Writers from Kyrgyzstan Present Their Work at International Festival in Stockholm
From the 17th – 20th, November 2017, the sixth Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum (OEBF-2017) was held in the heart of Sweden in the city of Stockholm, famous for its rich cultural heritage.
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. More than 300 people from 20 countries attended the festival.
As part of the festival, the winners of the prestigious international literary competition, Open Eurasia were announced. During the award ceremony which took place in the cultural centre of the ABF in a hall named after Olof Palme, writers from Kyrgyzstan received special recognition. Sultan Raev took first place in the category of ‘Prose,’ becoming a laureate of the Henryk Sienkiewicz Award, whilst Temirbek Dzholdobaev received a diploma from the international association, Generals for Peace for his work in strengthening, peace, friendship and mutual understanding between peoples through literature.
In 2017, more than 1,100 entries from authors in 37 countries were submitted for the Open Eurasia contests, 50 of which came from Kyrgyzstan. The final of the contest included two Kyrgyz authors, Pasanova Zinaikan and Vladimir Lidsky. Duishon Sultankulov also participated in the festival.
Within the framework of the festival, 22 new books were launched, including the work of a young writer from Kyrgyzstan, Aigul Ryskulbekova. Her fairy tale, Zoo Detectives teaches young readers to love the world, the value of true friendship and how to think logically to achieve one’s goals. An educational book, broadening the horizon of young readers, Zoo Detectives brings life to the slogan, ‘a reading child is the future of the nation.’
This book is not the first work of the children’s writer to be appreciated by adults. Suffice it to say that a leading media outlet in Kyrgyzstan nicknamed Aigul Ryskulbekova, ‘Andersen in a skirt.’ A representative of the best traditions of the Ryskulbekov family, her father, Mukan Ryskulbekov was a composer, singer and actor, starring in many films based on works by the legendary Chyngyz Aitmatov. With the support of her family and friends, Aigul has grown into a marvellous writer whose development continues to astound and delight.
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.
In this present extremely difficult time, when various challenges, confrontations and threats are intensifying, the role of culture in uniting millions of people of different nationalities, languages and religions, and strengthening the bonds of friendship, cooperation and harmony is ever more important. Seen in this light, the 6th Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum takes on a special meaning.
The organizers 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.