Gorna Bela Rechka has never had a church, but there was always a bell. In the 90s it was stolen. The sound of the bell was something that everybody remembered with tenderness and joy. “The sound was very sweet,” used to say the old inhabitants of Bela Rechka.
“The Bell of Bella Rechka” one-year project happened in 2008 under the European program Culture 2007-2010 in partnership with Borderland Foundation, Poland and Laundry, Birmingham, England with the support of Goethe Institute – Sofia.
A new bell and bell tower were constructed in the village of Bela Rechka and with different artistic activities were created – theater performance, sound installation, a book and a documentary.
The bell was casted in the oldest workshop in Plovdiv – Veleganovy. The bell tower was constructed under the guidance and voluntary work of engineer Galina Ivanova. Of extreme importance were the voluntary donations and work of the local people in the village and the friends of Bela Rechka.
Collecting stories about bells was part of the bell project. The stories gathered by students from Plovdiv’s French High School about stolen bells in the Plovdiv region “Looking for the lost sound” won the first award in the competition and have been published in the book “How to make a bell”.
The project provoked great interest and excitement, and left behind some remarkable artistic products:
The book “How to make a bell ” (2009), published by Janet 45, Diana Ivanova (compiler), Raycho Stanev (design), received a special award for design at the Biennale of Young Bulgarian Design, 2009.
Mariy Rossen and Valeria Valcheva create the “Romeo and Juliet” theatre performance for Goatmilk 2008.
A short documentary “Erinnerungen”(Memories) is produced by Goethe-Institut Sofia about the GOATMILK Festival and the bell (author Julia Bakalski, 2009).
Sound installation “Stories with bells”, author Raycho Stanev, 2008.