“ALL OF YOUR VICTORIES ARE AHEAD”
INTERVIEW: NARGISA KARASARTOVA
OCA Magazine: Tell us, please, about yourself and your creative activity / work.
Nargisa Karasartova: My full name is Karasartova Nargisa Omurbekovna. I was born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on August 29, in 1978.
My literary debut took place in 2007, when my poems were published in the newspaper “At the end of the week”, in the same year I was lucky to get to the masterclass on the poetry of the International Foundation of Ch. Aitmatov, which was called “Debut-2007”.
In 2009, I became a member of the National Union of Writers of the Kyrgyz Republic. I have two degrees, the first is economics and the second is additional pedagogical education, an English teacher. I am an English teacher in one of the gymnasiums in Bishkek. I also worked for some time as a TV journalist on the ELTR channel.
At present I translate poetry and prose of Kyrgyz authors into Russian and English. This requires some effort and perseverance, so there is practically no time left to write my poems. Fortunately, I am a member of the USAID “Okuu Keremet” project, where, as an author, I create books for children of primary school age.
OCA: How did you choose your path and who is your role model in the creative space or life?
NK: I was born in a family where books were of great importance, there was an extensive library in the house. I must say that my father is a linguist, polyglot and book lover. All relatives and friends called him a “walking encyclopaedia” and my older sisters Leyla Karasartova and Lilia Karasartova, now poetesses, constantly walked around the house and recited poems. I think this “home atmosphere” influenced me.
I consider Chingiz Aitmatov my example in literature and life. In 2008, shortly before his death, I interviewed him on the ELTR channel and saw with my own eyes how great this person is. An incredible aura of intelligence, enlightenment, culture, and goodwill emanated from him.
I can also name Sergei Filatov, the president of the Foundation for socio-economic and intellectual programs and my teacher. Thanks to his Foundation, I twice visited the CIS Writers’ Forum and the International Book Fair in Moscow. He is the spiritual guide of many modern writers.
And in my pedagogical activity, I think that Anatoly Prokushkin, deputy director of the school-gymnasium N 33 is my teacher because he shows by his example how teachers should work.
OCA: What is your main achievement in 2021-2022?
NK: I consider the biggest achievement in 2021 is the contest ‘Open Eurasia-2020’. I became one of the ‘Golden Ten’ in the nomination ‘Children’s Literature’, took 2nd place in the category ‘Literary Criticism’ and 1st place in the category ‘Publicistics’.
I also became a laureate of international competitions of the Writers’ Union of North America, became an academician of MARL (International Academy for the Development of Literature and Art) and was awarded the medal of the International Mentor Foundation. Democratic Party of Women of Kyrgyzstan “Person of the Year 2021”, and also became the owner of the diploma “Poet and Writer of the Year 2021”.
I am glad that I was the first translator of Timur Akhmedjanov’s comic book “Elish and the Wicker Tale”, published in the UK and Russia. I am also looking forward to the publication of the book “Leah and Aya the Sewing Doll” in English by “Hertfordshire Press” in London.
OCA: What is the main feature that makes you and your art/work unique?
NK: I do not write “under the stick” or duress, I do not run for “fashion trends” in literature, I do not try to write a “super-novel” just to get a fee. I write only what interests me and excites me and want to tell “my story”, write “my vision” of this or that event, and describe my feelings.
OCA: Tell us, please, about the events of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) and projects that you have already taken part in and how does ECG influence your creativity and success in your work?
NK: In 2019, I was shortlisted for the Open Eurasia-2019 contest in the “Small Prose” category and became a participant in the Literary Festival, which was held in Brussels. The event was intense and fruitful. It was very pleasant that the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kyrgyz Republic to the Kingdom of Belgium Mukhtar Dzhumaliev arranged a Gala-dinner for writers who arrived at this ECG Festival from around the world. Thus, he showed Kyrgyz hospitality and it should be noted that it was interesting for authors of different nationalities to visit the house where Chingiz Aitmatov lived and worked while on a diplomatic mission.
OCA: What is your motivation and the main aim of your creativity?
NK: My motivation is my inner feelings and emotions, my worldview. I want to be heard and understood. A powerful motivator is also my family, my children, they give me joy and inspiration. And how not to mention my Kyrgyzstan, my homeland, which can be tough and affectionate at the same time, here you must be strong and adamant.
As for the goal in literary creativity, it is to write new interesting stories and fairy tales, new poems and acquire a large readership around the world.
OCA: What would you wish for the members of the Guild and other creative people, just starting their career?
NK: First of all, believe in yourself! As the song says: “Need to learn how to wait, need to be calm and stubborn…”. I submitted my works to the international contest “Open Eurasia” probably six or seven times, and only on the seventh or eighth attempts, I was expected to win. For the new members of the ECG, I want to say – all of your victories are ahead.