Brussels Hosts VIII Open Eurasian Literary Festival (OEBF -2019) 


From 13th to 17th November, the eighth Open Eurasian Literary Festival and Book Forum (OEBF 2019) was held in Brussels (Belgium). Open Eurasia is an international initiative that for the eighth year brings together creative people from all over the world – writers, poets, translators, artists and other talented people. This year, festival guests represented  more than 25 countries.

Organised by the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) and the British publishing house Hertfordshire Press, the Festival teamed up with AidEx – to create an exhibition on a mutual platform to bring attention to humanitarian issues currently affecting most post-soviet countries.

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The Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum (OEBF) is the only annual literary festival in the world to promote Eurasian literature internationally. As a cultural bridge between East and West, this unique event provides an opportunity for authors and artists to talk about their work, share experiences and find like-minded people from different countries with whom to implement joint projects.

The program for the OEBF Festival 2019 in Brussels was intensive, and consisted of many different events, including book presentations, exhibitions and seminars for writers and artists by experts in the fields of literature, publishing and communication.

On 13th of November, an exhibition of ECG London artists was held at the Brussels Expo and the R. Hubbard Museum. The works of the following artists were successfully presented at the exhibition: Olesya Shibaeva (Moldova), Gulzada Hamra (Kyrgyzstan), Emil Guzairov (Russia), Ravil Abdulov(Kazakhstan) Akhmetzhan Akhatbakiev (Kazakhstan) and “Peaks of Asia” (Almagul Yesimova, AbayChunchalinov, Elena Fursa, Bakytnur Burdesbekov, Asia Bekisheva, Adilgali Bayandin, SmakovaBibigul from Kazakhstan and Laura Pak from Kyrgyzstan).

This year, the opening ceremony of the festival was dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Abay and was held on November 14th at the Brussels Expocenter, where the following speakers made a welcoming speech and shared their thoughts on the contribution of Abay Kunanbayev’s work to world literature: Johnathan Fryer (British historian, researcher), Marat Akhmedjanov (vice-president of ECG London) and Begizhan Akhmedov (writer from Kyrgyzstan), who solemnly presented Marat Akhmedjanov with the Order of Honor and Courage Fund (Russia) and presented his book “The Wanderer”.

Honorary guests spoke at the opening ceremony: Ambassador of Tajikistan Erkinkhon Rahmatullozoda, Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan Mukhtar Dzhumaliev and Counselor-Envoy of the Embassy of Kazakhstan – Erbolat Sembaev. On behalf of the organizer of the exhibition AIDEX, Peter Lindsay gave a speech and he also conducted a tour of AIDEX.

On the same day, there was a panel discussion dedicated to the work of the great writer Chingiz Aitmatov and the influence of Abay’s heritage on world literature. The report “Oscar Wilde in Central Asia – drawing a parallel between the work of Wilde and Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov (1928-2008)” was made by the British researcher Jonathan Fryer. The panel discussion participants included: a literary agent – Bakhtygul Makhanbetova, a scientist – Dandai Yskakuly, and a translator – Nurym Taibek from Kazakhstan.

On November 15th, the presentation of the third “ECG-2019 Book Series” was held by Angelina Krasnogir, manager of the Hertfordshire Press publishing house. The following books published in London were presented at the presentation: Vladimir Tulinov, “Guardsmen of Hippocrates” (Belarus), Kanybek Imanaliev, “Kaganat” (Kyrgyzstan), Alfred Engalychev, “And God Give Me …” (Kyrgyzstan) and the collection “Thread” -3 ”, which was presented by one of the authors of the collection – Aya Maksutova (Kazakhstan).

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One of the most striking events of the festival was the presentation of books by the winners of the Open Eurasia 2018 competition published through grants awarded to the winners:

1. “Lost Paradise – Real Paradise”, Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan) with Stephen Bland – Best Translation 2018
2. “Sofya’s heaven or the magic gift of the dwarves” Oksana Gordiyko (Poland-Ukraine) – 2018 Nemat Kelimbetov Prize
3. “Mouse Leia” Arina Chunaeva (Russia) with Stephen Bland and Mariola Fedarchuk (Great Britain) – Maria Shevel Prize 2018
4. “Poems about boys” Lyudmila Dubkovetskaya (Moldova) with John Farndon and Stephen Bland (Great Britain) – 2018 Marzia Zakiryanova Prize.

