‘Smoke. Tobacco Stories’ (11 January - 28 March 2019) is an exhibition produced especially for the opening of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019 and dedicated to Tobacco City, one of ECOC’s flagship projects.
The exposition features archives, photography, video, films, literature and
Tobacco, the traditional livelihood that entered Bulgarian territories in the 17th century, started as a regional, Oriental product. It went on to grow into the driving force of rapid economic development of the young Bulgarian state, utterly transforming its cities.
Tobacco was the background on which urban life was taking shape and modernised. The tobacco industry turned the then countryfolk into city dwellers, offering them work at tobacco warehouses and cigarette factories – a process that later engulfed the Bulgarian refugees from Aegean Thrace after the string of wars between 1912 and 1918.
Peering through the gauze of cigarette smoke, one can see the onset of emancipation and feminization, the socio-cultural processes that consumed Bulgarian women at the turn of the 20th
Immersing themselves in the story, visitors will be able to hear the words of the tobacco merchants Vasil Kudoglu and Doncho Palaveev; the expert Rusi
The exhibition is arranged chronologically and thematically, starting from the National Revival period and the first years after Bulgaria's liberation in 1878. It then follows every transformation of society through its connection with tobacco, wars, protests, the Process of Rebirth in the 1980s, up to the present day as depicted in the works of Bulgaria's most prominent contemporary artists.
Check the accompanying programme of 'SMOKE. Tobacco Stories' HERE.
The topic of the first meeting and talk on 23 February 2019 was IMAGE, HISTORY, PRESENTATION. What is the visual language of history and how
Moderators: Vesela Nojarova (curator of the exhibition) /Stanislava Grueva (historian).
Watch the video (in Bulgarian) from the discussion here:
- The second meeting on 16 March was with the
topic‘IS THERE A FUTURE IN THE TOBACCO HЕRITAGE OF BULGARIA?’. Participants were Prof. Valentin Kitanov (South-West University, Blagoevgrad), Krasimira Uzunova (Regional History Museum, Haskovo), Atanas Kendev (Civil Organization ‘Asen's Fortress’), Doctor Vidin Sukarev (Regional History Museum Plovdiv). Moderators: Vesela Nojarova (curator of the exhibition) /Stanislava Grueva (historian).
Watch video from the discussion (in Bulgarian) here:
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE BULGARIAN TOBACCO INDUSTRY? – that was the topic of the third event on 23 March as part of the accompanying programme of the exhibition ‘Smoke. Tobacco Stories.’
Participants were: Prof. Christo Bozukov (Institute of Tobacco and Tobacco Products Plovdiv),
Watch the video from the meeting (in Bulgarian) here:
- On 28 March was the meeting and talk with the collector Dimitar Georgiev from the city of Silistra. In the exhibition, Dimitar Georgiev shows part of his collection of cigarette boxes, that reveals the history of the tobacco industry in Bulgaria from 1900 to 1989
Collaborating institutions: State Archives Sofia; State Archives Pleven; Ivan Vazov National Library – Plovdiv; National Museum of Military History Sofia; National Museum of History - Sofia; National Museum of Literature (Dimitar Dimov House Museum); National Museum of Technology - Sofia; National Film Archives; Regional Museum of Ethnology - Plovdiv; Regional Museum of History - Plovdiv; the museums of history in Asenovgrad, Blagoevgrad, Smolyan and Haskovo; Plovdiv City Art Gallery; Sofia City Art Gallery; the Lost Bulgaria website; Bulgarian National Television Archives; Stanimashka Fotografchiinitsa Citizen Group; Byalo More Illustration.
Consultants: Dr Mihail Gruev and Dr Boris Stoyanov.
Full gallery of all 4 rooms: https://www.facebook.com/pg/tobaccocityPlovdiv2019/photos/?tab=albums