The Sixth Open Eurasian book forum and literature festival became the most anticipated event of 2017 for representatives of the Eurasian region. The venue of the festival was chosen as Sweden – a country that is famous for its sights and its own extraordinary culture and traditions. Sweden is home to many famous writers such as Astrid Lindgren, Selma Lagerlöf – the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Mai Shevall and other gifted authors.

In 2017, the whole world celebrated the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution and the 100th anniversary of such outstanding people as John Kennedy, Indira Gandhi and Sharaf Rashidov. The destinies, of these bright personalities that have changed our world, miraculously interwoven with each other. 2017 was a year of rethinking the historical events of the 20th century.
Organisers of the Open Eurasia Literature Festival & Book Forum timed the festival with the 100th anniversary of the outstanding Uzbek diplomat and writer, the author of the legendary story “Kashmir song”, Sharaf Rashidov. This decision was made with the aim of popularising Uzbek literature around the world. Within the framework of the festival a presentation of the story “Kashmir song” by Sharaf Rashidov was reprinted in London in 2017 in English.

Sweden was not accidentally chosen to host the 6th OEBF festival. The Scandinavian state is famous not only for its culture, it is also the birthplace of Alfred Nobel. Nobel is known to the general public as a chemist, inventor and founder of the most prestigious award in the world – the Nobel Prize.

Few people know that Alfred Nobel himself insisted that the award be given to outstanding scientists, writers and public figures, regardless of their country of origin. This fact prompted the organisers to hold the VI OEBF-2017 Festival in Stockholm. Moreover, the idea of the opening ceremony of the festival and awarding the winners of the open literature competition Open Eurasia was to be held in the Nobel Museum.

All agreements with the Nobel Museum were reached. However, 10 days before the opening of the festival, on the basis of ideological and cultural disagreements, regrettably, the Nobel Museum abandoned its earlier commitments. The museum management did not stop there, having learned that the festival was supported by the Writers ‘Union of Sweden, where it was planned to hold a part of the OEBF events, they did everything possible so that the Writers’ Union would refuse to provide its halls on the eve of the festival.

The organisers of the event, who were the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) and the British publishing house Hertfordshire Press, are sure that in the future, thanks to such events as the Open Eurasian Literature Festival, it will be possible to convince the Swedish Conservatives that the literary world of Eurasia does not carry a political ideology any longer, but is an expression of the cultural and literary heritage of eurasian nations.

Despite the difficulties that the organisers had to face on the eve of the festival thanks to the support of like-minded people, the Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum was successfully held in Stockholm nonetheless. On one platform representatives of creative intelligentsia from 20 countries of the world received a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the creativity of the peoples of Eurasia.

OEBF-2017 was visited by over 100 guests from Russia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Great Britain, Belarus, the Netherlands, Norway, Uzbekistan, France, Pakistan, Ukraine, Sweden, Bulgaria, Turkmenistan, Scotland and other countries. The event was attended by representatives of the Belarusian embassies in Sweden Alexey Poplavsky, first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Sweden Lyudmila Klimenkova, second secretary-consul of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Sweden Makhambet Ensegenov and others.

The festival was held on the ABF Stockholm site in the central part of Stockholm from November 17 to 20. During the 4 days of OEBF-2017, 14 events took place, most of which were open for free.

The main events of the festival were held in the cultural centre of ABF Stockholm in the halls of Elsa Beskov and Olof Palme. The grand opening ceremony of the 6th International Literary Festival took place on November 17 in the Palme hall. At the opening of the festival, an evening of “Uyghur culture” was held. At the evening, the names of the winners of the Open Eurasia-2017 contest were announced, which were 20 contestants from 8 countries.

The evening was accompanied by the performance of Central Asian musicians Rahima Mahmut, Gulzhahon Mugam and Alimzhon Baizov. Guests and participants of the festival were welcomed by the Chairman of the Eurasian Creative Guild, David Parry, publisher of the Hertfordshire Press Mark (Marat) Akhmedjanov.
During all the days of the festival, exhibitions of the artist’s works from Kazakhstan Dauren Kasteev were organised, guests could get acquainted with works in the style of beech art from the Russian master Emil Guzairov and accessories of the brand “LkM” from the Kazakhstan ethno-designer Svetlana Yudina. The works of Svetlana Yudina were awarded with the diploma “Best ethnographic accessories collection of the year”.

The festival creates a platform on which creative people can express themselves on the international level, share their ideas, and also hear the opinions of readers and experts about their work. Thus, at the OEBF-2017 festival, modern writers and scholars of the countries of the Eurasian region made presentations:

Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan) made a presentation of a collection of short stories, in the framework of which Laura Hamilton, David Parry and Stephen Bland spoke.
Aigul Ryskulbekova (Kyrgyzstan) made an author’s speech on children’s books in Kyrgyzstan, behind the scenes.

