Interview

Kitchen Conversations with Krasimira Butseva She is a Bulgarian visual artist, currently based in the UK

Krasimira Butseva is a Bulgarian visual artist, currently based in the UK. Her entire body of work explores the Eastern European trauma, history and memory through photography, moving image and writing.

Apart from teaching the BA Photography course at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, Krasimira is also a co-founder of Revolv Collective –  a platform exploring alternative methods for teaching and creating photography. 

Additionally, in line with the topics discussed during Kitchen Conversations, Krasimira is a co-editor of EEP Berlin  – an online magazine striving for an increased visibility of contemporary visual artists from Eastern Europe. 

During our Kitchen Conversations, we mainly talked about her long-term research examining the history of political violence exercised across socialist Bulgaria. One of the projects, “Operation Thunder,” tells the story of the operation led by Bulgarian State Security in 1958 in Sofia. During the action, a big group of young people got arrested for the sake of wearing skinny trousers and listening to the forbidden Western music.

The two other works we discussed, “Balkan mine” and “Balkan ours,” are a result of a three-year-long study of the gulag history in Bulgaria. Through the mesmerising but unsettling infrared-like imagery, Krasimira revisits the former  labour camps and tells the stories of the few remaining survivors. 

Artist website: krasimirabutseva.co.uk

Insta: @krasimirabutseva

Archival photo, arrested in 1958
Krasimira Butseva, Moskovska 5
Krasimira Butseva, Balkan ours, Forced labour camp Lovech
Krasimira Butseva, Balkan ours, Forced labour camp Lovech

About The Author

Patrycja
Rozwora

Artist and writer. Studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Critical Studies Department at the Sandberg Institute. Her ongoing research relates the post-Soviet countries. In 2020, she launched a podcast series called ‘Kitchen Conversations.’

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