Process (Blog)

  • Bearing fruit
    Today, we conclude our last public event for the year. Exhibitions turned out very fruitful about contacts with new people who are interested in the topics and needs we are preoccupied with. Unfortunately, the gallery guys didn’t want us to be in their way and we couldn’t really meet our visitors but on Friday I […]
  • Allah razı olsun
    Here is the 4th volume of Duvarmuzei – a new addition to the Plovdiv exhibition which you didn’t have the opportunity to see in Sofia. Last evening we were setting up the poster-monuments “Allah razı olsun” at five sites in the neighborhood, with the help of a number of friends. These are memorials for the […]
  • Cleaning Agency
    The exhibition in Sofia is a sort of retrospective, but we are showing also entirely new work from just this month! One example is the intervention Duvarmuseum Vol. 3: “Stolipinovo Cleaning Agency”. Can you guess what is it about? And here is the answer to the orange puzzle from two weeks ago: an attempt to […]
  • Guest lecture
    At the street by Goethe-Institut Sofia yesterday, I tortured quite deeply interested in our work students of Cultural Studies and master students in Cultural Anthropology. Appreciation to their professor, Velislava Petrova, who invited them to see our exhibition. To one of their questions I answered: Yes, I do hope that anthropology could not only take […]
  • Big exhibition
    On the 29th, Tuesday, we open our first exhibition in Sofia, invited by Goethe-Institut Bulgarien! You are welcome from 17:30 on and do bring your masks. There will be no speeches this time but we will be around and available for a chat (and later for a drink). We will show something from all our […]
  • Participatory indeed
    Dear friends, We are looking for how to name the initiative of next year. This time we decided that Duvar Kolektiv should recede to the background and leading authors should be a group of men from Stolipinovo. We saw those guys grow as community figures in front of our eyes during this year of lockdown […]
  • Little online shop
    Our humble online shop has been launched! Be the first to buy something from “Fashion House Karashik”, and plant the seeds for it to flourish. All items are made by people in Stolipinovo. 
  • Invitation in Turkish
    With lots of sweat and effort Yanka and me, with the help of B., managed to compose an invitation in Turkish for the opening of our exhibition tomorrow, Duvarmuzei Vol.1: “Hand-made”. We made it in the local dialect, milletçi, so Yanka’s fellow neighbours can easily understand it. It was a complex process! I was explaining […]
  • The first video reportage!
    Vol. 3 of Duvarmuzei will consist of video pieces of reporting from the neighbourhood, which we are making collaboratively with Filibeliler and other local volunteers. The video clips will showcase neighbourhood discussions that are important for residents. Duvar Kolektiv would be supporting with the technical production: esp. editing, the final directing and then the communication. […]
  • Smileys on the holiday
    Dear friends, salutations with the Bulgarian holiday of Letters and Enlightenment (St. Cyril and Methodius)! For Duvar Kolektiv this is also a special holiday of ours since we’ve made it our job to open cracks through the thick shadowy walls (duvars) erected by our society and to let through the light of knowing one’s fellow! […]
  • Stolipinovo and COVID19
    We had just began our activities in Stolipinovo when the state of emergency began, and now we all have to be at home. We are considering how to implement part of our artistic process and exhibitions this year in a digital manner, yet still jointly and compassionately. Meanwhile you can learn about the current struggles […]
  • Summer memory
    A summer memory from a dear friend’s wedding in Stolipinovo! The most impressive singer I’ve heard live – Naska of Asenovgrad. Beauty is everywhere.
  • Visiting Stolipinovo
    Exhibition or not, we kept seeing our partners in Stolipinovo. Despite the rain, the mud and the dark we locked the doors at six and dashed for there!
  • We do not like “integration”
    A couple of the visitors to the exhibition were asking us what was happening with minority “integration” in Stolipinovo, or how we were “integrating” the children from the neighbourhood through our project. We do not like this word, because it depreciates the life and experience of people that are, in fact, living, feeling, creating, suffering, […]
  • Horses
    One of the new books after September is about the love towards horses in Stolipinovo. Here is one of the passionate breeders and his royal pedigree stallion.
