Fading

5 February 2014 text Nikola Shahpazov, photho Vladimir Tonashevich
Without its people, a house is soulless, result of good used building materials. Based on the same (or close enough ) position, the team of the project Fading Sofia explores inhabited and uninhabited crumbling buildings of Old Sofia - not the beautiful facades, but the shadows of all their residents, thousands of stories that still roam them, like ghosts from Dickens story .
Regardless of the slightly melancholic sound of the idea, two of the most active researchers of Fading Sofia - Tzveti Slavcheva and Nevena Germanova insist that the project is driven mostly by enthusiasm, beauty, optimism and the stories throw especially interesting light on the many unknown sides of the city that we love.


Let's start the story from the beginning. What is Fading Sofia?
Nevena: It all started as an academic project in the Department of Sociology of the University of Sofia. Basing the idea that the city has many run-down houses that maintain its architectural value, but lost their place here because we do not know their stories. We wanted to tell about of these houses before they disappear. Because the disappearance of each makes a part of city's history go away. At first we walked around the center mapping and photographing. Finally we ended up with a total of 300 places, so we needed to find a clear benchmark against which to select only some of them.
Tzveti: After all we decided that our criterion is the lack of inhabitants. Subsequently it turned out that although it seems totally abandoned, a large part of the houses has residents. , our criterion does not worked, but we met some interesting people.

The project involved a total of 19 people, and you two are in the subdivision Researchers. What does that mean?
H: We've searched archival records, records of the houses, which stand at the National Institute of Immovable Cultural Heritage .
W: At times we come across a case in which we could restore some of the history of the property. But most interesting is to go to the place where you can find neighbors, current residents or if we're lucky - the real owner, who agrees to tell us something.

 

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