GOATMILK FESTIVAL 24-26 MAY:
MYTHS, UTOPIAS AND REALITIES IN THE PERIPHERY
Is every periphery its own center?
Gorna Bela Rechka is a village in the periphery of Northwest Bulgaria with about 50 inhabitants. The Northwest is the periphery of Bulgaria. Bulgaria is the periphery of the EU … The village is the center of the international festival of memories GOATMILK and 16 years gathers people from all over the world. For the people who live here, the place is the center of their lives, their memories, dreams and sorrows.
Periphery or center is Bela Rechka? Could the feeling of a center and periphery be changed and how? What makes us consider a place a center or a periphery? Do myths and utopias matter when we identify a place as a center and how they influence its inhabitants identification today? Is the utopian wish to move from periphery to center a possible explanation of waves of migration in the world today?
How does the feeling of a center and periphery change from the view point of the generation of transition – 30 years after the Berlin Wall fall?
Vaclav Havel used to say, that for people from Eastern Europe 1989 was a year of “leaving the periphery of history”. But philosophers like Jurgen Habermas instantly announced the 1989 Revolutions in Eastern Europe as “catching up” that cannot create anything new – because they do not come up with a new utopia but just catch up with what has already been created elsewhere . Myth, utopia or reality was the idea to leave the periphery of history in 1989? And what is the reality 30 years later?
Bella Rechka gives us the opportunity to critically examine all this. For 16 years now on the festival of memories is the other new place for the personal story and memory. Namely because the festival’s home is a periphery and because since the very beginning the aim is new voices and stories from the periphery to be included in history.
Was that wish an utopia? What we‘ve learned over the years is that personal stories are important but also difficult, sometimes even impossible to tell. Stories of hopes, dreams, successes and losses. Stories about abandoned houses and depopulation, about unemployment and emigration, about closed schools and chopped forests, about ghost towns and villages. Stories that provoke us to continue talking out our relationship with the past and looking for new forms of narration – and trust. Stories, we involve in the generation of transition that somewhat turned into the generation of current and future leaders, teachers, parents.
What is the reality today – what’s happening with people, cities and villages in the Northwest? Which are the myths and utopias still alive, which are the lost, which – a new born?
We will be looking for answers to those questions between May 24th – 26th, 2019 in the frame of Bella Rechka Festival of Memories. The main lines of thinking go to the generations of the transition, to the silent displacement of Bulgarian Turks in the Northwest, to the concepts of new education, to the new approaches to trauma.
We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts and stories. On our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/belarechk/, on our mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or at: 3544 Gorna Bela Rechka, Varshets Municipality, GOATMILK FESTIVAL.