22.11.2015

When the 'Red Army' goes Pink: Remodeling Bulgarian Public Monuments in Times of Civic Unrest by Kiril Avramov

In the past few years the Bulgarian capital city saw massive social unrest becoming a scene of different types of continuous protests. All of them attempted to conquer and remodel the "sacred" urban power landscape and its monuments. In this paper I will argue that graffiti as an alternative “low –tech” political communication stream and specifically its function, as a mechanism for revival and return of “forgotten” issues back into the mainstream public discourse, served as powerful „antidote” to the mainstream public and private mass media “selective blindness” due its opaque ownership structure, concentration and constant deterioration of media pluralism and freedom. In addition the paper will attempt to demonstrate the stages of evolution of simple urban political graffiti and stencils to complex rearrangement of urban landscape in synchrony with the increasing complexity of local political confrontation and its transformation from purely internal to foreign policy scandals provoking sharp diplomatic reactions.