On Friday, 10 December, I went along to photograph the Aitmatov Academy V annual award ceremony at House of Lords, London. It was attended by around one hundred people including members of House of Lords, an international group of academic, artists, diplomats and representatives from international business.
Chyngyz Aitmatov was a bilingual writer (Kyrgyz & Russian) from Kyrgyzstan. He was an intellectual as well as an advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev. After the collapse of the Soviet Union he helped to strengthen the newly independent Kyrgyzstan in his role as Kyrgyz Ambassador to Brussels.
"Only the present, viewed through the lens of the past will reveal our future."
It was a truly wonderful evening hosted by a very inspiring lady, Dr. Rahima Abduvalieva – Director of Aitmatov Academy
Congratulations to the winners of ICAA 2015
Professor Ludmila Alekseevna Verbitskaya, President of the St Petersburg State University, and President of The International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature (MAPRIAL) is hereby awarded for her many years of tireless work in popularising the Russian language and culture across the world, and for her boundless respect for the memory of the author: while alive, Chingiz Aitmatov was an Honorary Professor of the Saint Petersburg State University.
Kadir Inanir, renowned Turkish film actor is commemorated with this award for his masterful portrayal of Ilyas in Chingiz Aitmatov’s short story ‘Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalim’. The screen version of Aitmatov’s story remains a bestseller in the Turkish film industry to this day.
Professor Yerlan Battashevich Sydykov, President of the L. N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University receives this award for his many years work in popularising the Kazakh thinker, poet and translator Shakarim Kudaibergenov in Kazakhstan and abroad, and for his support for the work of the Aitmatov Academy in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
A collection of Greek translations from the works of Chingiz Aitmatov.
Chulananda Samaranayake, Sinhalese translator of the works of Chingiz Aitmatov from Sri Lanka. He translated into the Sinhala language the author’s best works, including The White Ship, The Scaffold, The Spotted Dog Running at the Edge of the Sea, The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years and Farewell, Gulsary. In 2013 the translator visited Kyrgyzstan to participate in the Issyk-Kul Forum, founded in his own lifetime by Chingiz Aitmatov, where he was also able to pay his respects to the late Great Kyrgyz.
On my journey home I read a short story by Chingiz Aitmatov called The Little Soldier:
for the children of British Soldiers who fell in Afghanistan. The great Kyrgyz writer tells the story of a five-year-old boy who sees his father falling in the movie. The naive pride of the little boy and his longing for the father he has never known are entangled with the tragedy and absurdity of war. In spite of the accurate descriptions of explosions and falling soldiers, Aitmatov describes in his beautiful, poetical language the mentality and the atmosphere in a small village, in a community of shepherds.