Sofia Platform is delighted to bring to your attention My Century TV – one of a kind historical video archive, collecting personal stories about the communist past in Bulgaria and the Balkan region. Just to give you a taste of the rich variety of video material they produce, we selected three special stories.
Maestro Alipi Naidenov – conductor, musician, teacher and mentor to hundreds of young Bulgarians, who crossed the Iron Curtain to follow their passion for music in Italy. Alipi chaired the Conductor Courses at the Sienna Music Academy for over three decades. Now in his 80s, he recalls a life lived in the shadow of a Communist dictatorship with its ever present ‘secret’ agents, yet always absorbed by the beauty of music, and his love for Italy.
Atidje’s story takes you back to 1973, when her family was caught up in dramatic events that no one could have dreamt would occur in the quiet, mountainous village of Kornitsa, on Bulgaria’s Greek border. The entire Muslim community stood up against the Communist government, demanded their rights, and cut the village off from the rest of the country, camping out for months in the main square. Atidje’s husband was the leader of the rebellion. When the crackdown came, she paid her price.
Newly acquired footage filmed by a British couple, holidaying in Bulgaria and their return to Croydon in London – 1978. Amateur filming by western tourists in Communist Bulgaria was rare, compared to its neighbours in the same period. Those visits were almost exclusively limited to the big tourist complexes, controlled by the State Security through its officers, agents and other vigilantes.
We give special thank you to the creators of My Century TV for sharing their work with us.