After the voyages undertaken to build relationships and imagine the first collaborations between 2012 and 2013 and after hosting all Bulgarian finalst cities in Ravenna in February 2014, the path we are committed to continues tightening concrete synergies with the other nation hosting the European Capital of Culture in 2019. Plovdiv is the city that was recently named in a very heated competition between Sofia, Varna and Veliko Tarnovo. Ravenna 2019 never intended collaborations as distant desires or abstract dreams. For us to collaborate means to concretely start doing projects. It means to start the cooperation that can only happen between people, between cultural and artists from different countries. For this reason, along with the video maker Gerardo Lamattina (creator and coordinator of the cycle of short films Ravenna Visual Hub, we’re imagining “Europa Visual Hub” a cycle of films about the European Capitals of Culture from 2015 to 2019. We are waiting to find out who the next Italian European Capital of CUlture is, but in the meantime we don’t want to engage only in pack of “fireworks” to Commission’s visit, some special effects only valid for a day.
What better time, then, for beginning to “take notes” by visiting the newly appointed Bulgarian capital? And what better time to throw some seeds for our project “European Propaganda”, who wants to re-cross the history of Europe starting with the history of its people and their cultures? Lamattina is now in Plovdiv and is meeting with the staff of the Candidacy and the local artists, with the aim of returning to Italy with an archive of images that we will be taking in the future, whatever the outcome of the final selection!
“Waiting for the verdict of October 17, we enjoyed the relaxed hospitality of those who have already passed this stage, the committee of the newly-European Capital of Culture Plovdiv. Our guide Radostina gave us an overview of the most interesting places for the project “European propaganda”, from various monuments to the impressive post office, we dived into the atmosphere of a controversial city, dominated by the statue of a Soviet soldier on the adjacent hill, the city is trying to erase – literally, destroy – the ubiquitous legacies of the communist regime. We met the collective that is fighting for the revival of the former cinema Kosmos, a hall built about 60 years ago which was in danger of being demolished to make room for a parking lot. The collective, consisted largely in architects and engineers, occupied the cinema and is turning it into a cultural center, raising funds to rebuild it. Waiting for Monday when the doors of anti-aircraft shelters will be opened, the main goal of our trip, we continue to deepen our knowledge of the city.”
We say goodbye with a glimpse of the photographic material that is taking shape in these days and with two words our legacy has learned to say in Bulgarian : “Merci, ciao” !