A mixture of fascinating landscapes, depopulated villages, abandoned buildings and obituaries – this is how a big part of the Bulgarian countryside looks like twenty four years after the collapse of the Eastern European socialist system in 1989.
The process of depopulation started back in 1946 with the socialist industrialization and collectivization, when the private land had been taken away by the state. As a result many of the village people headed towards cities and towns in search of job and home. The abandonment of rural areas couldn’t be stopped even when democracy finally won in 1989 and the land was returned to its owners.
During the summer of 2013 I crisscrossed the countryside and met some village inhabitants – elderly and lonely individuals – who invited me to their homes and showed me their customs.