“Cyrillization” is a flagship project and a highlight in the programme of European Capital of Culture Plovdiv 2019.
Plovdiv is the first European capital of culture which uses the Cyrillic alphabet. By highlighting the diversity of different European cultures, the project is most closely aligned with meeting the core criteria of the European Capital of Culture initiative - the European dimension.
Concept of the project
The main concept of the project is the popularization of Bulgarian forms of Cyrillic fonts, the use of the ECoC initiative as a platform for popularisation and the official introduction and adoption of Bulgarian fonts, as well as the transformation of the urban environment by applying the tools of design.
The implementation of the project will be done using use the tools of literature, translation, font, design, conceptual text and visual media. The project will be carried out by external curators in cooperation with the Bulgarian cultural institutes, embassies, schools and universities on a local and international level. Major collaborators to in the project are also the representatives of the cultural industries, working in the fields of graphic design and typography. Planned to be realized within the project are also traveling exhibitions in the country and abroad.
Project's development in 2017
- From May 23rd to June 10th, 2017, as part of the project and on the occasion оf May 24th - the Day of Slavonic Scripture and Culture in Bulgaria, a series of events was organized - "Together within Bulgarian Cyrillic" - this included exhibitions and an open workshop dedicated to the history of the fonts, together with the National Academy of Arts - Sofia, House of Culture "Boris Hristov" - Plovdiv, and the Association of Plovdiv artists. The exhibitions celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Prof. Dr. Vassil Dimitrov Yonchev (teacher, artist, theoretician and founder of the Bulgarian Art School) and the 120th anniversary of the National Art Academy. The exhibition presentеd the significant place held by the great investigator of the history and development of Bulgarian alphabets in Bulgarian culture and its role as the founder of the academic education in font and calligraphy for the shaping of the contemporary view of the graphic form of the Bulgarian writing system. The exhibition presented the "Bulgarian School of Art" - four generations of artists from the 1950s to the present day and works of students from the Master's program "Font" at the Department of "Book and Print Graphics" realized during the educational process at the National Academy of Arts. Part of the exhibition was an open lesson about the handwriting font, the characteristics of the graphical trace, the names of the font types, the Bulgarian font family classification system, our font culture and the way of the contemporary Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet - the new official alphabet in the European Union's communication system.
Detailed information can be found at www.facebook.com/events/1429517133808695.
Project's development in 2018
At the beginning of February 2018, an “Open Call for financing project proposal. Small Projects: Events and Community Participation” aimed at small projects by independent cultural operators focusing on three of the leading projects in the programme of Plovdiv 2019 - "Mahala", "River of Imagination " and "Cyrillization" was announced. The implementation period covers both 2018 and 2019.
The Open Call is dedicated to the objectives of ECoC 2019 to support the implementation of small projects, to stimulate community participation, to attract and develop cultural activities in neighborhoods and alternative spaces in Plovdiv.
Detailed information about the Open Call can be found at - plovdiv2019.eu/en/opencall/239-open-call-small-projects.
The results and approved projects will soon be announced.
On 24th May 2018, a month-long celebration, commemorating the beginning of the Cyrillic alphabet project within the framework of the official programmе of European Capital of Culture 2019 will take place in Plovdiv.
And the events throughout the whole year are:
- 11 - 30 May, 2018. Plovdiv 2019 together with Matera 2019, the Bulgarian Embassy in Italy and the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Rome organize a campaign dedicated to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. The project presents the Bulgarian history and the most remarkable cultural monuments of Plovdiv in a new interactive way with a special emphasis on the Cyrillic alphabet.
- 18 - 25 May 2018. Days of the Bulgarian Culture in Padua are organized in Padua, Italy. The organizers are Foundation "Confizerchenti”, Association AES-ССС, and Chitalishte "Aleko Konstantinov – 1954” Plovdiv. A series of cultural events will familiarize the Italian audience with the achievements of the Bulgarian culture. The programme includes two exhibitions – icons and Bulgarian embroidery (embroidery and ornamentation by team "Rositsa Chukanova" at chitalishte “Aleko Konstantinov – 1954” and readings of works by Bulgarian poets and writers.