Presentations of the following speakers took place on the same day:
1. Alan Flowers (Great Britain), who presented a book dedicated to Belarusian classics – “Celebration of Vera Rich’s life and work”. The presentation was attended by a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus – Julia Lyashuk.
2. Poetess Josephine (Berkinaliev Sagynbubu) from Kyrgyzstan, presenting her book “Girl dancing in the sky”
3. Jonathan Farndon (UK)
4. Nurym Taybek (Great Britain) editor of “Russian Service”, “The Muslim community of Ahmadis around the world” with lectures on the topic: The Rational Religion Initiative to unite humanity into one family in order to save it from war and self-destruction

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On November 16th, the official part of the festival took place!

 A literary marathon “Voices of Eurasia” lasted more than 6 hours, during which 50 finalists of the competition and guests of “Open Eurasia-2019” presented their entries.

On the same day, the annual meeting of the Council of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) took place. As a result of the vote, a new chairman of the Guild, John Farndon (Great Britain), was elected. The new composition of the Advisory Board and the composition of the new Council of the Guild Guardians were approved. (lists in the appendix)

The literary part of the festival was completed by the following book presentations and workshops:
1. Keanu Reeves: unfinished portrait. Part 1″. Author: Evgenia Sihimbaeva (Kazakhstan)
 2. Stephen M. Bland. Prize laureate, author and journalist Stephen M. Bland delivered a speech entitled “Dictators, Desolation and Dadaism: From the Uzbek Desert of Forbidden Art to the Forgotten Peoples of Armenia”
 3. “The Silk Road Revisited”, a new photograph and history book was presented by Nick Rowan, editor-in-chief of OCA magazine (London).
 4. Visual master class by Emil Guzairov – writer, architect, designer from Russia. The workshop “Unusual books, beech art and book architecture” taught attendees how to interest the public in an unusual presentation of the book.
 5. Master class from Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan) on the topic: “Communication training for creative people.” The purpose of the workshop was to identify resources for the presentation of their creative abilities to the world.

In the evening, the main event of the festival was a gala dinner and an award ceremony for the winners of the Open Eurasia 2019 contest. The ceremony began with the presentation of a painting by Kazakh artist Bibigul Smakova as a gift to the R. Hubbard Museum in Brussels.

The total prize pool in 2019 was $ 31,000. The main prizes of the competition are grants that will be used to publish the book of winners in London or to pay for trips to the OEBF 2020 festival. In 2019, more than 1200 applications from over 30 countries of the world were submitted to the competition.


1st place: Ion Zhani (Russia) – $ 5000 grant from Hertfordshire Press

2nd place: Aydin Shem (Russia)

3rd place: Alexander Chigolsky (Belarus) and Temirbek Dzholdobaev (Kyrgyzstan)

 At the award ceremony, it was announced that the medal of Henryk Sienkiewicz was awarded to the winner of the Open Eurasia 2017 contest – Sultan Raev (Kyrgyzstan).


1st place: Torgyn Zholdasbekgizy (Kazakhstan) grant $ 1000 from Hertfordshire Press

2nd place: Klara Kabylgazina (Kazakhstan)

3rd place: Kenja Navoi (Uzbekistan) and Marina Markina(Russia)


1st place: Ekaterina Khlebnikova (Russia) award “Song of the Moth” from the studio of Ermek Amanshaev ($ 2000)

1st place: Josephine (Berkinalieva Sagynbubu) – Kyrgyzstan, prize / medal “Lira” ($ 1000)

2nd place: Banu Esengeldi (Germany / Kazakhstan)

3rd place: Valery Terkin (Russia) and Svetlana Razmyslovich(Russia)


1st place: Cordelia Buchanan Poncek (Poland) Lev Gumilyov Prize from OCA Magazine ($ 3000)

2nd place: Katerina Gladkaya (Ukraine)

3rd place: Sofia Timurovna (Slovakia) and Akylbek Dzhumanaliev (Kyrgyzstan)

 A special prize for best literary criticism was awarded to Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan).


