Together with the Foundation, we carried out a series of creative workshops with the cyanotype technique. This led to the creation of our latest project - THE MAGIC CYANOTYPE - additional creative education through play, lenses, and objects. The workshops took place in the period November 2021 - June 2022 and introduced young artists to photography as art, immersing them in this visual magic and fascination of the experiment.

Children received disposable black and white cameras in the month of February, with which to film their daily life. With the help of photographers Boryana Pandova, Ivan Donchev, and Mikhail Novakov, we turned their story into a collection of mini books, photographs, and portraits produced as tinted cyanotypes. Most refugees and migrants have difficulty integrating into society. In recent months, we have seen an even stronger division of society - on the one hand, we see broad civic support for newly arrived refugees, and on the other hand, the prejudice that they take the work of the natives, and that they only want to receive benefits, are part of our daily lives.

A little background for the kids

The organizers work with 15 refugee and migrant children of school age, who still have a poor command of the Bulgarian language. This makes it difficult for them to communicate and prevents them from fully connecting with others. In the project, they include eight boys and seven girls, who are enrolled for the first or second year in a Bulgarian school.

All of them are from families that have decided to settle permanently in Bulgaria. The level of Bulgarian language proficiency of the parents is weaker than that of the children, therefore they have great difficulty in helping them directly. In their countries of origin, some of them have completed higher education, others on average, but there are also those who, due to traditions and the situation in the respective country attended school for only a few years or not at all. This makes learning a new language easier or harder, respectively. Those of them who know the educational process and have participated in it, orient themselves more quickly in life in the Bulgarian school.

Photos: ©Iliyan Ruzhin 

The project was implemented according to the program Socially engaged arts of the National Culture Fund, Bulgaria.