Aziz Isa Elkun
Poet and academic Aziz Isa Elkun was born in Uyghuristan (Uyghur Autonomous Region). He grew up in Shahyar County, close to the Tarim River on the Northern edge of the Taklamakan Desert. After graduating from Urumchi University in 1991, he was persecuted by Chinese authorities due to his student political activities. He has been living in London since 2001. He graduated majoring in web development and Multimedia from Birkbeck University of London in 2009.
He has published many poems and research articles in both Uyghur and English. In 2012, he published his first book, “Journey from Danube River to the Orkhon Valley”, in the Uyghur language. He is an active member of the Uyghur Community and was the founder of the London Uyghur Ensemble. He worked for many years as secretary of the International PEN Uyghur Centre.
From 2014 to 2017, he worked as Research Assistant on the “Sounding Islam China” project based in SOAS, University of London, and conducted collaborative fieldwork in Central Asia for the project. His co-authored English language articles published in Inner Asia and Central Asian Survey (‘Invitation to a Mourning Ceremony’: Perspectives on the Uyghur Internet and ‘Islam by Smartphone: the changing sounds of Uyghur religiosity’) and a book chapter in The Routledge Companion to Music and Human Rights (Music, Terror, and Civilizing Projects in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region).
From 2018, he worked as a Researcher Affiliate on a British Academy Sustainable Development project “Uyghur Meshrep in Kazakhstan” based at SOAS, University of London (www.meshrep.uk).
He also works as a director for the Uyghur PEN Centre Online Revitalisation Project (www.uyghurpen.org).
One of his major editing and poetry translation work, the “Uyghur Poems” book is going to be published by Penguin Random House in September 2023.
www.azizisa.org/en | www.azizisa.org