The Year of Our Discontent

When The Design Generates Debate

In 2011, while working on the project „My street“ in Havana, I visited Casa de las Americas – the Cuban government cultural organization. I was very surprised when I saw the „Liberta“ exhibition occupying the entire second floor of the building. What an incredible way to ignore the censorship of the government and all its associated institutions controlling the freedom of speech. Totally avoiding the print and electronic media and directly posting in the heart of socialist propaganda. Here is a small part of the exhibition.

As artists we‘ve always been interested in the relationship between text and graphics and how processing affects perception. „The Year of Our Discontent“ presents 12 important political actions that generated a wave of public discontent among my peers. We started this series of posters after the recent protests against the adopted corrections to the Forestry Law that took place at Eagles Bridge (Sofia). The local problems presented in the series of posters are indeed global problems, each of them relevant outside Bulgaria as well. We have used the direct visual language of pictograms without text. Seeing them all together in one place, We try to ignore them as a group of individual grievances and bring them out as organized „noise“. We believe that this visual perception of politically charged material places a focus on the events from last year. The lack of text provokes the audience to imagine and debate, thus creating a collective memory of what happened.

12 posters and 12 activists – each person is talking about the problem which is marked on the poster
All interviews playlist in Youtube

List of places where the project was present:

Transmediale – Berlin, Future Past – Past Future (group exhibition), January 2014
Elias Canetti – Ruse, Places and Protests (group exhibition), October 2013
Hilvaria Studio – Tilburg (Honland), Nagledna in Nederland, exhibition & screening, September 2013
Brotfabrik – Berlin, exhibition & screening, August 2013
Sofia Arsenal – Museum for Contemporary Art, exhibitions & screening, July 2013
The Fridge & Haspel – Sofia, workshop & screening, June 2013
Otec Paisii Street Festival – Plovdiv, converastion & screening, June 2013
Goat Milk Festival – Bela Rechka (Bulgaria), workshop , May 2013
Institut of Contemporary Art – Sofia, Magnet and Antimagnet (group exhibition), December 2012 & internet, November 2012

About Us
NAGLEDNA was founded in 2007. We’re based in Sofia, Bulgaria and work with like-minded collaborators worldwide. We are passionate about art and design, ready for our next challenge, confident that our next piece of work will be our best. Our work includes various art installations, multimedia and illustrations presented in Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Macedonia, Turkey and Cuba. Nagledna’s art installations are reflecting past and present, personal memories, heritage (communist) policies and urban cultures.
In 2005, Raycho Stanev (member of the studio team) won the Prize of Creative Commons for art project developed under CC License, and he had nomination in BAZA Award for Young Contemporary Art (2010). In 2008 we received the Special Award of the Union of Bulgarian Artists in the First Biennale of Bulgarian Design, and in June of 2010 we arranged an installation with critical debate about DNA and migration in Birmingham – part of BASS festival. The Studio participated in 12th Istanbul Biennial of contemporary art. This year we had a presentation with debate about the Bulgarian communist heritage in BKC Berlin, installation for ArtUp, Goethe-institut in Ankara. The team accomplished the “Bright Future Project” as a part of Sofia Contemporary – а festival for contemporary art in Sofia.

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