The ‘’Balkantourist’’ Hotel in the small Bulgarian town of Veliki Preslav is located in the center of the town, and shelters stray animals, orphans and sometimes even drunk young people who do not know what to do with their energy and leisure time.

Located in the city center, the hotel is a landmark for the lives of local people. Built with their joint efforts, volunteering involving people from all the businesses and factories in the area. It opened its doors in the late 1970s, with a large hotel base and several establishments. You are unlikely to find a family in the city whose major events: proms, weddings, anniversaries have not taken place under its roof.

Now the building is falling apart.

We chose it as a venue for our exhibition: “Memories from the past with the appeal: “Not to be repeated ever again”

Artists, photographers, artists from Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Macedonia presented their views on the devastation and grief after conflicts, disputes and devastating events that have taken place in the Balkans and Europe. It is difficult to overcome the grief of talking about these events, but it is the art that helps to overcome the trauma and face the consequences.

Participants in the exhibition:

  • Martina Lapika (Bulgaria)
  • Ivanka Stavreva (Bulgaria)
  • Depy Antoniou (Greece)
  • Aristaios Tsousis (Greece)
  • Ljubica Meshkova – Solak (Macedonia)
  • Kiril T. Konstantin (Macedonia)
  • Snezana Petkovic (Serbia)
  • Bojan Josic (Serbia)
  • Stratis Vogiatzis and Yorgos Samantas from Caravan Project Productions, Greece
  • Stoyan Nikolov (Bulgaria)
  • Ivan Grigorov (Bulgaria)

and students from:

  • Vocational High School of Textile and Fashion Design Varna,
  • Professional High School of Applied Arts, Smolyan.

The authors and their works can be viewed here:    ECHO-art pieces

Discussing the dark past is not easy. Doing it with people who carry traces of violence and incurable barbarism is even harder. Nevertheless, we were able to smile and start a new dialogue. We wish it to be long and fruitful,” said Boyka Boneva, one of the participants. You can find more about the project itself and the long journey that we have done together here.

The project is being implemented under the EU’s Creative Europe program, with the support of the National Culture Fund, Veliki Preslav Municipality, volunteers and associates.