Zhivkov Buzludja 1975 Lo


A piece of visual history – Bulgaria's leader Todor Zhivkov lays a 'time capsule' in the foundations of a Communist monument in the Bulgarian mountains.

From the original booklet for the opening of the Buzludja Memorial Complex, summer of 1981 .

As Communist Bulgaria entered the last decade of the 20th century, it prepared to celebrate the 1300th anniversary of Bulgarian statehood with suitable pomp.

One of the highlights of the celebration was the opening of a giant complex in the mountainous area of Buzludja – it was here that the foundations of Bulgarian socialism had been laid in a humble meeting back in 1891. It was later to be transformed into Lenin's model of Communism.

Buzludja was a feat of mountain engineering. The construction which included soldiers and unpaid workers, even helicopters, lasted 7 years, costing the Bulgarian state a staggering amount of money.

After the collapse of Communism in 1989 the memorial complex was abandoned, and left unmaintained. It's now partly derelict, but is still of huge importance to the successor to the Communist party, which often brings its followers to this isolated corner for morale-boosting gatherings.


booklet 011
booklet 008
booklet 001a
booklet 016
booklet 012
booklet 018
booklet 014
booklet 017
booklet 002
booklet 003
booklet 005
booklet 007
booklet 009
booklet 013
booklet 010
booklet 006
booklet 001
booklet 015

Published in Photo Gallery Bulgaria

We follow 3 young Bulgarians to the former Communist Congress building Buzludja, located at the top of the Balkan mountains on the outskirts of the town of Gabrovo.

18 years after the collapse of Communism they talk about what they feel about this once mysterious building that has been both a symbol of suppression and a representation of freedom.

Directed and Edited by Stephen J Bell, 2007.

On 16mm film & DV.


Published in Bulgaria