerbaijan, being announced at a celebration dinner on Saturday 9th November. His book will be published by Hertfordshire Press in 2014.
Open Central Asia Literature Competition 2013 Winners
Of the 28 participants who were shortlisted, the final 3 winners in each category were announced at a celebration dinner held at the Navruz restaurant in London on 9th November, where a number of the winners collected their certificates in person.
The winners in each category are:
1 Abdulla Isa (Zaur Hasanov), Azerbaijan
2. Turusbek Maldibaev, Kyrgyzstan
3. Halima Ahmedova, Uzbekistan
1. David Mashuri translation of Durnyam Mashurova novel, Kazakhstan
2. Saadat Ibrahimova/Ian Peart, Azerbaijan-UK
3. Rahima Abduvalieva translation of Chingiz Aitmatov story ( Germany-Kyrgyzstan)
1. Asol Bilyalova, Kazakhstan
2. Irina Gogol , Kyrgyzstan
3. Hashim Kurban, Kazakhstan
The winner of the 2012 competition, Galina Dolgaya from Uzbekistan, had her winning entry published by Hertfordshire press as part of her prize. This year’s literary category winner, Abdulla Isa from Azerbaijan, will also have his work published by Hertfordshire Press. It is hoped that this tradition will be continued in next year’s competition and the committee encourage both existing and new participants to apply. Further details will be released in due course.
Hertfordshire Press is a UK publishing house, part of the Silk Road Media group of companies, that seeks to publish books and authors with a special focus on Central Asia. Hertfordshire press sponsored the second Open Central Asia Book Forum and Literature festival, held in London on 7-11 November 2013.
Festival was organized and supported by SILK ROAD MEDIA, HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS, YUNUS EMRE CENTER LONDON, BBC CENTRAL ASIA SERVICE, ORZU ARTS, NAVRUZ RESTAURANT, CAMBRIDGE CENTRAL ASIA FORUM, OPEN CENTRAL ASIA MAGAZINE, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY KAZAKHSTAN SOCIETY