1st place: Hope Silver (USA) Maria Shevel Prize ($ 5000)

2nd place: Mikhail Kunitsky (Belarus)

3rd place: Dina Oraz (Kazakhstan) and Zaure Turekhanova(Kazakhstan)


1st place: Zhanna Golubitskaya (Russia) Marzia Zakiriyanova Prize ($ 5000)

2nd place: Aldona Groupas (Great Britain / Lithuania)

3rd place: Dilorom Nishanova (Uzbekistan / USA)


1st place: not awarded (Nemat Kelimbetov Prize)

2nd place: Platinum (Russia)

3rd place: Helen Rush (Great Britain / Latvia) and Andrey Yesaulov (Russia)


1st place: Simon Hollinshire (Great Britain) Irina Bustard Prize ($ 1000)

1st place: Maria Kevaeva (Russia), “BelRos” prize from Oleg Nesterkov ($ 1000)

2nd place: Luche (Israel)

3rd place: Olga Marusina (Belgium) and Alena Filippova(Russia)



1st place: Abishev Nurlan (Kazakhstan) Live Line Prize from Adam Kapanov ($ 2000)

2nd place: Igor Barbov (Russia) and Alexander Batykov(Uzbekistan)

3rd place: Aliya Temuriyzoda (Uzbekistan)


The Prize of Generals from the International Association of Peace Generals for Peace, the highest award of the Association – the dove of peace medal for the best work on topics of strengthening, peace, friendship and mutual understanding between peoples was received by:  Lenar Shaekhov (Tatarstan / Russia)

Certificates “Generals of the world for peace” were issued to the following laureates:
Ksenia Kirillova (USA)
Alexandra Taan (Russia)
Dandai Yskakuli (Kazakhstan)
Bayangali Alimzhanov (Kazakhstan)
Elena Aslanyan (Armenia)
Lyudmila Blokhina (Russia)
Mikhail Ananov (Georgia)
Dana Zheteeva (Kazakhstan)
Ahmet Ahat (Kazakhstan)
Yufim Sanya (Russia)

 Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to the following participants:
 Ivan Arjona Pelado (Spain / Belgium)
Ayia Maksutova (Kazakhstan)
Oksana Zhukova (Crimea)
Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan)
Nick Rowan (UK)
John Farndon (UK)
Stephen M. Bland (UK)

Participants, guests and speakers:

