Women in Bulgarian cinema through the eyes of Boryana Rossa

Goethe-Institut's gallery presents a large-scale art and research project by the artist

Photo: Boryana Rossa

The art and research project Detour: Women in Bulgarian Cinema by artist Boryana Rossa will be presented at the gallery of Goethe-Institut in Sofia from 9 until 30 July. The exhibition will show the project, which Rossa spent several years working on, in its entirety for the very first time.

In the form of a video installation, this solo project combines interviews with 11 women from different occupations, in which they analyse the female characters in six Bulgarian films from the period between 1945 and 2019: The She-Wolf (1965), Detour (1967), Monday Morning (1968), The Last Word (1972), Seamstresses (2007) and Voevoda (2017). To help viewers immerse themselves in the films' content, Rossa has created an animation of drawings, some of which are put on display at the gallery to shape the environment. The project is also accompanied by a compilation of interviews with famous people from the film industry, in which they talk about the role of gender in their creative work. Those conversations took place in 2008 as part of an academic research Boryana Rossa did on the subject.

In her project, Rossa follows the history and evolution of female characters in Bulgarian cinema, the social issues they reflect or criticise, as well as the role models they promoted at the time. The vehicle for this journey are several modern women from different generations. In the process, questions about the regression observed in some areas of women's emancipation in Bulgaria, which has become especially noticeable since the mid-1990s, come to the surface. Last but not least, the project reinforces the idea that women's rights should not be taken for granted, that other women, and men, had to fight for them in the past.

In addition to seeing the exhibition, visitors will be able to take part in a related film club on 13 July, during which Boryana Rossa will present her project, show clips from a selection of films and have a discussion with the audience.

The project is realised with the support of the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Bulgarian Fund for Women. Parts of it were shown in the group exhibition Everything is Fine at the Credo Bonum Gallery in Sofia in 2020.

Learn more about Boryana Rossa's projects at http://boryanarossa.com.

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