- In May 2018. As part of the events of the "Cyrillization" project, a module from the international forum "Typofest" 2018 will be held in Plovdiv. Conferences, meetings, discussions, trainings and exhibitions will be organized within the festival. His programme in Plovdiv is on 26th May - a conference in Plovdiv Drama Theater, followed by an open discussion on "Graphic Identity as an Instrument for Communication of Cultural Institutions". Details can be found at www.facebook.com/typofest/ and typofest.bg/program.
- 16 - 30 May 2018. "Word and Drawings, Light and Sound" project of the "Pamet" Foundation. The special "Spaces of Speech" on Stefan Stambolov Square, in front of the Municipality, will make the young people familiar with the works of the artist Boris Dimovski and one of the most beloved Bulgarian authors Nikolay Haytov. "Space of Speech" is aimed at children of all ages who will be able to join a series of creative workshops and will be invited to communicate with each other through the Cyrillic alphabet.
- 23 May - 24 August, 2018. At 51 Raiko Daskalov St. there will be an exhibition of images from "The Cyrillic Court of Pliska", initiated by Karen Aleksanian.
- In May 2018. The first series of calligraphy workshops for students of all ages starts in “Aleko Konstantinov – Plovdiv” chitalishte.
- October - November 2018. The project "Beautiful Letters" by “Prolibris” Foundation in partnership with Chitalishte “Aleko Konstantinov 1954” Plovdiv, Chitalishte "Vazrazhdane 1983“ and Association "Paralelen svyat“. This project will allow its participants to enjoy the handwriting experience and enjoy the beauty of the Cyrillic alphabet. For this purpose, three practical calligraphy classes will be held, where participants will have the opportunity to use calligraphic tools and techniques and to touch the art of calligraphy.
- May - October 2018. There is a creative workshop for Bulgarian letters and words, united in the project of Aleko Konstantinov 1954 - "For the letters". The events included in the project are:
Workshop "Creative Writing" – 4th May to 30th October 2018
Workshop "Calligraphy" – 11th May to 30th October 2018
"Alphabet Prayer"– Creating a contemporary rewritten text based on the work of the Old Bulgarian writer Konstantin Preslavsky, which will present the letters in words and drawings and a clip of the new work. Students from the Creative Writing workshop will participate in the creation of the new "Alphabet Prayer". The new text will be decorated with calligraphic letters written by the participants in the workshop "Calligraphy".
"Today for the Letters" – Literary creativity contest: a poem, an essay, a narrative, a story, etc. for students and young adults up to 18 years Announcement of results – 1 November 2018
"For the Letters" – Final event including: awarding the winners of the "Today for the Letters" competition and literary reading with the participation of 10 Plovdiv authors on the topic "The Word and the Letters" – 1 November – National Awakening Day.
- September 2018. Chitalishte "Antim I 1937" - Plovdiv organizes Creative "Writing and Creativity" for children from 10 to 14 years of age, aiming at the step by step creative creation of an original work.
- From June 2018 to December 2019. The project "The Genius poet Yavorov" of chitalishte “Iskritsa 1901”, Skobelevo village, Dimitrovgrad municipality. On the occasion of 140th anniversary of the birth of the poet there will be two national creative and recitative competitions, a movie screening, literary meetings, and musical programmes. From June 30th, you will be able to join the National recitation contest of poetry by Yavorov – "Under the Shadows of the Clouds", and in 2019 a poetry writing competition is planned. The main program related to "Yavorov Memorial Celebrations" will take place in the village of Skobelevo.
- July 2018 - September 2019. Chitalishte "Trud Georgiev 1868“ from Svezhen village, Brezovo municipality, presents their project “The Cyrillic in the Bulgarian Handwritten Book and the Adzhar Literary and Calligraphic School”. In the village of Svezhen, the first theoretical and practical activities for children and adults, connected with the Adzhar Literary School, movie screenings and visits to historical places in the region will start. The events will take place in 2018 and 2019 on the summer days between June and September in the village of Svezhen. The lectures and practical exercises are designed to outline the specifics of the Bulgarian handwritten heritage of the Middle Ages.
You can find our brochure for Cyrillization's events here.