November 17, 2011 Symposium and Concert Highlight Turkmen Literature and Performing Arts

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Chris Murphy (202) 707-5676
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The literature and performing arts of Turkmenistan are virtually unknown in the United States, except through a very few specialists working at universities. A panel of scholars in the field, followed by a film and concert will provide an opportunity for a Washington audience to learn about Turkmenistan, its literature and its music culture.

The symposium will be held at the Library of Congress from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 28, in Room LJ-119, located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. A collection of Turkmen books will be on display in the adjacent room, LJ-113. The concert will take place in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Sponsored by the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division, with assistance from the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. State Department, the symposium and concert are free and open to the public. Tickets are not required.

Four scholars will present papers. Among them are Tachmammet Jurdekov, a people’s writer of Turkmenistan, and Annageldi Garajayev, deputy director of the Magtymquly National Music and Drama Theater of Turkmenistan. Immediately following the panel, the Turkmen film “Shukur Bakhshi” will be screened in LJ-119. The film focuses on events in the life of Bakhshi, a Turkmen poet.

The Turkmenistan Folk Ensemble will perform at the evening concert. This ensemble is among the few remaining groups of musicians who specialize in playing the traditional maqam style of music.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

The African and Middle Eastern Division was established in 1978 as part of a reorganization that combined the Near East Section, the African Section and the Hebraic Section. Together they cover some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. The Near East Section holds works in the Turkmen language. Works about Turkmenistan, published in other languages, are held in the general collection of the Library of Congress. For more information on the division and its holdings, visit the African and Middle Eastern Division at


PR 11-229
ISSN 0731-3527