In Bulgaria’s Plovdiv: A symposium on communist-era monuments

With English as its working language, a symposium is to be held in Plovdiv – Bulgaria’s second city and current holder of the European Capital of Culture title – on November 1, on the topic “Unstable Monuments. Remnants from Times of Ideology”.

The symposium, in the words of its organisers, is dedicated to “deconstruct and analyse today’s meaning of monuments from the socialist era”.

The starting point is a short film by artists Kamen Stoyanov and Katharina Swoboda.

It is about the (de)fictionalisation of the “Alyosha” figure in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Alyosha, depicting a real person, commemorates the “liberation” of Plovdiv by the Red Army towards the close of the Second World War, for most of which monarchist Bulgaria was allied to Hitler’s Axis.

“This monument is a vivid example of the entanglement of history and myth-making. Based on cultural theory thinking, the symposium aims to create space for a differentiated discussion about these monuments in cultural and aesthetic terms,” the organisers said.

The programme:

• SKLAD, 16 Exarch Yosif Street

3pm: Margarita Dorovska
“Nonument: Exhibitionist and performative approaches to sites of former ideologies”
4pm: Kamen Stoyanov and Katharina Swoboda:
“Alyosha and the Cat: A short film in the making”
5pm: Natasa Bodrozic
“The Motel Trogir Project. Towards a New Heritage – Frictions and Crossovers”

• Lucky Cinema, 1 Gladstone Street
7pm: D’EST video screening curated by Ule Gerhardt and Jana Seehusen
“Alyosha and the Rose Queen – Gestures of De-Monumentality”
Alyosha and the Rose Queen ( Прожекция | Screening)

The project is produced within the ADATA artist-in-residence program of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019. Supported by Otto Mauer Fonds and Goethe-Institut Bulgarien.



The Sofia Globe staff

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