''Communism Didn’t Die in 1989: It Lives in People’s Minds,' Bulgarian Photographer for TIME Magazine

Views on BG | March 10, 2015, Tuesday // 11:58
Bulgaria: ''Communism Didn’t Die in 1989: It Lives in People’s Minds,' Bulgarian Photographer for TIME Magazine The fist came to symbolize civic protests in Sofia against political corruption in 2013 Photo: Yana Paskova

Time magazine featured a photo essay, telling the story of Yana Paskova and her return journey to the Balkans.

She is a Bulgarian photographer living and working in New York, who recently came back to Bulgaria to reconnect with friends and relatives. Paskova received a Pulitzer grant for her photography works.

She talked about the largely felt nostalgia for the so-called socialist times in Bulgaria prior to 1989. The photographer pointed out that talking politics has been a lifelong habit for her and her family.

Her grandfather had been sent to a political prisoner camp in the 1950s because he refused to abide by the rules of the ruling Socialist party. after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 her family received political asylum in the US.

Coming back home after 25 years has been an interesting experience for her, but not necessarily positive, as she noted that the transition to democracy has not led to the promised prosperity.

''It pained me to note a weariness, hopelessness and ennui, so standard in the Bulgarian passerby that it becomes routine,'' Paskova said. ''I hoped I’d find a bit more hope and a bit more faith in democracy, and find that the country was working better, but, unfortunately, almost every single person I talked to communicated to me a lack of hope in political leadership and democracy.”

She, however, remained hopeful that the democratic process in the country will continue.

The photo essay is available here

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Tags: Bulgaria, photographer, democracy, Yana Paskova, USA, Pulitzer grant, socialism
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