Love and nostalgia for the people, their history and folklore have been the motivations behind this artistic series. Memoirs of a Forgotten Generation is a personal collection of reminiscences and reflections, which aims to portray the voice of a whole nation – its emotional immensity and evanescence. As if from a diary, the portraits were accumulated as visual memories during the years, from personal interactions with individuals and visits to villages throughout Bulgaria. These are villagers whose life was an endless devotion to the earth, which they walked, sowed and harvested. Their dedication to labor is depicted in each dance step and in the context of regional songs, which were performed while at work in the fields.
Folklore signified life – the bare earth and their hard labor. Each face is a personal narrative that signifies the means of life, the history and the passage of time. Each portrait carries within itself the factor of temporality and decay – it is a monument. Years pass, the eyes glow dimmer, the soil erodes, ideologies are replaced by new ones…and so folklore transforms and adapts to new means of life. The exhibit visually illustrates folklore as a distillation of human experience that transcends and reflects boundaries of time. As a means of existence, Balkan folklore illustrates individual’s passage through life and the annual cycle of nature and agriculture.
As a visual portrayal of folklore, the portraits here convey a passage of time, delve into the rich past and reveal history in a visual metaphor – dry wrinkles and hopeful gazes! This is a story of a generation that survived two wars; a generation whose folklore meant life; a generation of endless toil, forgotten virtues, oppression and tradition… These are their memoirs – people and culture now slowly vanishing.
“Memoirs of a forgotten generation” – exhibit opening presentation