OCA PEOPLE: NINA BELOMESTNOVA

Nina Belomestnova is a freelance journalist, historian (anthropologist), writer. Engaged in scientific and ethnic journalism. In journalism, holder of the titles “Journalist of Siberia”, 2016, “Golden Pen of Russia”, 2017. Winner of the Y. Rytkheu International Literary Prize in 2016 for the nomination “small prose”.

OCA: Tell us about yourself and your activity / work?
NB: My name is Nina Belomestnova. I was born and raised amongst the Evenki in a remote village in the north of Siberia’s TransBaikal region where both my parents were doctors. The indigenous Evenki are mainly hunters and reindeer breeders. They are also shamans and growing up in the community allowed me to witness, first-hand, local customs and ceremonies. It was an experience which led to my studying history at Tomsk State University, and later, a career in journalism.

I worked as a correspondent for a military newspaper for seventeen years, covering stories about war veterans and investigations into hitherto hidden events of World War II.

Now freelance, I have edited two books of people’s stories of the Second World War but focus primarily on ethnic and scientific subjects.

I began writing books in 2000, and to date, am the author of six publications, four of which are based on native people’s beliefs and customs, and shaman practices.

OCA: What is “Eurasianism” for you?
NB: To me, “Eurasianism” is a bridge that links writers and artists from different countries and even continents. It is a bridge that provides unity through the sharing and promotion of ideas and projects. That, coupled with the potential to publish my books in England, is the reason I joined the Eurasian creative Guild in 2017.

OCA: What are your favourite artists?
NB: My favourite writers are Russian authors Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Bunin; the Soviet writer Isaak Babel, and the post -Soviet writer Varlam Shalamov. I admire the paintings of Russian artists Boris Kustodiev and Mikel (Mikhail) Vrubel, and have a strong interest in Japanese art.

OCA: Have you taken part in the events of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London)?
NB: I have participated in the annual Eurasian Literary Festivals, organized by the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) since 2017. I particularly like the judging process which by commending a book, short story or poem, encourages people to read and then recommend it to others. I also enjoy the sense of close unity amongst members and cherish the camaraderie and support of like-minded creative people.

OCA: Do you have any personal projects that you would like to talk about?
NB: I am currently working on two books, the first of which is titled: ‘The Ethnography of Siberian Shamans (Trans-Baikal region): Past and Present’. The second, for which I am now investigating crimes against humanity committed by Japanese military bacteriologists, will be called: ‘Unknown Events of the Second World War’.
Apart from completing the above, my ambition is to have my articles and stories published in the OCA magazine.

OCA: What would you advise the members of the Guild, who’re just starting their career?
NB: My advice to anyone starting a creative career is to be active and open your eyes to the world around you. Remember: Feed your soul with lasting and interesting impressions and in due course, they will furnish your writing or artwork.
Here, at the ECG, you’ll find all the support you need and plenty of opportunities, open to all.