WORK          WRITING         CURATION        ABOUT

4UZHBINA, Brighton Photo Fringe, Phoenix Brighton, Brighton, 2018

4UZHBINA (2018-2020)

photography, performance & moving image

The word 4uzbina (chuzhbina) translates from Bulgarian to English as foreign land. Used often to describe a non-existent place, an illusory location, which cannot be found on any map, nevertheless it could be accessed by anybody. It is simply an invention of the tongue; the term contains simultaneously the essence of a no-man’s land and la dolce vita.

For many years, the citizens of Eastern Europe have regarded the Western world as a paradise, a space full of possibilities. During the communist regime, there were strict regulations on travel outside of the Soviet Bloc and it was often not possible. After 1989, when the political system collapsed, the citizens from all across the USSR and its satellite republics were able to peek behind the Iron Curtain.

In 4UZHBINA I work with found family photographs photographs and postcards bought from flea markets in Kent, UK where my family had migrated to and currently lives. In addition, I am using pages from a Bulgarian tourist guide from 1963, produced for an English-speaking audience. I attempt to fabricate layers of being both an insider and outsider in regards to Bulgaria through the combination of found materials. I adopt the past lives and memories of strangers and carefully narrate my/our personal story of migration, whilst portraying the home with everything but its own appearance.

In the performance-based moving image piece Evropa, I recall my first memory of the European Union - the day in which Bulgaria was officially accepted. I was 13 years old and was at school; on this day we all had to learn about the other countries who were a part, alongside  the EU's anthem and watch the ascendance of the blue flag with twelve stars over the school’s building. While I share every detail of the event, on the other channel of the short film I read the European Union’s anthem in Bulgarian.

 Grand Hotel, 2018.

 Fields of home, 2018.
The Rhodope mountains, 2018.

Family vacation, 2018.

Exits, 2018.

The land and soil, 2018.

Dissertation, 2019.

Self-portrait, 2018.

The grape-picking, 2020.

Tower block balcony, 2019.

Image 1,2,3 :4UZHBINA, Brighton Photo Fringe, Phoenix Brighton, Brighton, 2018
Image 4: BLUNT: micro-exhibition - ACAVA Limehouse Open Studios, London, 2018;
Image 3: New Begginings - MERTZ, Berlin, Germany, 2020

All rights reserved. 2022.