III Open Central Asia Book Forum & Literature Festival 2014

lobo forum cmyk

On November 14-17, 2014 in Almaty (Kazakhstan), the British publishing house Hertfordshire Press held the third international literature Festival Open Central Asia Book Forum & Literature Festival with the help of the National State Book Chamber of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Association of Publishers and Booksellers of Kazakhstan, the “Elena Bezrukova Centre of Training and Consulting”, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Kazakhstan, Department of Culture of Almaty and the Kazakh Academy of Sport and Tourism.

This unique event is aimed at the popularization of literature on the territory of Central Asia and promotion of local authors abroad. It seeks to unite writers from all over the world and provide additional information support to National prose and poetry.


In 2014, under the Open Central Asia Book Forum & Literature Festival 38 events were organized. The festival was visited by 2,500 people. More than 65 writers from 10 countries made reports and presentations: Australia, Great Britain, Poland, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, Turkey, and the Netherlands.

The Third International literature festival and forum took place in Almaty at 14 venues of the city: House of Friendship, Kazakh Academy of Tourism and Sport, the Caspian University, National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the House-Museum named by Auezov, Chaplin Cinema, Kazakh National University named by Al-Farabi, the editors office of Zhalyn magazine, University of International Business (UIB), LaRoof, GQ Bar, Assorti restaurants, Aurora coffee house and Consulting center of Elena Bezrukova.

Among the honored guests of OCABF-2014 were: Nick Rowan (UK), Janusz Leon Wisniewski (Poland), Muhtar Shahanov (Kazakhstan), Bolot Shamshiev (Kyrgyzstan) and many others (see attached list).

In the framework of the festival, there was a literary competition in four categories: literary work, artistic illustration, literary translation and video contest. More than 450 authors from 20 countries participated in the competition including the countries of Central Asia, Russia, UK, Romania, USA, Belarus, Ireland, Germany, Turkey, France, Japan, Ukraine, Georgia, the Republic of Cyprus.

The winners in each category of the competition were announced on 16th of November at the awarding ceremony in the House of Friendship in Almaty.

The winners of OCABF-2014:

Literary work category: 1. Tolibshohi Davlat (Tajikistan) 2. Bubaysha Arstanbekova (Kyrgyzstan) 3. Lily Kalaus and Zira Naurzbaeva (Kazakhstan).

Video category: 1. Jasur Touraev and Euphrates Sharipov (Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan) 2. Ashot Danielyan (Uzbekistan) 3. Eldar Nasyrov (Kazakhstan).

Illustration category: 1.Vitaly Cooper (Belarus) 2.Tatyana Davydov (Germany) 3. Lolly (Ukraine).

Translation category: 1. Alex Ulko (Uzbekistan) 2. Catherine Myasnikova (Russia) 3. Dilya (Kazakhstan)

  • Nemat Khelimbetov Award of $10,000 for the first place in the category of video and experimental film received by Jasur Touraev and Euphrates Sharipov (Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan). The award was presented by Kayrat Kelimbetov (Chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan).
  • Marziya Zakirianova Award of $5,000 for the best female work in any category was received by Lenifer Mambetova (Republic of Crimea). The award was presented by Kayrat Zakiryanov (President of the Kazakh Academy of Tourism and Sport).

A number of writers, who were invited as honored guests were awarded by the National Medal «Кітап мәдениетіне қосқанүлесіүшін» (For personal contribution to the development of literary culture):

Janusz Leon Wisniewski (Poland)

David Parry (United Kingdom)

KazatAkmatov (Kyrgyzstan)

Nick Rowan (United Kingdom)

The Organizing Committee of festival in 2014 established a special award (diploma) for authors who have made a special contribution to the development and promotion literature of Central Asia.

In 2014, the award was given to the outstanding Kazakh writer Nemat Kelimbetov. The diploma was a received by granddaughter of the writer, Shynar Kelimbetova.

