Part of the team of ACEA “Mediator” participates in the research project “Life transitions in the transforming (village): memory, identity, inheritance” of Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”. The aim is to study the transformations of the Bulgarian village today and in particular the changes in the life experience of its inhabitants.

The topic is particularly important in view of the demographic, cultural and socio-economic development of both small communities and society as a whole. Consequences of these transformations contribute to cultural and social changes in the spheres of small communities and society as a whole, which in turn reflect on their development as social communities and as carriers of a particular culture. You will find more about the project here.

Here are the research interests and searchngs of our team in this project.

According to Anelia Avdzhieva, PhD the villages are both a reflection of the inherited traditions and an incubator for the development of new socio-cultural practices to deal with everyday life and its challenges. Through the communities that inhabit them, various networks of mutual assistance and rediscovery of the lost heritage, respectively their transformations, can be traced. Her research motives are related to the tracing and description of these networks and their physical and social manifestations in the modern “disappearing” village.

The initial understanding of her research presents the “wild” as a connection with nature and geographical features, as well as living in large geographical areas; manifestation of personal freedom and a sought-after way to deal with aging and maintain social, cultural and labor engagement; lack of prospects for stay and development, but also the potential for sustainable development for active local actors.” Read more.

The project team

Maria Slavcheva, PhD researchs the visual and sensory aspects of the transition and return to the “abandoned” village. While touring and interested in the villages in the municipality of Stara Zagora, she found herself in an interesting position – as a municipal employee and as an anthropologist researcher. The administrative attitude towards these villages attracts her curiosity. On the one hand, the attitude towards the village is as something abandoned, old and unnecessary. On the other hand, however, the administrative attitude towards these villages is different and it is a great desire to be territorially considered as part of the Municipality of Stara Zagora. She managed to observe how the administration is fighting the desolation of the village.

завръщане в запустялото село

Svetoslava Mancheva, PhD focuses on the study of people and communities that live in the countryside. It focuses on visual transformations and building images of the village through digital stories. She follows a series of digital stories of people who lived in the countryside without having to do with the place, but adapted the experience and skills gained elsewhere. She analyzes the digital stories of vloggers and how they construct the idea of rural life. She is interested in how the village is being transformed through the “new” ideas about it.