Slices of Red (2016 – ongoing)
The project explores personal and social memory in relation to Eastern European communism and the realities shaped under the totalitarian rule in Bulgaria.
In the summer of 2015 I visited a flea market in Sofia from where I bought two family albums. The images dating from the 50s and 60s of the last century, which I discovered inside appeared almost identical to my grandmother’s. Using the found photographs which were preserving the lives of two separate families, I decided to narrate the memories of my own family and portray the stories with which I have grew up. Through this work, I aim to illustrate the commonality of behaviour, belonging and experience and also create a collective narrative of the shared past.
Being born during the transition allowed me to have a different view on the events that took place before the fall of communism. The collages are portraying everyday mundane experiences but the narratives complimenting them are about control, propaganda, fear and the ways to exist in such a world, without losing one’s identity. The constructivist design used, creates a contrast between the movement’s ideology and the concept of the project, allowing the truth to slip out through the slices.
A short story from the project:
They came early in the morning, they threw us out without letting us take our jackets. We were on the street for the first time. They came again, this time they were nicer maybe because it was our home. They told us we have a few hours. That was our second time on the street. They blessed us with the chance to buy an apartment that they were about to build over our house. My roots come from that land, where now the only reminder left is a cemented hole behind the buildings.
Kraismira Butseva is a Bulgarian-born and Portsmouth-based photographer, who recently completed MA Photography with a Distinction and in 2016 she graduated from BA (Hons) Photography at the University of Portsmouth with First Class Honours. Krasimira had her work exhibited internationally in Bulgaria, England and China in the past two years.
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