I see something colorful

           Author: Angela Maddalena

If it happen to you, reader, to pass by Sofia city, to visit Her center and famous promenades, probably you’ll never see what i have seen. Because, sometimes, colorful and precious things are not in an easy place for you to find them.

If you want to really find out what is the heart of a city, the center is not and never will be the right place for you: to many things to see, yes, but so little reality.

Things, people, shops, even houses seems to be “dressed for a party”; they put mascara and sugar on everything, there in city centers.

Like beautiful women, cities could lie: they can just abuse make-up. But, reader, what you see has nothing to do with their souls.

Because, just like beautiful women, cities have an hidden soul.

Where will you find it, you may ask.

First of all, is not that obvious that you will ever find it, be prepared: cities are strange creatures, they lie and hide things, especially their real selves. They don’t want to be known. They don’t want to lose power by showing you their real nature. They want to astonish you, to let you confused in admiration. They want you to adore them,
not to understand them.

Everything that I’m telling you, my reader, is true. You should be prepared. To see the real face of a place, underneath the make-up and veils, is a quest not a pleasant walk. Still, if you really want to play the discovery game, find out what Lady Sofia is hiding from you, you may enjoy a little trip inside a different side of Her.

For example, you can follow me in Lyulyn district: this is not a central or fancy neighborhood. There is nothing here that attracts tourists. At least, there wasn’t.

Because now, after two special ladies passed from here, there actually is something in Lyulyn that you should see.
Martina and Florentyna, two young painters working along with the Open Space Foundation, spent one month in this neighborhood, painting anew a very massive trafopost.
I was there the first days, to witness the “greyness” of the place. Nothing impressed me, but the very enormous amount of gray things and buildings all around us. also the trafopost was a giant gray thing, giving me the impression of an old dinosaur sleeping.

People, passing us by, were mostly asking us if we were vandals, destroying municipality property.
This kind of questions is always an insight to understand a place: passersby questions. If for those people was not that strange, for vandals, to be fine girls working in daylight cheering and shouting music in the meantime, that should mean something. Maybe, I said myself, those people never considered that vandals are only one side of the coin. Maybe, they never saw a painter working. maybe, they never saw colors on walls, out of vandalism.

But, as the work was going on, as the picture started to be clearer, passersby question also started to change: the were, now, happy. Yes, of course not everybody got the meaning of the picture in the first moment (picture) because it was not easy for them to find out.

You see, my reader, Bulgaria has a long, complicated history. her grace, her inner beauty, comes from afar. Martina, our friend and young bulgarian painter, wanted to express this beautiful, ancient soul in her way, celebrating the ancient version of Cyrillic alphabet in her murales. But not everyone knows about his own roots and history: so many people needed an explanation, to get the meaning of the girl’s work.

This is something i would like to speak more about: because you see my reader, we people, we don’t spend our precious time in studying souls, not normally. Saying souls, I mostly mean our history and cultural traditions. So, mostly, we know nothing. We can spend a lifetime without ever knowing nothing about the very roots of our nature, culture, development. We just walk, passively, through our surrounding space. we don’t ask the city about her life.

But Lady Sofia, she is an old, fair one. She has lots to say to us. About glorious or violent past times, about the first alphabet in the east, about the romans, the ottomans, the russians. They came and went, as silly powers do. City stays.

What my friends did in Lyulyn was not simply covering a wall, making it more pretty to look up to; they opened an actual window, for the people to see, to ask, finally to know something more about this old and strong Lady, Sofia city.
This city, that I’m starting to really love, exists contemporary in two dimensions: the everyday one, made of our moments and days, and a deeper one, made in past and future. both of them, are contaminating each other.

What we should do, as artists, what my friends did, is to build bridges between those two sides of reality.
To open a bit the window, let new air in to refresh the beauty, the inner beauty, of the city’s soul.

I saw something colorful in Lyulyn, but I’m not speaking about a painting.
I’m speaking about souls, both the city’ one and her inhabitant’s.
And believe me, this is something you should see.


Our off-line actions is a part of the project “Freedom of (Hate) Speech“. It is funded under European program “Erasmus+”,
KA 1: European Voluntary Service and Training Course for Youth Workers.

National Agenda for Bulgaria: Center for Human Resource Development