Under the Open Central Asia Book Forum & Literature Festival the Dorogoe Ydovolstvie magazine presented the winners in special ARTWORDS category – best authors, according to the publisher:

Zira Naurzbaeva and Lily Kalaus “In Search of the Golden bowl. The Adventures of Batu and his friends”

Ashot Danielyan “Breakwaters”

Dinara Sadretdinova “Emergency exhale”

Vladimir Krasnov “Lasts longer than a century life …”

Marat Galiev “At the bottom of Kapchagai Sea”

Dmitry Markevitch “Ekzistorium”

Igor Narushev “Feeling the marketing”

Hermes Kij ” Disappeared code”

Zarina Bikmullina “Faithful”

Anastasia Nikolayuk “In the fairy town with red roofs»

Julia Eff “Notes of psiholuh”

The International Association Generals for Peace initiated their own awarding ceremony of the Dove of Peace medal, honorary certificates and plaques for contribution to the maintenance of peace and understanding in today’s society. The awards were presented by Head of Association General Anatoly Skargin.


 Dove of Peace Medal

Janusz Leon Wisniewski (Poland), Major-General Gabdulhakim Zhashibekov (Kazakhstan).

Honorary certificate of the International Association Generals for Peace

David Parry (United Kingdom), Elena Semenova (Kazakhstan), Paul Wilson (Australia), Robin Thomson (UK), Elena Bezrukova  (Kazakhstan),  Nick Rowan (United Kingdom), Gulzhan Sarymsakova (Kazakhstan).

The For Peace symbol of the International Association Generals for Peace

Zina Karaeva (Kyrgyzstan), Alex Ulko (Uzbekistan), Onur Demirbas (Turkey).

The international literature festival Open Central Asia Book Forum & Literature Festival consists of three parts:

  1. Literary contest among writers in three categories: literary work, translation and illustration for a literature work, as well as the contest among film directors who have created a video based on a literary work.

The OCABF-2014 prize fund is a significant $17,000, which will be used for publishing the winner’s book in London, with its further presentation at the annual London Book Fair in 2016 by Hertfordshire Press. Additionally, three other prizes have been confirmed for the Forum 2014:

  • Nemat Khelimbetov Award of $10,000 for the winner of the first contest for best video or experimental movie titled “Open Central Asia”;
  • Marziya Zakirianova Award of $5,000 for the best female work in any category;


  1. Literature festival that introduced international and local writers to the representatives of publishing houses, readers, libraries, educational institutions and mass media.

The guests of OCABF-2014 are distinguished authors from 10 countries of the world (list is attached).

In the days of the festival were held book readings, film screenings and presentations of the following authors and works:

Nemat Kelimbetov (literary-memorial evening)

Nick Rowan (Friendly Steppes: Silk Road Journey)

Karina Sarsenova (Creative Evening)

ShahsanemMyurrey (Finding the Holly Path)

Begenas Sartov (When the edelweiss flowers flourish)

Paul Wilson (Alphabet Games)

Oksana Morozova (Poetry evening)

Hasen Kozhahmet (delusion lasted for centuries)

Kayrat Zakiryanov (Under the wolf nest: Turkic Rhapsody, Chengiz Khan and KZ factor)

Elena Bezrukov and Valentina Tikhomirov (Projective Graphics)

John Mann (Genghis Khan)

Marinika Babanazarova (Biography: Igor Savitsky)

Janusz Wisniewski (Loneliness on the Net)

Chingiz Aitmatov and Bolot Shamshiev (Ascent of Mount Fuji)

Hamid Ismailov (Dead Lake)

Kazat Akmatov (Howl)

Bubaysha Arstanbekova (Kurmazhan Datka)


   3. Book forum that includes seminars, panel discussions, theoretical and practical conferences.

This year were held a number of significant events. The National Library hosted a scientific-practical conference “Interaction of literature and cultural transformation as a form of dialogue between East and West” with the participation of the following speakers: Robin Thomson, Laura Hamilton, and Alexey Ulko.


For the third time was held the traditional round-table discussion on the following topic “Development and promotion of literature and authors in Central Asia and abroad” with the participation of Janusz Wisniewski, Alex Ulko, Galina Dolgaya, Laura Hamilton, Marat Akhmedzhanov and Robin Thomson.

