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© Velislav Radev

Published in Photo Gallery Bulgaria

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© Velislav Radev

Mountainous area - straddles Bulgaria, Turkey and the Black Sea. For nearly fifty years the villages on the Bulgarian side were a remote outpost on the border with Turkey: right on the faultline which separated Communism from the rest of the world.

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© Velislav Radev

Published in Photo Gallery Bulgaria

The Bulgarian village of Brashlyan has always sat at a crossroads. For nearly fifty years it was a remote outpost on the border with Turkey -- right on the faultline which separated Communism from the rest of the world.

Brashlyan's elderly residents still share stories about the horrific and sometimes surreal efforts to protect Bulgaria's frontier. The derelict relics of that time are still there, but Brashlyan is looking for a new role in life. One of the villagers, Maria Kichukova tells us about its painful past and her big hopes for the future.

Българското село Бръшлян в полите на Странджа е винаги било на кръстопът. Близо 50 години то е изолиран, ”преден пост” на границата с Турция, която тогава дели комунизма от останалия свят.

Възрастните жители на Бръшлян все още разказват за зловещите, а понякога и почти сюрреалистични усилия да се опази българската граница. Овехтялите съоръжения от онова време са все още по местата си, но днес Бръшлян търси нов облик. Една от неговите жители, Мария Кичукова, разказва за болезненото минало и за големите си надежди към бъдещето.

© 2009

Published in Bulgaria

Meet Robert, Ukraine's 'best private detective', as he drives you round the beautiful Black Sea port of Odessa.This documentary, broadcast in February 2009 on Al Jazeera's Witness strand, offers a unique view on daily life in post-Soviet Ukraine.

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It is a long and tricky process making a documentary. In 2006, whilst taking a Russian course in Odessa, director Raj Yagnik met Robert Papinyan and thought he'd make a good subject for an observational documentary.
The following year Grisha Rudko was sent out from Moscow to film Robert and the following "trailer" was cut - as a way of selling the film to a broadcaster.

 

The film was commissioned by Al Jazeera the following year.

Published in Red Square