The Abandoned Northwest: could Culture be a Strategy for Development of the Region is the author’s project of Diana Ivanova and Mariana Asenova and New Culture Foundation. The main goal of the project, supported by the Open Society Institute – Sofia and with the media support of BNT and ABITARE Magazine, is to raise attention to the possibility the abandoned cultural heritage of socialism – industrial and social – to become an economic development factor and social integration of Roma population booster in Montana region.
Fotografers Nikola Mihov and Babak Salari, researcher Antina Zlatkova, designers Galina Ivanova and Rositza Raleva worked on the final publication.
The journalistic materials, a guidebook of the abandoned cultural heritage of Northwest Bulgaria (Montana District), a large publication in Abitare magazine, a documentary on BNT, an online platform, open a wide public debate on the critical for the region issue of abandoned cultural heritage and its ability to play the role of an engine for revitalization, development and integration. Different points of view are presented, with the emphasis on the dreams of the young people, the enterpreneurs and of the Roma minority. The authors’ thesis is that cultural policies could change both the type and function of an abandoned building and hence bring back revitalization and sustainable development of the economy and the social environment.
The documentary (following the process of work) THE ABANDONED NORTHWEST – A GUIDE FOR AN UNUSUAL TOURISM (in Bulgarian) is available in youtube in 2 parts: