Artistic Research Workshops Directions

If we think about a periphery, we imagine Gorna Bela Rechka. If we think of a center, of our own center, we imagine Gorna Bela Rechka.

There is nowhere to sleep, nowhere to eat. And everyone who comes for some reason wants to eat and spend a night in the village.

Why? There are many possible answers. We discovered some of them in the course of our countless meetings with local people over four years. There is nature here, there is food, there is music, there is movement, there is life, there is a special atmosphere that you can feel only if you come to the place.

Episode One: The Great Outdoors

Nature is the first thing one feels upon entering the village. It is as if the mountain hills have embraced the small houses and courtyards. In these hills and caves dozens of myths and legends about treasures are hidden forever.

Through a series of workshops with local people, guests, young and old, we searched for hidden treasures and new ways to learn in nature. We found that “outdoors” is a metaphor and a provocation to get out of our own clichés about what education is, the learning process, what is really important to us as adults and meaningful to children growing up.

True treasures are found by following the system of nature – the seasons, trees, birds, water, air, sky, stars, herbs, forest mushrooms and berries, bugs and ants.

Episode Two: Food Tells

In the process of conversations, special attention is given to food. We remember the seasonal eating of our grandparents with local, seasonal food – freshly prepared or fermented to be naturally preserved. Everything and nothing has been said about the food. Food is part of the culture of the place and the people who live there. From its history, from its geography, from its climate and features of the landscape. Food is both a collective experience and a very personal emotion. Food is our personal history and unlocks memories of moments and people that are far back in our childhood but continue to excite us. Food is livelihood. Food is health. Food is entertainment and pleasure.

… stories from the cooknotebooks

“Do you remember your mother’s and grandmother’s or, rarely, grandfather’s cooknotebooks? Handwritten recipes for cupcakes, tarts, roast beef, or pot pie? Recipes with female names – aunt Rosa cake or butter cookies Penka? Recipes for holidays – birthdays and name days, new year, Easter, exchanged most often on a torn piece of paper or dictated over the phone… We want to tell and preserve these intimate and valuable diaries from the time of the forgotten “soc” (socialism). They are pieces of history for our families, for mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers who, in conditions of a constant shortage of products, with imagination and love prepared unique delicacies that even today’s children sigh over.”

Episode Three: Music, Music!

Brass orchestra music is the trademark of the Northwest. Therefore, artistic studies could not miss music. With music comes movement – from traditional dance to contemporary dance. During the years of the Centriphery project, the square and the hall of the community center became participants and witnesses of a series of traditional dance workshops and workshops for contemporary dance.

Final (for now)

The history of the Centriphery project in Gorna Bela Rechka and the Varshets region began at the beginning of 2019. In May, during the Goatmilk Festival of Memories, the team of artists met the local people. Personal stories of love and weddings followed. Discussions about stories from the time of communism. The image of the wedding in 2021 developed in the story of vows to the place we inhabit. A wedding is not just about two people being together. The wedding unites everything in one – nature, music and food. Like life, whether we think of it at the periphery or at the center.

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