At opening ceremony of exhibition in the frames of Year of Bulgaria in JINR

Culture, 30 August 2021

On 28 August 2021, a festive opening ceremony of the photo exhibition “Sozopol. Near and Far” took place in the Blokhintsev Universal Public Library. The author of the presented works is a famous travel photographer, member of the Union of Photo Artists of Russia Margarita Fedina. JINR Vice-Director Latchesar Kostov and members of the Bulgarian national group in JINR took part in the opening ceremony.

This a joint project of Blokhinka and the Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Moscow held in the frames of the Year of Bulgaria in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research.

Margarita Fedina is the winner of the award of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria presented for the contribution to the development of cultural cooperation of the two countries. She authored more than thirty personal exhibitions, six of which were devoted to Bulgaria and Sozopol. Sozopol is a small ancient seaside city in the Burgas region of Bulgaria. More than 5,000 people constantly live there. It is three times smaller than Dubna.

The author made the photos selected for the exhibition with a Hasselblad medium format camera. All photos have a 6×6 negative format (photos are square) and are black and white thus better revealing the soul of the person in the portrait. Details do not distract from the main thing.

After looking through the viewfinder, one does not want to shoot using narrow films, as Margarita Pavlovna says. “The “square” covers the exact composition that one wants to shoot.” Margarita Fedina is a photographer with a rather narrow specialisation: historical architecture and interior design. Since 2009, almost 100 books with her photos have been published in Russia, Belarus, and Latvia. Margarita Fedina cooperates with famous hotel chains, construction and restoration campaigns on a regular basis. She devotes free time to photography. “The part of my activities I have rest in is black and white film portrait,” she says.

“My friend from the university has brought me to Bulgaria as one of the options for a holiday with children,” the photo artist said about how her acquaintance with the country began. “Since 2007, I have been living there all the time with the same hosts, we are friends, very close ones. So, one day I have found myself thinking that when I come to Sozopol in summer, the host of the apartment meets me, takes me from the airport to the city, and people wave to me when recognise I feel like I am coming home. These people have really become close to me: we call each other, find out how the children and parents are doing, congratulate each other on holidays. Unfortunately, I go there less often now.”

The people captured in the photos are depicted in the natural situations of their lives. In every photo of a person, it is important to see eyes – the mirror of the soul. The previous project of Margarita Fedina dedicated to Sozopol, was called “Here is my soul…”

The photos also depict major city’s holidays of Sozopol: the summer Day of the City – the Day of St. Marina – as well as the winter one – the Day of St. Nikolay, when people recall all those who died at sea. These are the holidays that the locals celebrate all together.

The exhibition also presents photo histories of lives of the same people with a difference of 11 years: the histories of growing, becoming mature. The idea of the exhibition is to show ordinary people living there since their birth, doing their daily activities.

The exhibition will be open in the reading hall of Blokhinka until 28 September.

Photos by Maria Pilipenko,
Uliana Fomicheva, Natalya Borozna