Europeana is travelling Bulgaria with a new free exhibition. ‘Linked Across Borders and Time’ is being run by the Varna Regional Library in Bulgaria and will visit eight cities in the country between now and September. If you’re in Bulgaria, get yourself to one of the hosting regional libraries or Helikon book shops and check it out!
‘Linked across Borders and Time’ begins in Bulgaria but provides visitors with a cultural gateway to the rest of Europe. It showcases carefully chosen cultural symbols from each of the eight Bulgarian cities, and invites visitors to explore them and then learn more on Europeana. The exhibition also reveals a European ‘twin’ city for each of the Bulgarian cities, displaying an object, monument or place from that city with similar cultural, scientific, historical or religious significance. Images from the past are mirrored with images from the present demonstrating how easy it is to cross both time and geographical borders online.
Through the exhibition, visitors can discover more about both the people and places close to home and those further afield across the continent. The exhibition goes to Vienna, Italy, via Russe, Bulgaria’s own ‘Little Vienna’, exploring both cities’ architectural heritage. From there you can travel to the Bulgarian city Haskovo and French city Lourdes through their monuments to the Virgin Mary, the patron of both cities. You can also discover Varna and Nice – the ‘pearls’ of two seas, and Neolithic villages discovered in Stara Zagora and Vaucluse, France.
The images displayed in the exhibition are accompanied by QR codes, so that visitors can go directly to Europeana via their smartphones and discover additional interesting information on the exhibits. An interactive film that allows visitors to visit Europeana directly by clicking on a map of Bulgaria accompanies the exhibition.
Jill Cousins, Executive director of Europeana says, ‘”Linked across borders and time” connects the people of Bulgaria with their cultural heritage and shows, through its imaginative associations, the links between Bulgarian culture and the rest of Europe. We want everyone to have access to their European cultural heritage and this exhibition is a great way of achieving that – it delivers culture directly to people, which is what Europeana is all about.’
Famous Bulgarian writer, Georgi Gospodinov, was a special guest at the exhibition launch. He said: ‘Europeana doesn’t just make it easier for us all to access European cultural treasures kept in libraries and archives. With projects like this, we can enter museums and their collections without effort but we can also grant those collections the opportunity to get right inside us. Europeana allows us to carry them along with us every day. We can have centuries of culture in our pocket – on our phones, on our computers. What we do with it is down to our own curiosity.’
Georgi continued: ‘Many years ago,’when the Bedouins used to trek slowly across the desert, they would make frequent stops, not just to allow their camels to rest, but also to give their souls time to catch up because the soul travels at a different pace. I claim that literature and culture know a lot about this pace. I think that Europeana is one of the places where we can stop and spend some time with our European souls.’
If you’d like to find your European soul, then visit the travelling exhibition at the regional libraries in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Stara Zagora, Veliko Tarnovo, Haskovo, Russe and Dobrich during June – August, or Helikon book shops in Burgas and Plovdiv in September. View full tour details