A presentation on the current topic “Revelation, rationality, knowledge and truth” was an outstanding masterpiece of the 20th century from the encyclopaedist with historical roots from Central Asia Nurym Taibek (Kazakhstan). Bakhtygul Makhanbetova, Naziken Alpamyskyzy, Saule Doszhan, Nazipa Shanai, Kenes Duysen spoke at the Kazakh literature evening dedicated to the 120th anniversary of Mukhtar Auezov. A presentation of the complete collection by the ECG Book Series, which was published in 2017, which included 18 books by authors from 7 countries of the world published by the Hertfordshire Press was also made.

Within the framework of the Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum, the 3rd Annual General Meeting of the members of the Eurasian Creative Guild was held, whereby Laura Hamilton was elected as the new chairman of the Guild and the new members of the Guild Advisory Board was approved: David Parry, Anna Lari, Paul Wilson , Solvi Fanar, Oksana Zhukova, Shahzoda Nazarova, Nick Rowan, Svetlana Yudina, Marat Akhmedjanov, Raim Farhadi, Ksenia Gold, Elena Bosler-Guseva, David Pearce, Megan Werner, Natalia Kharlampieva.

A round table was also organized on the topic “Possibilities of translation and publication in Great Britain”, conducted by Mark (Marat) Ahmedjanov (Great Britain), Bakhtygul Makhambetova (Kazakhstan), Laura Hamilton (Scotland-Great Britain) and David Parry (Wales).

On November 19, in the presentations of the winners of 2016: Shakhzoda Nazarova, Evdokia Irintseeva (Ogdo) and Maral Hydyrova (winner of the “Best Literary Work” in 2016), the names of the winners of: the “Best Female Author-2017” award named after Mariya Zakiryanova awarded to Anna Komar (Belarus ) and awar named after Maria Shevel “The best work dedicated to children’s topics” was awarded to Kamran Alioglu Salayev (Azerbaijan).

By tradition, the publishing house Hertfordshire Press announced its nominations. The best book of the year was the book “Everything up to Me” by a young writer from South Africa Megan Werner. A writer from Bashkortostan Marcel Salimov was awarded a prize in the nomination “Breakthrough of the Year”. Kazakhstan’s writer Yermek Amanshaev became the author of the year. The award “For Contribution to the Development and Promotion of Eurasian Literature” was awarded to the Uzbek diplomat and writer Sharaf Rashidov. Also, the publishing house announced an additional prize “For Personal Contribution to the Association of the Peoples of Eurasia through Literature”, which was awarded to the Tajik writer Gulsifat Shahidi. A solemn presentation of the “Dove of Peace” medal and letters from the international association “Generals of Peace for Peace” was held.

The medal was awarded to the Kazakhstani writer Adam Kapanov (Kazakhstan). A diploma from the International Association of Generals was awarded to: Raim Farhadi (Uzbekistan), Naziken Alpamyskyzy (Kazakhstan), Anastasia Kuzmicheva (Belarus) and Temirbek Dzholdobaev (Kyrgyzstan).

At the end of the festival, excursions were organised for the guests to visit the National Library of Stockholm and the International Library of Sweden, where the authors donated their books as a sign of friendship between peoples and cultural exchange.

The culmination of the last day of the festival was the solemn closing ceremony of OEBF-2017, which was held on November 20 at the restaurant Farsta Går Restaurang.

Note that the Festival OEBF-2017 was held with the participation and support of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London), the British publishing house Hertfordshire Press, ABF Stockholm, Uyghur World Congress and the international association “Generals of Peace for Peace”. Participants included:

