I often wonder: if walls could speak – what would they say?

About the life that happens, about the people that are around; about the locals and us, the foreigners, tourists and vagabonds that pass by…? Most often, the visitors who come around, (not travelers!) don’t see the whole picture they are drawn into. They only prefer to see the sunny side of Balchik, the one where everything appears to be rosy, perfect and immaculate. But there is also a dark one. The side, that no one wants to meet –

Empty pools near hotels, ancient columns that are holding nothing but sky, doomed balconies that never met their Juliette, and random mattresses lying in the grass near an art museum, with a view to the sea ahead…  I perfectly understand that I will never get to know Balchik as clear as the locals do, but, by the time I am there, I decided to look behind. To find the splendid where it is not (or, appears not to be).  To see past the surface. To embrace the beauty in the beast itself.

This is the story about The Beautiful and The Abandoned. It is not just only about the places that are abandoned or the animals that are lost in them. It is also about the radical contrasts, the bipolar sides of Balchik, the well-organised chaos on streets and the unnoticed, un-occurring life that still goes on there, even when people have left it behind. It is about the wounds that are open.  And, after all, it is about them – the people of Bulgaria and their way of thinking, living and practising the art of being so comfortable in an utter chaos around.

Photos: Laima Dūda, Barbara Gobec

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