International Conference III: Heroic Art and Socialist Realism: Memory and Presentation of Socialist Past in Bulgaria

International Conference III: Heroic Art and Socialist Realism: Memory and Presentation of Socialist Past in Bulgaria
Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum – BAS Sofia, Bulgaria, Moskovska Str. 6a, Hall 19.
11 March 2016
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What is common to all the countries in “New Europe” is their hurried and resolute rejection of the heritage of Socialist Realism after 1989. Such artworks have for that reason been researched only sporadically and partially. How do we understand monuments and artworks of the Socialist Realism canon nowadays, what can we do with them, and why do we love to hate them?

The conference will focus mainly on the case of Bulgaria as one of the most prominent examples of heroic art venues in Eastern Europe. Although monuments and memorial sites built in the period 1944-1989 will be placed in the spotlight, other artworks of that period will also be taken into consideration. Various aspects of the representation and memory of major historical events will be addressed, particularly those related to the antifascist resistance and the partisan guerrilla movement during the Second World War, as well as other realms of collective memory (e.g. the national liberation struggle of the late 19th century, the communist movement in the first half of the 20th century, the September Uprising in 1923).

The conference will further engage in issues related to the representations of the memory of the socialist period such as the public attitudes towards the monuments of the communist regime, the debates about their protection and preservation or dismantlement and destruction, and the changing modes of remembrance.

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PROGRAMME

9:30 CONFERENCE OPENING

9:30 – 10:00 Fantasies of Corporeality – Monuments of the Socialist Period and After
Nikolai Vukov (Assoc. Prof., Ph.D., IEFSEM – BAS)

10:00 – 11:00 PANEL 1

10:00 – 10:15 Heroes We Love… Or Not?
Katja Hrobat Virloget (Asst. Prof., Ph.D., University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities, Slovenia)
Neža Čebron Lipovec (MSc., University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities, Slovenia)
Andrej Preložnik (University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities, Slovenia)

10:15 – 10:30 Sovietizing the City: Incorporating Old and New Monuments into Sofia’s Memorial Layer in the Late 1940s
Elitza Stanoeva (Ph.D., Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study – Sofia)

10:30 – 10:45 The Clash of Orthodoxies: Monuments and Legitimation through Confrontation during Post-Stalinism and Post-Communism
Radoslav Iliev (Institute for Social Studies and Development of Cultural Structures)

Discussion & Coffee break

11:15 – 12:15 PANEL 2

11:15 – 11:30 “Non Memory” versus “No Knowledge”: the Bulgarian Case
Evelina Kelbecheva (Prof., Ph.D., American University in Bulgaria)

11:30 – 11:45 Our Heroes: Local Monuments and Memory Activism (Two Cases from Southwest Bulgaria)
Daniela Koleva (Assoc. Prof., Ph.D., Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)

11:45 – 12:00 Negotiating the Pantheon of Bulgarian Heroes and the Concept of Historical Justice after 1989
Ana Luleva (Assoc. Prof., Ph.D., IEFSEM – BAS)

Discussion & Coffee break

12:30 – 13:30 PANEL 3

12:30 – 12:45 The Image of the Anti-Hero
Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva (Ph.D., Art Director, “Plovdiv 2019” Foundation)

12:45 – 13:00 Representations of “Heroic Youth” in Bulgarian Socialist Realism
Yana Yancheva (Asst. Prof., Ph.D., IEFSEM – BAS)

13:00 – 13:15 Exhibiting the Art of Europe’s “Former East”: Curatorial Narratives
Svetla Kazalarska (Asst. Prof., Ph.D., IEFSEM – BAS)

Discussion & Coffee break

14:30 – 15:30 PANEL 4

14:30 – 14:45 Live or Let Die: Post-Socialist Public Space in the Context of its Socialist Monuments
Aneta Vasileva (Ph.D. candidate, History and Theory of Architecture Department, University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy – Sofia; WhAT Association; ATRIUM Project)
Emilia Kaleva (Ph.D. candidate, History and Theory of Architecture Department, University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy – Sofia; ATRIUM Project; ICOMOS Bulgaria)

14:45 – 15:00 Buzludzha Project
Arch. Dora Ivanova (Technical University, Berlin)

15:00 – 15:15 A Chapter in the History of the Communist Monuments in Etropole: Commemorating Partisans and Hedonistic Enjoyment
Plamen Dimitrov (MA student, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)

Discussion & Coffee break

15:45 – 17:30 PANEL 5

15:45 – 16:00 Monuments Get Alive
Ivaylo Ditchev (Prof., D.Sc., Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)

16:00 – 17:00 Film screening: “Stories with Monuments”
Krassimir Terziev (Ph.D., Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, National Art
Academy)

17:15 – 17:30 “Witnesses of Stone”: History of a Project and Its Realization
Luca Ponchiroli (Italy)

17:30 EXHIBITION OPENING AND COCKTAIL
Exhibition “Witnesses of Stone” (photographs by Luca Ponchiroli, Linda Ferrari,
Nikolai Vukov)

Full conference programme.

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