  • Opening day!
    On the opening several of our co-authors from Stolipinovo were present – the two families with which we have worked for the longest time. They came with great pleasure to “the Tcharshi”, an old word for the Muslim city’s market centre. While the men felt a bit uneasy in a crowd they are not used […]
  • Getting famous! 😉
    We got a wonderful journalist to do an interview with us (in Bulgarian)! She had also visited the community we are working with, and wrote this additional commentary on her FB wall. We reprint it and love it…
  • New Prints
    New prints of designs we have co made with Y., A., F. and Tch. Printed onto cotton and sewn into little bags… the designs are drawn by the participants, altered by me, (mostly adding colour) and printed. The design of the bags is by a local craftswoman who cut me a template of the bags […]
  • Cinema!
    Thanks to a spontaneous partnership with our new Slovenian friends, #momocinema (SAGAR Kolektiv), travelling and showing films on the way with their cinema van, we had one unforgettable evening with animations in Stolipinovo. And the Bulgarian classic ‘The Three Fools’ will travel further to villages in Turkey and Iran!  
  • мода
    The poorest family we partner with show us the dresses they are now renting out for celebrations and weddings.“How much do you charge for them?” “People pay what they can.”
  • Comic on the wall
    The neighbors crowd around, with the help of our true ‘resident curator’! For every passers-by he invents a joke and finds a place in the comic!
  • A birthday
    This week we were invited to a jubilee birthday in the mahala, but didnt know what to give as a gift. So we asked a local expert on beauty and budgeting. We found this purse (the birthday girl turning 50 is a shopkeeper) and then added a design to make it more unique and pretty.
  • Crafts
    Yesterday we were with a self-taught entrepreneur craftswoman. Among other things she has been making re-useable, handmade sponges both for the shower and for washing dishes. Which you do not throw away. But wash, take care of and keep for longer, producing less waste. These are then sold to neighbours and very popular. And she […]
  • Çukur
    Another of the themes we will make an art-book about has emerged. Çukurs are everywhere in Stolipinovo, and they are enigmatic. They are even spilling throughout the rest of Plovdiv but Bulgarians don’t really notice them. In the hood you can see them on walls, homes, clothes, bodies… One of the most frequent visual symbols […]
  • Works in progress
    Hannah has been commissioned to make a few drawings etc for different people in Stolipinovo based on careful guidance, advice and adjustment at every stage. Here are some sneak peeks at the works in progress.
  • A favour
    The scarf Mila, a Bulgarian friend of ours, asked for is ready, it was kept safe and sound in a special place for our return to the neighbourhood to collect it. When Mila showed pictures on her phone of the kind she wants, they said: “Yes, this is the vogue on the net, but there […]
  • Have humility
    Recently we got the chance to speak with a leading name in participatory art in the UK, Francois Matarasso. He makes community art projects with various marginalised groups. In homes for the elderly, mentally ill, disabled, etc. Something he told us: When I am there I am trying hard to strip myself from power and […]
  • Detail
    Detail of a beautiful collection of handmade, knitted accessories given to us as a gift by a woman in Stolipinovo.
  • Matarasso
    After an enthusing conversation with the author of A Restless Art, a community and participatory art expert, there is many new and interesting ideas flowing! The book is free online and an invaluable resource for critical analysis of the field, and emphasises the importance of careful consideration, respect, humility and listening when working alongside marginalised […]
  • A gift
    A gift, a beautiful thing unanimously voted. Could only be made better by adding fairy lights 🙂 Given to me by someone yesterday while we played a Ludo game the grandma had bought for 1,20.  
  • This week
    Snippets from this week’s workshops. Largely influenced by our surroundings, learning Turkish, using old mathematics paper, the weddings around, our relations to eachother, our strange blue eyes in a land of brown and green eyes, co-drawing isnt difficult there, infact it is so natural when there is a constant flow of people, and you must […]