Summer is my village time. I try, as much as I can, to connect to a piece of Bulgarian culture that’s slowly fading away. And this summer, this was the invitation to participate in the The Old School Residence international art residency, which takes place each August in the village of Gorna Lipnitsa in Bulgaria.
The residency may be called “The Old School”, but it has nothing to do with a conservative style in art. Rather, it gets its name from the building where it’s hosted, the former schoolhouse of Gorna Lipnitsa (pictured above). By using the tools of contemporary art, the organizers say it aims to connect to village culture by exploring a theme related to the village. This year’s theme focuses on legends about the end of the world while understood as a new beginning: “The end as a beginning: Gorna Lipnitsa and the beginning of the world”.
The village is named Gorna Lipnitsa for the linden tree groves that used inundate the area with its aroma in spring. It’s one of the most compelling smells from my childhood that I associate with the end of the school year, when we’d pick all the linden flowers and dry it on open newspapers to replenish our stock of traditional Bulgarian linden herb tea for the winter.
Update: If you are interested in the residency, don’t hesitate to ask me how it went!