1. Kairat Zakiryanov (Kazakhstan)*
2. Asel Artykova (Kazakhstan)
3. Mars Artykov (Kazakhstan)
4. David Parry (United Kingdom)
5. Sultan Raev (Kyrgyzstan)
6. Temirbek Dzholdobaev (Kyrgyzstan)
7. Laura Hamilton (United Kingdom)
8. Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan)
9. Vera Kulakova-Brannerud (Sweden)
10. Oroy Mahtumova (Tajikistan)
11. Umed Azimov (Tajikistan)
12. Umar Rakhimov (Tajikistan)
13. Nisor Aburazakov (Sweden)
14. Antonina Shuster (Kazakhstan)
15. Liliya Alimjanova (Sweden)
16. Alita Senavska (Latvia)
17. Raza Syed (United Kingdom)
18. Ermek Amanshaev (Kazakhstan) *
19. Aigul Ryskulbekova (Kyrgyzstan)
20. Bahtygul Makhambetova (Kazakhstan)
21. Kenes Dusen (Kazakhstan)
22. Nazym Saparova (Kazakhstan)
23. Saule Doszhan (Kazakhstan)
24. Nazipa Shanai (Kazakhstan)
25. Tynymbai Nurmaganbetov (Kazakhstan)*
26. Stephen M Bland (United Kingdom)
27. Olga Fiedorczuk (Poland)
28. Natalia Chernysheva (Russia)
29. Shahzoda Nazarova (Holland-Uzbekistan)
30. Azita Ghahramani (Sweden)
31. Nurym Taibek (United Kingdom)
32. Khalid Javed (Sweden)
33. Kashif Virk (Sweden)
34. Basharat Ahmad (Pakistan)
35. Tahir Hayat (Sweden)
36. Agha Yahya Khan (Sweden)
37. Dr Muhammad Jalsl Shams (Turkey)
38. Delyan Balev (Bulgaria)
39. Lenar Shayeh (Russia)
40. Oxana Safronova (Russia)
41. Yuliya Sibirtseva (Russia)
42. Marsel Salimov (Russia)
43. Denys Kuvaev (Russia)*
44. Anastasia Kuzmicheva (Belarus)
45. Sergey Molohovsky (Belarus)
46. Varvara Huliayeva (Belarus)
47. Zoya Zaharova (Israel)
48. Dauren Kasteev (Kazakhstan)
49. Gaukhar Balmahaeva (Kazakhstan)
50. Marina Mikhailovskaya (Kazakhstan)
51. Peter Berman (Kazakhstan)*
52. Dilyara Lindsay (Kazakhstan)
53. Adam Kapanov (Kazakhstan)
54. Anuar Kapanov (Kazakhstan)
55. Medetbek Temirkhan (Kazakhstan) *
56. Naziken Alpamyskyzy (Kazakhstan)
57. Gulzada Neitkalieva (Kazakhstan) *
58. Jeinbay Kuanish (Kazakhstan) *
59. Serik Karakulov (Kazakhstan) *
60. Anna Zenkova (Belarus)
61. Evdokiya Irentseeva – Ogdo (Russia)
62. Aleksandr Irentseev (Russia)
63. Nadejda Moskvitina (Russia)
64. Aleksandr Irentseev (Russia)
65. Rahima Mahmut (United Kingdom)
66. Erdem Ozdemir (Turkey)
67. Mukhtar Abdukarim (Sweden)
68. Ak Welsapar (Sweden -Turkmenistan)
69. Torgny Hinnemo (Sweden)
70. Jens Westlund (Sweden)
71. Åke Petersson (Sweden)
72. Eremei Chiriaev (Russia)
73. Svetlana Chiriaeva (Russia)
74. Yuliana Koshkina (Russia)
75. Julia Dobrovolskaya (Russia)
76. Aleh Yaravenka (Belarus)
77. Aleksandra Kosyachnaya (Kazakhstan)
78. Artur Wirch (Kazakhstan)
79. Marat Akhmedjanov (United Kingdom-Uzbekistan)
80. Anna Lari (Russia)
81. Timur Akhmedjanov (United Kingdom)
82. Urunboy Usmonov (Tajikistan)
83. Kudrat Babajanov (Sweden-Uzbekistan)
84. Alimjan Baizov (Sweden-Uzbekistan)
85. Mahbuba Hurramova (Uzbekistan)
86. Tatiana Bestvitskaia (Ukraine)
87. Gulyajahon Hurramova (Uzbekistan)
88. Habira Majieva (Sweden)
89. Sirojidin Kopiev (Sweden)
90. Ludmila Klimenkova (Russia)
91. Alexey Poplavskiy (Belarus)
92. Mukhanbet Esegenov (Kazakhstan)
93. Nuraim Amanova (Sweden)
94. Regina (Sweden-Kazakhstan)
95. Svetlana Yudina (Kazakhstan)*
96. Raim Farkhadi (Uzbekistan)*
97. Emil Goozairow (Russia-Kyrgyzstan)
98. Dushon Sultankulov (Kyrgyzstan)
99. Bryan Loke (Singapore – Sweden)
100. Felicia Aldringuests (Sweden)
101. Larissa Godlewski (Sweden)
102. Alexander Blinkovski (Sweden)
103. Elisabet Risberg (Sweden)
104. Irina Persson (Sweden)
105. Ewa Andersson (Sweden)
106. Anna Kotova (Kyrgyzstan)
107. Maral Hydyrova (Turkmenistan)*
108. Marsel Salimov (Russia-Bashkortostan)
109. Marina Ivanina (Norway)
110. Donata Marzionolit (Lithuania)
111. Irina Dergacheva (Sweden-Russia)
112. Tatiana De Viers (Russia)
113. Dolkun Isa (Germany)*
114. Madina Demirbash (Turkey)
115. Tilek Maratov (Sweden)
116. Aigerim Maratova (Sweden)
117. Anna Komar (Belarus)
118. Murat Ualee (Kazakhstan) *
119. Sarhang Said (Sweden)
* by representative or online