Published in Bulgaria

Atidje's story takes you back to 1973, when her family was caught up in dramatic events that no one could have dreamt would occur in the quiet, mountainous village of Kornitsa, on Bulgaria's Greek border.

The entire Muslim community stood up against the Communist government, demanded their rights, and cut the village off from the rest of the country, camping out for months in the main square. Atidje's husband was the leader of the rebellion. When the crackdown came, she paid her price.

Four decades later she still remembers vividly what happened that night, the deportation with her children, and her missing husband, who was sent to prison. Both of them now live in Turkey.

Published in YOUR STORY

"When I first moved to Sofia, I knew hardly anyone, and spent most of my free days wandering the streets around ulitsa Pirotska, taking photos and drinking coffee in 'Halite'.

One of the first people I got to know was a fellow English photographer, a 50-something divorcee working for a financial institution in Sofia. In emails he referred to the city as 'So Fear' and the name stuck. It became some kind of title to our photography of our Sofia. For a year I lived in a flat with paper-thin double glazing next to a busy junction on Dondukov, so the sound of So Fear for me has always been a trolley bus pulling away from traffic lights, perhaps why I take so many pictures of public transport. "

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Photography © James Crouchman

Published in Photo Gallery Bulgaria

It's 44 years since the violent crackdown on a remarkable protest in two remote Muslim villages of Communist Bulgaria. In the winter of 1973 their entire populations rebelled against the state and spent months camped out in the main square. Uniquely for Communist Eastern Europe, their villages became a no-go area for the authorities. We talked to those who remember and who experienced it first hand.

Навършват се 44 години от насилственото потушаване на забележителната протестна акция на две помашки села в комунистическа България. През зимата на 1973 жителите им възстават срещу властите и прекарват 3 месеца на площада. Уникално за комунистическа Източна Европа по това време, тези села се превръщат в зона, недоостъпна за централната власт. Разговаряхме със свидетели и хора, изпитали на собствен гръб репресиите.

 

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Published in Bulgaria

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© Velislav Radev

Published in Photo Gallery Bulgaria

Vintage Communist narrative

Converted from 16 mm film

Published in Bulgaria

Rescued and converted from a 16mm film.

This Bulgarian government video presents the skiing resort of Pamporovo as a hotspot of catering and hedonism. In reality, some of its East German tourists were killed, while trying to cross the nearby border with Greece.

Пампорово, 1979-та. 16 мм филм. Идилия за външна консумация. В непосредствена близост до граничната зона, лобно място на източногермански туристи.

Published in Bulgaria

Photographer Dimitar Deynov accompanied the Bulgarian Communist leader Todor Zhivkov for decades. In 1984 he went to Libya. This is how the news agency photographer remembers the journey:

“The whole trip was full of surprises for me. In the early hours we had a meeting in Muammar Gaddafi’s tent, we went there and took pictures of what we could. We then continued through the desert. At some point the column of cars suddenly came to a halt. I grabbed my bag, Gaddafi’s security escorts were about to spread out a carpet. So both leaders sat down to discuss high politics, the initiative had apparently come from Gaddafi. On the ground, in the middle of nowhere, they conducted negotiations. Gaddafi liked to brag that he was a “man of the desert”.

Behind Zhivkov, sitting, with glasses is Petar Mladenov, Communist Bulgaria's Foreign Minister for 18 years and the man who toppled Zhivkov in 1989. Sitting to the far right is Zdravko Velev, Bulgaria's then Top Arabist and Zhivkov's Middle East confidant. But who are the 3 Libyan officials next to them? Any suggestions?!

Photo Dimitar Deynov, Archive BTA

Димитър Дейнов работи в Българската Телеграфна Агенция от 1967 година. През 1984 той придружава Тодор Живков в Либия.

Димитър Дейнов: "От едно посещение на Живков в Либия е и снимката върху килима в пустинята. Цялото посещение за мен бе осеяно с изненади. Рано сутринта имаше среща в палатката на Кадафи, отидохме там и снимахме, каквото можеше да се снима. Продължихме през пустинята. В един момент колоната от коли изненадващо спря. Аз грабнах чантата и видях, че охраната на Кадафи разпъва един килим. Така в този момент те бяха седнали да обсъждат важни въпроси, инициативата дошла от Кадафи, и така, на земята, насред нищото водеха преговори. Кадафи обичаше да парадира с това, че е човек на пустинята."

Вляво зад Живков е Петър Младенов, външен министър на комунистическа България в продължение на 18 години. Поел властта след свалянето на Тодор Живков през ноември 1989. Последен вдясно е седнал Здравко Велев, тогава Арабист №1 на страната, и винаги до Живков по време на срещи, свързани с Арабския свят.

Published in Bulgaria