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The book has been nominated for the Les Rencontres d'Arles 2023 - Photo -Text Book Award and the Encontros da Imagem 2023 - Photobook Award.
Edition of 300
Size: 210 mm x 297 mm; inserts 180 x 267 mm; label on spine 158 x 100 mm
Spine lined with black Brillianta linen strip up to 15 mm on the front and back
8 page cover
Paper: cover: 290 grams Sirio Color Sabbia; content: 90 grams Biotop; insert: 60 Grams Melo
Offset printing; Led-UV 1/1 (black)
365 black and white photographs, photo collages, and drawings
Thread sewn binding
Concept, photography and text: Hristina Tasheva
Short story: Concerning the various faces of forgetfulness. My grandfather loved to sing, Lucette ter Borg (writer and art critic)
Photo editing: Hristina Tasheva and Edwin Stolk
Design: Collective Works, The Hague
Translation Dutch-English: Edwin Stolk; Sanne de Vries (Poem by M. van der Lubbe); Max Blokker (Short story by Lucette ter Borg)
Translation Bulgarian-English: Hristina Tasheva
Proofreading/Edit: Sanne de Vries
Printing: NPN Drukkers, Breda
Binding: Boekbinderij Patist, Zaltbommel
A flower is placed between the pages of each book, gathered during my visits to Dachau and Mauthausen concentration camp memorials.
Special thanks to: Edwin Stolk, Tasho Tashev, Petranka Ivanova and Stojanka Ruseva; Federal Court of Justice (Leipzig); Jan Malecha and Karoline Turner (Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation), Mihail Marinov (Belene Island Foundation), Plamka Boshnyakova and Dimitar Stoimenov (Archives State Agency); Nikolai Kiryakov and Anton Tonev (Coals-Pernik Ltd., mine Bela Voda), Madlena Rusanova (Byala Reka); Velina Stoykova; Annette Lubbers, Frans Lavell and Clara Rosa Nooter; Martine Stig, Frank van der Stok, Lucette Ter Borg, Astrid Dekkers, Natasha Christia and Carine Dolek.
© Hristina Tasheva 2023
"All utopias are depressing because they leave no room to chance, to difference, to those who are 'different'. Everything has been ordered; order reigns. Behind every utopia lies a great taxonomic design: a place for everything and every thing in its place."
(Georges Perec, Thoughts of Sorts)
I was born in 1976 in communist Bulgaria (1944-1989) and raised with the belief in the communist ideals: public ownership in a classless society free of capitalist oppression and ruled by the working class, where everyone contributes according to their ability and receives according to their needs; equality and brotherhood among nations; free education and healthcare; common means of production... In 1989 the communist utopian experiment came to its end in Bulgaria, followed until today by poverty, corruption, and unprecedentedly high levels of emigration toward the West.
I have been living in the Netherlands for 20 years now, which is governed by a parliamentary democracy. I walked the path from illegal immigrant to a holder of Dutch nationality and I am still struggling to find my place in society – this is the main subject of my artistic practice.
'Far away from home: the voices, the body and the periphery' is a project inspired by a heated debate that took place some time ago. In public, a Dutch citizen with an academic background asked me: "Are you a communist?"
To understand what it means to be a communist, I have chosen to place the word in its historical contexts in the Netherlands and in Bulgaria.