The series of my photographic work, "The Rhodopes" records the Rhodopes Mountains and its surrounding villages, combining landscapes and exterior images of dilapidated buildings within my home country Bulgaria. Within the last few decades, countries in Eastern Europe have experienced major economic and political change. The shifts between many being part of the Soviet block under communist rule to now being run within a capitalist system and part of the European Union, has had a significant impact socially, economically, and culturally. Lack of employment opportunities, resulting in mass migration, has resulted in an exodus from many rural areas. The genesis of my project stemmed from a desire to know more about my country by exploring the regions I have never visited before. The work explores the culture and rhythms of rural life. Notions of time are expressed through the crevasses of the mountains and the cracks of ruined houses, symbolizing a sense of absence. Traces of a forgotten past reside in the silence of the land. My work aims to investigate issues raised about migration to big cities and its impact on sequestered village life.
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