Traumas and Miracles. Portraits from Northwestern Bulgaria (2008-2010-2016)

“Traumas and Miracles – Portraits from Northwestern Bulgaria” is a common photography and anthropological project of the Canadian-Iranian photographer Babak Salari and the journalist Diana Ivanova. For two years they document the daily lives of the oldest people in eight villages in Northwestern Bulgaria – the poorest region in the European Union. Together – the photography and the human tales – represent a rare collection of stories about traumas and miracles experienced in the last years by the oldest inhabitants of the Northwest. The project explores in depth the phenomenon of social trauma –  the loss of social and collective sense, depopulation and aging in large parts of the region due to the economic collapse of the socialist-era monumental industry, the family breakdowns, a consequence of poverty and the exodus of women working as caregivers of elderly people in Italy and Greece. The international premiere of the project was at Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna 2010. After that it was presented at the National Gallery in Sofia and the City of Florence, Italy.

The Plovdiv Publishing House Janet 45 published the book “Traumas and Miracles. Portraits from Northwestern Bulgaria” in Bulgarian and English. 2016 “Traumas and Miracles” was exhibited in Bonn (CityPension Gallery) and Wesseling (Gezeiten Haus) and a new German edition of the book was published.

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