Тhis spring, once again some of the most beautiful buildings in the capital will be part of the LUNAR’s program. One of them will be the created by architects Petko Momchilov and Friedrich Grünanger Central Municipal Mineral Bath, today – Regional History Museum – Sofia. In addition to being illuminated by a fascinating video 3D mapping show, the facade will also be a highlight of LUNAR’s program because it is the capital’s building whose architecture has sparked the imagination of artists from 12 countries. This will happen during first International Video Mapping Competition, organized by MP-STUDIO in partnership with the European Parliament in Bulgaria.
We talk to Teodor Stoychev, head of the Bureau of the European Parliament in Bulgaria, about what visitors can expect and why it is important to pay attention to the themes told through light art.
This year is the European Year of Skills. What do you think are the important skills that we cannot do without today and in the future?
The theme of our participation in the festival this year – We are Skills- aims to draw attention to the European Year of Skills, which will start on 9 May 2023 and last for 12 months. The idea of this initiative is to promote talent and improve the skills and qualifications of EU workers, increase their competitiveness and mobility, paying special attention to the integration of disadvantaged groups. This will contribute to the creation of quality jobs and overcoming some mismatches between the skills demanded and offered on the labor market, including in the digital аrea.
In the rapidly changing labor and technology world, some of the most important skills of the future will be those that are more difficult to automate: critical thinking and problem solving, adaptability and flexibility, emotional intelligence, digital and financial literacy, creativity and innovation. The combination of hard and soft skills is always winning and brings with itself many positives. The ability to demonstrate leadership in important situations, giving and receiving feedback and constructive criticism, language and communication skills – all of these are applicable and important, regardless of the professional area. The ability to work in a team, adaptability and empathy are also not far behind.
This is the fifth projection mapping show to mark Europe Day since 2017. We are used to seeing many different themes presented by you through this art. What is your message this year?
This year the concept is focused on our desire to inspire people to use their full potential, but also to empathize the socially significant issues, while at the same time we want to recall what the values of the European Union are – respect for human dignity and human rights, freedom, equality, democracy and the rule of law. Although the narrator in this year’s show is artificial intelligence – a topic that is also at the focus of attention of the European Parliament – we want to emphasize the role of the human at the center of everything. Our message is about how to update ourselves and the world around us to live together in peace and prosperity.
How does the celebration of the Europe Day in Bulgaria differ from its marking in other member countries?
9th of May is marked with various themed events and celebrations across Europe that promote the goals and values of the European Union. In Bulgaria, we have created a tradition of celebrating Europe Day with large-scale audio-visual spectacles on iconic public buildings to convey messages that unite us in today’s world of big differences. Last year, our mapping show became part of an even bigger event: the LUNAR Festival of Lights, which attracted an audience of nearly half a million people. After the long period of social isolation after the pandemic, this extremely large-scale public event for the widest possible audience showed us again the meaning of being together and joining forces for common causes. We hope that this year’s edition of the festival will be even stronger.
In the upcoming edition of LUNAR, something very exciting will happen for artists around the world – you give them the opportunity to create their own video mapping works for one of the most beautiful facades in the capital – that of the Regional History Museum – Sofia. Why is the organization of such an international competition important?
The European Parliament in Bulgaria supports the competition for light artists, because through it the Bulgarian public will have the opportunity to work with the incredible possibilities of this type of art, through which the messages can reach the audience on an emotional level. This competition gives a platform to artists from all over the world who can tell stories and provoke the imagination. At the same time, they also get a chance to show what they are capable of and be noticed by becoming part of something large-scale and significant and thus, placing our capital alongside some of the most innovative cities in the world.
The Regional History Museum – Sofia is located in a place symbolizing religious and ethnic tolerance, as an Orthodox and a Catholic church, a mosque and a synagogue coexist in very close to each other. Thanks to the light projection, audience will be able to rediscover the beauty of this building, which is a cultural monument of national importance.
What is your message to the artists who are currently creating their artworks?
To continue developing their skills, experiment and surpass themselves. To create impressive light art that inspire the audience. To remember that they are part of something bigger – a community of creatives who are changing the world.
About Teodor Stoychev:
Teodor Stoychev has been the Head of the Bureau of the European Parliament in Bulgaria since March 2016. He graduated from the 9th French High School in Sofia, has a Bachelor’s degree in History from Sofia University and a Master’s degree in History of International Relations and European Integration from the Robert Schumann University in Strasbourg. His previous experience includes working as an editor and editor-in-chief of various media, and since 2008 he has been a Press Officer for the European Parliament in Brussels and then in Sofia.