1. Sultan Raev (Kyrgyzstan) *
2. Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan) – speaker
3. Ermek Amanshaev (Kazakhstan) *
4. Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan) – speaker
5. Kairat Zakiryanov (Kazakhstan) *
6. Anastasia Kuzmicheva (Belarus)
7. Sergey Molokovsky (Belarus)
8. Mark (Marat) Ahmedjanov (Great Britain – Uzbekistan) – organiser
9. Adam Kapanov (Kazakhstan) *
10. Narkabilov, Narkuchkar (Uzbekistan) *
11. Zhukova Oksana (Crimea)
12. Lenar Shaeh (Russia) – official participant
13. Stephen M. Bland (UK) – Speaker
14. Marina Markina (Russia) – viewer
15. Zhanna Shvydkaya (Russia) – viewer
16. Elena Aslanyan (Armenia) – viewer
17. Gayane Aslanyan (Armenia) – viewer
18. Olga Marusina (Belgium) – viewer
19. Arina Chunaeva (Russia) – speaker
20. Mikhail Chunaev (Russia) – viewer
21. Bakhtygul Makhanbetova (Kazakhstan) – viewer
22. Andrey Zapsha (Moldova) – official member
23. Tatyana Rasskazova (Russia) – viewer
24. Dubkovetskaya Ludmila (Moldova) – speaker
25. Kurochkin Alexander (Moldova) – official participant
26. Kabylgazina Klara (Kazakhstan) – official participant
27. Iskakuly Dandai (Kazakhstan) – official member
28. Karimov Gumer (Russia) – official participant
29. Yurchova Timea (Slovakia) – official participant
30. Guzairov Emil (Russia) – exhibition
31. Abdulov Ravil (Kazakhstan) – exhibition
32. Abdulatova Bibinura (Kazakhstan) – guest
33. Akhatbakiev Akhmetzhan (Kazakhstan) – exhibition
34. Mambetsadykova Gulnar (Kyrgyzstan) – viewer
35. Gordijko Oksana (Poland) – speaker
36. Taybek Nurym (Kazakhstan-Great Britain) – speaker
37. Lana Timofeeva (Belarus) – official participant
38. Aldona Grupas (Lithuania-UK) – official participant
39. Anna Schneider (Russia) – official participant
40. Mikhail Kunitsky (Belarus) – official participant
41. Ekaterina Khlebnikova (Russia) – official participant
42. Nishanova Dilorom (USA -Uzbekistan) – Official Member
43. Razmyslovich Svetlana (Russia) – official member
44. Helen Koro (Russia) – official participant
45. Maksutova Aya (Kazakhstan) – official participant
46. Dana Zheteeva (Kazakhstan) – official participant
47. Oganjanyan Gagik (Russia) – official participant
48. Murat Uali (Kazakhstan) – official member
49. Zhanat Akhmetova (Kazakhstan) – press
50. Zhomart Akhmetov (Kazakhstan) – press
51. Banu Toleukhanova (Kazakhstan) – official participant
52. Mahabat Alishova (Kyrgyzstan) – viewer
53. Begizhan Akhmedov (Kyrgyzstan) – viewer
54. Temirbek Dzholdobaev (Kyrgyzstan) – viewer
55. Ekaterina Pivnik (Russia) – official participant
56. Evgeny Pivnik (Russia) – viewer
57. Lyudmila Kulikova (Moldova) – viewer
58. Elena Leschu (Moldova) – viewer
59. Bektenova Bubuira (Kyrgyzstan) – viewer
60. Nargisa Karasartova (Kyrgyzstan) – viewer
61. Dulaeva Olga (Russia) – viewer
62. Oleg Kunitsky (Belarus) – viewer
63. Elena Smirnova (Russia) – viewer
64. Natalya Rusak (Belarus) – viewer
65. Oleg Nesterkov (Belarus) *
66. Sergey Malakhovsky (Belarus) – official participant
67. Hollingsworth Simon (UK) – Official Member
68. Almagul Yesimova (Kazakhstan) * -exhibition
69. Abay Chunchalinov (Kazakhstan) * exhibition
70. Elena Fursa (Kazakhstan) * – exhibition
71. Bakytnur Burdesbekov (Kazakhstan) * – exhibition
72. Asia Bekisheva (Kazakhstan) * – exhibition
73. Laura Pak (Kyrgyzstan) * – exhibition
74. Adilgali Bayandin (Kazakhstan) * – exhibition
75. Smakova Bibigul (Kazakhstan) * – exhibition
76. Victoria Malyushitskaya (Belarus) – organizer
77. Evgenia Sikhimbaeva (Kazakhstan) – speaker
78. Josephine (Berkinalieva Sagynbubu, Kyrgyzstan) – speaker
79. Kanybek Imanaliev (Kyrgyzstan) *
80. Alan Flowers (UK) – Speaker
81. Angelina Krasnogir (Belarus) – organizer
82. Blokhina Lyudmila (Russia) * participant
83. Kenjaeva Zulkhumar (Uzbekistan) * participant
84. Golubitskaya Jamilya (Russia) * participant
85. Kaminska Natalya (Ukraine) – official participant
86. Alina Moseykina (Russia) * participant
87. Ksenia Kirillova (Russia) * participant
88. Grinkevich Nadzeya (Belarus) * participant
89. Nina Yagolnitser (Israel) * participant
90. Terkin Valery (Russia) * participant
91. Irina Egorova (Russia) * participant
92. Parfenov Yuri (Russia) * participant
93. Sakalu Alexander (Belarus) – official participant
94. Olga Sianyuk (Belarus) – viewer
95. Yulia Olshevskaya (Russia) * participant
96. Poncek Cordelia (Poland-USA) – viewer
97. Laura Berdkkhozhaeva (Kazakhstan) – viewer
98. Ilham Rakhimov (Azerbaijan) – official participant
99. Antonina Karimova (Russia) – viewer
100. Maria Mantorova – viewer
101. Alexander Pavlenko – viewer
102. Elena Rashevskaya (Latvia) – viewer
103. Alexandra Taan (Russia) – official participant
104. Timea Jurchova (Slovakia) – official participant
105. Yuri Porfinov (Russia) * – participant
106. Tatyana Truneva (Canada) * – participant
107. Torgyn Kalelova (Kazakhstan) * – participant
108. Yulia Bondarenko (Ukraine) * – participant
109. Mikhail Ananov (Georgia) * – participant
110. Olga Bagriy * (Ukraine)
111. Alexandra Balzhak * (Belarus)
112. Vladislav Ermachenko * (Russia)
113. Natalya Korshun * (Russia)
114. Victoria Levina * (Israel)
115. Kuchkar Narkabil * (Uzbekistan)
116. Joanna Reeves * (Belarus)
117. Luca Sibir * (Russia)
118. Ahmad Hoji Horazmiy * (Great Britain)
119. Natalya Kaminska (Ukraine) – official participant
120. Klara Kabylgazina (Kazakhstan) – official participant121. Nick Rowan (UK) speaker

Eurasian Creative Guild,  55 St Pauls Road. Hemel Hempstead,HP2 5DD, UK

Tel: +447411978955 email:  and 

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