BULGARIA ART

NIKOLAY CHAPKANOV

Kukerlandia, the annual exhibition of photography of Kukeri, or mummers, has been taking place in Yambol, southeastern Bulgaria, for the past 10 years. Since its very beginning, Vagabond, Bulgaria's English Magazine, has been a partner to it, giving a special prize to a photographer who excels in photographing what we think is a very interesting Bulgarian folk tradition.

This year the winner of Vagabond's Special Prize is Nikolay Chapkanov, a Sofia photographer, who, in addition to mummers, likes to shoot thunders and airplanes.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

TOTI BADZHAKOV

This year's 11th salon will open in the Yambol City Gallery in March, 2015.

Born in 1986 and still looking for his true self, Yambol photographer Toti Badzhakov is young and healthy. Everyone may be young and healthy, but then everyone can fall ill, which is what happened to Toti last year when he had to spend a week laid up in hospital.

There, he found a new subject for his photography, the atmosphere of Bulgarian hospitals outside the capital Sofia – a subject rarely if ever touched upon by Bulgarian photographers.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

COMICS FOR EQUALITY

A group of Danish hipsters are struggling to figure out why their Finnish friend has left them so abruptly ‒ is she plain rude, was she offended by something they said, or is this just the Finnish way of saying goodbye. An African immigrant saves a Greek girl from a burning house but is chucked out by the prejudiced mother because of the colour of his skin. A group of scientists are quarrelling violently over their opinions.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

OLD CARS, NEW CARS

He is an amateur photographer, passionate about taking pictures with his FED-4 (Russian rangefinder camera, produced from 1964 till 1977). This camera has a sentimental value to me and I still use it from time to time. Of course I will not comment on his photographic skills, probably I cannot be objective enough to do that, since to me all of his photos are nearly perfect.

old cars, new cars

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

ME, MYSELF AND MY OLD MINOLTA

Photography came to me by accident. While living in Paris in 2006, I signed up for cooking classes organised by the city council, but they were fully booked. So up came my second choice: photoreporting combined with black and white darkroom techniques.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

SOFIA TRANSFORMED

Even the casual walker through the streets of Sofia will immediately notice the many eyesores dotting the city. Death notices and small ads compete for space on lamp posts. Derelict buildings cohabit with rusty newspaper stands and stalls of street vendors selling cheap socks and underwear. Rubbish blooms in the planters originally meant for greenery.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

ALBERT KAHN'S BULGARIA

An exhibition of early 20th Century photography, The Archives of the Planet, has been the talk of the town throughout the summer. The exhibition, curated by noted Bulgarian photographer Ivo Hadzhimishev and organised by the French Embassy and the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, was on display at the National Art Gallery in Sofia, and is scheduled to travel to Sozopol, Varna, Dobrich, Veliko Tarnovo, Elena, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

BULGARIA BACK IN TIME

The first surprise comes when you look at the pictures. This is another Bulgaria, with mellower light, sombre people and the nostalgic atmosphere of the 1950s. Little details like a chipped pavement or a drab house have been turned into a backdrop for the people who feature in almost every picture. The result is outstanding. Warm and realistic, the pictures make you want to take in the world through these eyes.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

A BULGARIAN INSPIRATION

Cracked ice covered the river and chunks of it were floating on the surface, forming a giant jigsaw puzzle. The sight caught the attention of Belgian Marie-Chantal Biela. She stopped, took a picture and walked on. What she had seen, she later turned into an abstract lithograph.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

ENCHANTED WORLDS

You rarely see wall cupboards like the one in Gayatri Manchanda's studio. From its depths the petite woman produces, one after another, canvases that portray the domes of St Vasiliy the Blessed Cathedral in Moscow, blue wild donkeys in a greenand- red landscape, a couple of abstract compositions, portraits of women, and a landscape with copper-red buildings against the backdrop of a black sky through which soars a golden aeroplane.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

NORTHERN SEAS

For at least four months of the year the Black Sea coast is riddled with tourists, beach-goers and campers. Many people have been put off visiting the coastline – some because of the drastic overcrowding, others because of the newly-built concrete hotels of mammoth proportions that spring up all along the shore.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

THINKING AT THE EDGE

Have you ever wondered how you would describe Bulgarian culture or young Bulgarians? If you think the question too philosophical, see German photographer Britta Morisse Pimentel's recipe.

A "vagabond" in her soul, Britta Morisse Pimentel arrived in Bulgaria in April 2009 at the suggestion of a friend. For the German, who is a graduate of the New York Institute of Photography, this wasn't her first plunge into the vibrancy of another country. She had lived in the US and in Brazil for some time and won the São Paulo Critics' Association award for one of her photo essays.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

THE WORLD OF LP

It is difficult to surprise anybody in Facebook, but photographer Antoan Bozhinov (a regular presence in Vagabond) has managed to do it. This tall, well-built man, who dwarfs the spacious rooms of our publishing office, put in his profile a picture where he is surrounded by a dozen "Little People."

Remarkably, no one looks different to anyone else in the picture.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

ANGELS OVER SOFIA

Angels and junk: it takes an unusual mind to bridge the gap. But Magdalena Miteva certainly has that. She is involved in many projects: she puts on puppet theatre for adults, a somewhat neglected art in Bulgaria, makes lamps and decorates clubs and cafeÅLs with her ideas.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

LOVE IT OR HATE IT

If chalga and art were members of the same family, they would be distant cousins that don't get on well and hardly speak to each other. Significantly, relations became strained not when chalga first appeared but when it became a lucrative industry.

There is not a single pop or rock singer in Bulgaria who can rival the big chalga stars in terms of concert proceeds, CD sales, fees and advertising contracts. The tension surfaced officially in the 1990s, when Communist-era pop icon Vasil Naydenov led a doomed assault on pop folk.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

BULGARIAN SOUVENIR

Sexy girls in folklore costumes against a background of blue mountains and roses... isn't that a publicity stunt designed by one of the genius publicists of Bulgaria's National Tourism Agency and paid for with government money? Do look closer, however, and you'll catch a glimpse of some naughty lingerie and garters underneath. No, that cannot be Aneliya Krushkova's invention – and certainly the establishment, which has recently learned some lessons in modern art appreciation, won't approve.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment