Sofia Underground 2016 – Inner Conflicts

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Sofia Underground ’16 – a festival for performance and border art forms – has just finished its 12th edition, built over the concept Inner Conflicts and realized between 19 and 24 April in a few various locations in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria. The program of the event presented over 60 artists, coming from 13 different countries. It was created through the selection of this year’s festival curator – Ivaylo Ivanov, who has chosen the participants stepping on an open call for artist acts based on the announced concept.

The main program of the festival, the so called Underground, happened in two following days in the weekend, taking place in the industrial underground space of the Electro-control hall of the National Palace of Culture (near its building Lumiere Cinema), which for a second subsequent year the organizers of the event manage to integrate due to the needs of the independent contemporary cultural practices.

The intensive and rich program presented various performance acts – diverse in character and expressiveness, while enduring from 7 p. m. on Friday and 5 p. m. on Saturday till 3 a. m. during the night, slowing transforming in a culminating way to content of audio-visual performances in the field of electronic music and media arts. As in previous years, this time again, in addition to the program of performances to the attention of the public, were presented a screening program of video art works and a few art installations.

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Following its already somehow established status of a platform, which is presenting and connecting independent artists in the field of contemporary art practices, in ’16 Sofia Underground again managed to set a program, balanced between Bulgarian and foreign participants, as well as between established and emerging artists, thus encouraging their interaction and sharing of experience, while supporting the development of the local art scene. The involvement of the audience, which is another important focus in the programming of the event, in this edition of the festival was provoked by the interactive performances as well as through the special supporting program of the festival.

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The warming up part of the program, named Higher ground, gave the audience the opportunity to attend some introductory for the discourse of the event lectures and artist talks by local and guest artists. They were held at the places of the NG / Sofia Arsenal Museum for Contemporary Art (in which collection actually, is included the documentation of the first editions of Sofia Underground), also, the “Man and Earth” National Museum and the “Red House” Centre for Culture and Debate. Sofia Underground 2016 ended with a post-program, named Overground, within which metaphorically, as a representation of a kind of a sociocultural “inner conflict”, in the festival was integrated one, locally active during the past years, public debate and the protest related to it.


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The artists, presented at Sofia Underground 2016 – Inner Conflicts:

Andreas Mares (АТ), Andrey Hinkov (BG), Arch. Iassen Markov & Divine Design (BG/DE), Arch. Philip Bitrakov (BG), Daliah Zipper (DE), Daniela Marcozzi (IT/DE), Desislava Tsoneva-Chumma & Olga Yocheva (BG/DE), Fabiano Mixo (BR/DE), france rose & Helle Grøndahl – Art[]Gender[]Art (US/NO), Frances Kay (UK), Geeske Jansen (DE), Georgi Yamaliev feat. Nino Gomez (BG), Hilda Kahra (SE/FI), Ilina Konsulova (BG), interference (IT), Iren Petrova & Violina Ivanova (BG), Ivan Yamaliev (BG), Jacek Sienkiewicz (PL), Janine Eisenächer (DE), kek (TR), Krefer & Matsu (BR), Kristin Zlatanova & Petya Mukova (BG), Lea Pischke (DE/FR/UK), Lia Ikkos & Daniel Hernandez (UK), Luthien (VE), Marcel Sparmann (DE), Marian Tzenov & gang (BG), Martin Penev (BG), Mira Jankova (BG), Natasa Prljevic & Joshua Nierodzinski (SR/US), Nellie Borisova (BG), Olia Sosnovskaya (BY), Orlin Dvoryanov & Maya Antova-Mayoto (BG), Prodan Markov (BG/DE), Radoslav Maglov (BG), RoboKnob (BG), Ronald Bal (NL), Rositsa Getsova (BG), Sara French (IE), Veronika Prejdarova (BG), Yanko Andonov (BG), YvesO (BG), Yvonne Costa & Diogo Maia (FR/PT).

The festival Sofia Underground 2016 is realized by Studio DAUHAUS and, in cooperation with the Congress Center of the National Palace of Culture, and with the support of the Polish Cultural Institute in Sofia and Gaudenz B. Ruf Award for Contemporary Bulgarian Art. Additional support for the event was received by the European Cultural Foundation, Goethe-Institut Berlin, Goethe-Institut Munich, State Institute for Culture to the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, OCB and V/HOD – platform for documentary arts.

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The organizers are grateful to all the large number of volunteers, which actively supported the preparation and the realization of the event, as well as specially thank to for their support in our work with the volunteers.

We also thank to all artists, who participated in Sofia Underground 2016, being open and supportive and who helped us conduct a content of quality, no matter the lack of financial and institutional support, which were the conditions of the 2016 edition of the festival.

Our team is expressing gratitude to the team of DNA – space for contemporary dance and performance, which helped us in the realization of the dance performance in our program.

We are thankful to all those of you who decided to stand behind us, while doing Sofia Underground 2016. And, last but not least, we greet our special audience!

Get ready for the upcoming next explicit edition Sofia Underground 2017 – when the festival is having its 20th anniversary!

SU’16 team

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