The Academy of Sports and Tourism held a seminar “How to read all books that you have?” by Elena Bezrukova Centre and presentation of a new series of books from Hertfordshire Press “Discovery Digest: 100 experiences series”.

At the House of Friendship was a presentation of the unique 100-volume library of the Kazakh folklore Babalar sozi with the participation of Ualiyev K.S., Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Kazakhstan, V. Kalizhanov, Head of the Institute of Literature and Art named after M. Auezov and Isabekov N.S., Director of Foliant publishing house.

The final event of the festival was a poetry evening in the Caspian University with Karina Sarsenova, Diana Akhmedzhanova, Anar Akkozy-Karakozy, Ashot Danielyan and others.

Previous Festivals 2012-2013:

The first Central Asian literature festival OCABF took place on November 24-25, 2012 in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) and with over 1300 attendees. The festival was opened by the former president of the Kyrgyz Republic – Roza Otunbayeva, and received the highest appreciation from specialists and the public.

The 2013 festival took place in London and Cambridge on November 5-9 offering English audiences a chance to familiarize themselves with the talent and style of Central Asian writers. Both festivals were visited by international literary stars including Janusz Leon Wisniewski (Poland), Hamid Ismailov (UK and Uzbekistan) and Elchin Safarli (Azerbaijan), among others.

Next Festival 2015: The Organizing Committee considers candidates such cities as Kazan, Baku, Dushanbe, Minsk and Edinburgh.

Organizers of the festival:

Hertfordshire Press (UK) Ltd the world’s only publishing house that since 2002 specializes in publishing books by authors from Central Asia in English in London. At the moment, it’s published more than 50 books and magazines devoted to the region in five languages www.hertfordshirepress.com.

Ministry of Culture of Kazakhstan

The National State Book Chamber of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Department of Culture of Almaty

The Association of Publishers and Booksellers of Kazakhstan

Elena Bezrukova center, training and consulting

Kazakh Academy of Sports and Tourism

Partners of the Festival:

Generals for Peace International Association

Nemat Kelimbetov Foundation (Kazakhstan)

Olga Tura architectural office (Kazakhstan)

Open Central Asia magazine (UK)

Dorogoe Udovolstvie magazine (Kazakhstan)

KBCC (Kazakh British Chamber of Commerce)

LaRoof restaurant (Kazakhstan)

Dordoi Plaza mall (Kyrgyzstan)

Turan Asia travel agency (Kazakhstan)

Premier Alatau hotel (Kazakhstan)

ALPROF group of companies (Kazakhstan)

Kazzhol hotel (Kazakhstan)

Chaplin Cinemas (Kazakhstan)

Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper (Kazakhstan)

Leader taxi (Kazakhstan)

Bent company (Kazakhstan)

The Concert Orchestra of Almaty city administration under the direction M.B.Serkebaev

House-Museum named after Auezov literary memorial museum (Kazakhstan)

Caspian University (Kazakhstan)

Aurora café & bar (Kazakhstan)

National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Muse – studio of Marina Bashmanova (Kyrgyzstan)

Next Print printing-house (Kazakhstan)

Zhamilya Nurkanova (Bnews.kz)

Madina Ahmetshina (KFCSED)

Vasiliy Lakhonin (Kazakhstan)

Lyudmila Osetrova (Kyrgyzstan)

Catherine Posadneva (Russia)

Festival participants – writers and speakers:

  1. Kazakhstan

Muhtar Shahanov

Ybyray Raimbek ulu Maraltay

Karina Sarsenova

Zhulduz Bayzakova

Kayrat Zakiryanov

Elena Bezrukova

Aigul Hakimzhanova

Asol Bilyalova

David Mashuri

Rayhan Mazhen kyzy

Oksana Almazova

Suleiman Saule

Sholpan Burabaeva

Keira Nurullina

Maria Kelberg

Adolf Artsishevsky

Farhat Tamendarov

Oxana Morozova

Eldar Nasyrov

Euphrates Sharipov

Julia Gubanova

Anastasia Minaeva

Aygul Beysinalina

Elena Breus

Lyudmila Lazareva

Veta Nozhkina

Anar Akkozy-Karakozy

Zhanarbek Ashimzhan

Smagul Elubaev

Alibek Askarov

Kayrat Bakbergenov


Svetlana Ananeva

Zhanat Seydumanov

Sherubay Kurmanbayuly

Asyly Osmanova

Ualihan Kalizhanov

Қynypiyaulu Kedіrbek

  1. United Kingdom

Hamid Ismailov

Shahsanem Myurrey

Nick Rowan

John Mann

Robin Thomson

David Parry

Laura Hamilton

  1. Uzbekistan

Galina Dolgaya

Alex Ulko

Frau Koch (Dinara Bahritdinova)

