Writers from Belarus Receive Recognition at International Festival in Sweden
On November 20th, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden, the winners of the prestigious international literary competition, Open Eurasia were announced. The results of the contest were declared at the 6th Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum 2017, which took place from November 17th to 20th in the cultural centre of the ABF.
The poetess from Belarus, Anna Komar received one of the most prestigious awards in the competition, the Marziya Zakiryanova Award for ‘Best Female Artist of 2017,’ which carries a stipend of $5,000.
Marziya Zakiryanova is an outstanding representative of her time. Despite the difficulties and adversities that the young and talented woman had to face, she always remained positive and purposeful. Today, the award in the name of Marziya Zakiryanova is presented to gifted authors who are distinguished by their unquenchable desire to live and create.
The award was presented to Anna Komar for her poem, “Fear of heights” by Marziya Zakiryanova’s daughter, Asel Artykova. This award will also lead to the publication of a book by the Belarusian writer in English through a London publishing house. The fact that the young poetess, Anna Komar received the title of ‘Best Female Artist of 2017’ attests to the fact that Belarusian literature could reach a wider readership abroad.
In 2017, more than 1,100 entries from authors in 37 countries were submitted for the Open Eurasia contests, 84 of which came from Belarus. In the category of ‘Poetry,’ 236 works were received.
This year, besides Anna Komar, another winner at the Open Eurasia festival was Vyacheslav Leskovsky from Minsk, who took second place in the category ‘Video film’ for a piece he created based on the collection of poems, The Goddess, or Lamentations of the Housewives. Also from Minsk, talented translator, Ekaterina Kravchuk took third place in the category ‘Translation.’ Four other representatives from Belarus, Valentin Yarmalkovich, Anna Zenkova, Nina Matsevino and Julia Dobrovolskaya were also amongst the finalists.
With a number of interesting authors and enthralling stories, Belarus is equipped to take its place of honour in world literature. The new Belarusian prose is well written and, according to Swedish experts, ready for commercial success in Western Europe. Thanks to the fact that the organisers of the OEBF festival chose Stockholm as the venue for 2017, the Swedish audience was afforded a unique opportunity to get to know the creative output of Belarusian authors.
At the international festival, Anastasia Kuzmicheva’s book, Whales of Belarus was presented.
An outstanding book filled with the contradictions and doubts inherent in the modern world in which we live, the artistic techniques used by the author are key to understanding the depth of thought and allowing oneself to become completely immersed in the book. Released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Britain and Belarus, among those to review the book were the British Ambassador to Belarus, Fionna Gibb and the Belarusian Ambassador to the UK, Sergei Aleinik.
A total of 14 events were held as part of the OEBF 2017, including presentations by authors from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Israel, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Sweden and other countries. Roundtables and art exhibitions also took place. In its sixth incarnation, the Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book forum showed once again that each nation is rich in its culture, which reflects its mentality and intellect and bears in itself elements of universal values.
As part of the closing ceremony for the Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum 2017, participants visited the two most important libraries in Stockholm, the International Library of Sweden and the Stockholm Public Library, donating their books as a sign of friendship and cooperation between peoples, because fiction is the cultural and spiritual heritage of all mankind.
The organisers of the OEBF festival and Open Eurasia contests are the not for profit organisation, the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) and the publishing house, Hertfordshire Press (Great Britain), without hosted the events without financial support from any state or affiliated bodies.
Anna Komar began to write poetry at the age of 13 to express her experiences, fears and dreams. At the age of 25, she began to search for herself through her use of the Belarusian language, which resulted in a book of poems.