Radar Sofia had a very intense spring-summer 2019 period, starting in March with a presentation of the Drama Pact platform to Bulgarian playwrights and theatremakers.
In April, Radar Sofia became part of the Artist at Risk network of Europe, a chain of organisations dedicated to help creators who have been persecuted or threatened in their own countries because of their art.
The first resident under this programme was Ukrainian visual artist Spartak Khachanov who took part in the spring edition of Sofia’s Pocket Festival of Small Forms (in May), where he also had an artist talk, and, later, was selected to participate in Sofia Art Week in June, as organised by our partners from Aether.
In June we had another resident coming: Zhang Xian, a Chinese dissident writer, who held a workshop presenting his method at Goethe Institut Bulgarien.
The Real Black Box.
Zhang Xian at the National Radio
Zhang Xian had a performance at the end of his stay, at the premises of Radar Sofia, but, in accordance to his method it was carried out in near complete darkness, and photographs were not allowed.
These are part of the artefacts that remained from it.
In June-July we had another resident, Achim Wieland (Germany-Cyprus), who showed us in a workshop how to connect visual input and dramaturgy.
During his stay, the Drama Pact had one of its modules, Second Reads, invited as part of the Small Season festival at the Sfumato Theatre, where also Italian playwright Marco di Stefano took part (July).
In the meanwhile Radar Sofia chairman Alexander Manuiloff represented Bulgaria as a cultural operator at the triennial forum KULTURSYMPOSIUM WEIMAR 2019, organised by Goethe Institut Germany. The Goethe-Institut hosted the second international cultural symposium in Weimar from the 19th to the 21st of June 2019 under the title “Recalculating the Route”. More than 300 participants from all over the world were selected to come to Weimar to discuss the great upheavals of our time and only one from Bulgaria.
In August our residents Leo Williams and Eleonora Edreva had a presentation at Aether gallery and also a round of their Eau Doom dramaturgy of smells game at the British Council in Sofia.
Then we had an open call for short texts from younger Bulgarian authors and together with our September resident Simona Semenic we built an installation-performance at the Plastelin gallery. Some of the pictures finally find their way on our website, too:
In the second half of 2019 Drama Pact’s co-founder Yasen took part in residency programs at Treasure Hill and ADAM Artist Lab in Taipei, Taiwan, Seanse in Volda, Norway and La Caldera in Barcelona, Catalonia, gave public workshop and developed both new solo and collective versions of the physical work NUTRICULA, developed “Rehearsal for the present”, a participatory public performance in collaboration with HK artist Ip Wai Lung during ADAM Annual meeting at Taipei Arts Festival, participated as a guest speaker and representative of Aerowaves in the first China Contemporary Dance Biennale in Shanghai and gave a lecture entitled “How to develop an art practice in times of uncertainty” as part of the discourse program of Meteor festival in Bergen, Norway.
In the same time Drama Pact’s other co-founder Alexander had a world premiere of his new theatre text “The Decision” in Transit House in Cluj, Romania, had his play “The State” published in Paris by L’espace d’un Instant in a translation by Nathalie Bassand and with a preface by Tim Etchells (e.g.: here ) won a project by The Goethe Institut’s Cultural Management Academy in Plovdiv to form a creative exchange programme for Balkan playwrights (to be announced soon), had two performances (“The Telepathic Bar” and “The State”) in the selection of the Independent Theatre Festival of Pori, Finland, and was invited to Theaterpraxis in the 2019 edition of Mülheimer Theatertage as the first non-German writing author in the history of the 44-year-old festival.
Meanwhile, Petra Trendafilova joined our team. She just graduated from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in June 2019 and decided to come back to Sofia (because of us, of course). And here she is, already in our September performance.
Our next resident, to join our performance “The Hour of Truth” in November, is Vaiva Grainite, the Golden Lion Winner of the Venice Biennale this year.
In October we opened a call for a paid creative stay with us for the 2019/2020 season and received an abundance of applications from more than 25 countries on four continents and the final decision is coming in the next few days.