"Manifesto" of the Cultural Orienteer

The number of asylum seekers in Bulgaria has soared in the last couple of months. At present they amount to more than 8000, 1000 of whom have already been granted refugee or humanitarian status. These developments have turned the refugee issue into a hot media and political topic on a national level. The focus has shifted, however, to the extremes of fear and the supposed threat to national security. Those who would like to settle permanently in the country, as well as those who were already living in Bulgaria at the time of the “big wave” remained invisible. In short, refugees are already present and it is unrealistic to expect that all of them will leave. They are not nomads, contrary to what is lately becoming a popular belief. We are not posing ourselves the question who will leave the country and why. What matters to us is that they are already here and are part of our society. Therefore, we would like them to become more visible and included in the societal fiber and not to remain somewhere in its symbolic periphery.

Taking into consideration the upcoming needs of refugees in Bulgaria, in the beginning of 2013, A25 Cultural Foundation undertook the task to develop a cultural orientation programme for refugees and asylum seekers. The programme foresees their involvement in various activities such as theatre attendances, movie screenings, museum visits, a literary reading, a guided tour through Sofia, and many others. We are convinced that good knowledge of the social environment and of the practices which allow for a more successful functioning in it, will enhance the capacity of refugees and asylum seekers to actively participate in Bulgarian society, thus fostering a more efficient democracy and civil society. We regard refugees and asylum seekers as a resource to the host country, economically and socially, and we strive for building up a two-way adequacy: on the part of refugees and asylum seekers, and on the part of the host society.

For the purposes of the project we have set up this blog. Hereby we will try to bring differences and similarities together, and not to divide on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political preferences, etc. The latter are popular theoretical social categories, but in everyday communication they are rather harmful. Let us build our own categories through dialogue and on the go, here and now.

Stay with us,

Ina and

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eea grants / a25 culgoral foundation

eea grants / a25 culgoral foundation