Ashot Danielyan

Helen Tsai

Iskhokzhon Nishonov

Jasur Turaev

Farhad Khamraev

  1. Netherlands

Charles van der Leeuw

  1. Russia

George Pryakhin

Sergey Dobronravov

Diana Akhmedzhanova (Tatarstan)

  1. Turkey

Abdulvakap Kara

  1. Poland

Janusz Leon Wisniewski

  1. Tadjikistan

Tolibshohi Davlat

  1. Australia

Paul Wilson

10. Kyrgyzstan

Kazat Akmatov

Zina Karaeva

Bolot Shamshiev

Bubaysha Arstanbekova

Book Forum participants – organizations and representatives: 

Discovery Books (United Kingdom)

Publishing House BS (Kazakhstan)

Merv Translation (UK) University

Suleyman Demirel (Kazakhstan)

ALMU – Almaty Management University (Kazakhstan)

KSWTQ University (Kazakhstan)

MUK – International University of Kyrgyzstan

UIB – University of International Business (Kazakhstan)

Kazakh National University named by Al-Farabi

KazEU – Kazakh Economic University

Kazakh University of World Languages named after Abylay khan

KIMEP University – Kazakhstan Institute of Management and Economics

International IT University (Kazakhstan)

Foliant publishing house (Kazakhstan)

Bookselling Organization – Corporation “Atamura “(Kazakhstan)

Mektep publishing house (Kazakhstan)

Altyn Kөpіr public Association (Kazakhstan)

KS production center (Kazakhstan)

IIP publishing house (United Kingdom)

Fiction publishing house (Russia)

BBC Central Asia (UK)

Almaty Life Magazine (Kazakhstan)

Expert-information platform Rhythm of Eurasia, Mir TV channel (Russian)

Almaty TV channel (Kazakhstan)

CTC TV Channel (Kazakhstan)

Khabar TV channel (Kazakhstan)

Radio Azattyk (USA)

Megagorod.kz information resource (Kazakhstan)

Caravan republican newspaper (Kazakhstan)

The London Post newspaper (UK)

Kursiv National Business Weekly (Kazakhstan)

Liter social – political newspaper (Kazakhstan)

Business Kazakhstan Republican economic newspaper

Panorama Kazakh weekly

Moskovsky Komsomolets in Kazakhstan Regional weekly

AstanaTimes Newspaper (Kazakhstan)

Vremya Socio-political newspaper (Kazakhstan)

Kazak gazetteri Newspaper (Kazakhstan)

Dispatch News Desk Newspaper (Pakistan)

New Generation Socio-political weekly (Kazakhstan)

Mimar Sinan University (Turkey)

Rarity Publisher (Kazakhstan)

The National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Plenty Magazine (Kazakhstan)

Tәrzhіman-Soyuz literaturnyh perevodchikov RK NGO

Institute of Literature and Art. named after M.Auezov.

The Assembly of People of Kazakhstan

Writers’ Union of Kazakhstan


You can find details on the website: http://www.rus.ocabookforum.com/

And our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ocabookforum 

Video of OCABF-2012http://youtu.be/Ck0MIvqpm3g

Promo video of OCABF-2014http://youtu.be/LWDbWT9xVr8


Contact us:

Bishkek – Representative Office in Kyrgyzstan

Manas Avenue 40,




Email: guljamal@ocamagazine.com​​


London – Ann Lari

Suite 125,43 BedfordStreet

Covent Garden London WC2E 9HA United Kingdom

Tel.:+44 7479 026 176

Email: anna@ocamagazine.com​​


, , ,