- Cultural Heritage

Why do we need culture?:

Traditional communities and behavior models have been disintegrating; some have already become anachronistic. World-scale changes in our societies are so dynamic and unpredictable that they pose serious challenges to the capacity of inpiduals or groups to adapt. It has become increasingly difficult for groups to identify themselves on the basis of enduring, traditional interconnections. Identities seem to be ever more focused on personal choices, unfettered by long-lasting relationships and commitments. The structures, institutions and interactions fundamental to any society—family, matrimony, class oppositions and pisions, intergenerational, intersexual and interspecies relations—have undergone drastic transformations. At the same time, the necessity for new sustainable models of social behaviour, interaction and coexistence has become increasingly acute on all levels of social interrelations.

The need for communal belonging and sharing, however, often conflicts with the isolation and alienation stemming from the hyper inpidualization of our communities. The increasing geographical, economic and cultural mobility brought along by globalization processes has created further challenges to preserving established communities. Moreover, these processes prevent inpiduals from maintaining organized forms of shared life. The new inpiduals, who reject (and become ever more incompatible with) traditional norms, institutions, values and models of communal life, turn into institutions in themselves, and it is their calling to construct the new communities and norms of their world. There emerge communities developing new kinds of ‘common life.’ Some of them categorically break with tradition, others categorically return to it, still others rediscover it, attempt to modernize it and hand it down to future generations.

The ‘New Communities in Europe: Between Past and Future’ Traveling University invites us to reflect on the present and evolution of living in communities. Participants will get introduced to specific local examples of new and traditional communities in Northwestern Bulgaria. These communities have the advantage of being examined in their natural environment.

In parallel, participants will learn about other such communities in Europe and around the world, based on the principle of intentional communities: ecovillages, cohousing,residential land trusts, income-sharing communes student co-ops, spiritual communities, and other projects where people live together on the basis of explicit common values.

Still more examples will be drawn from some of the newest types of communal life in Bulgaria: from social networks such as the Food Co-op and Bg-Mamma movements, to civic groups and environmental protection networks such as the For the Nature Coalition and the Save Irakli civic group, to the new forms of ‘informal formal’ association such as our own Place for Future education network.

Last but not least, our Traveling University will stir us to debate and reflect.

Why do new communities emerge? How do they attract young or educated people? Can we discern, past their obvious persity, some common principles and values? Do they offer more—or different—opportunities for personal expression? How are they related to democracy? How do communities make decisions? Do they foster a more responsible attitude to communal wealth and public responsibilities? What are their drawbacks? Can they offer solutions to the crisis of community and identity? Do they overcome the disadvantages of ‘living in communes’ characteristic of the ‘old’ new communities from the 19th and 20th centuries? How?

МиниизображениеLecture: ‘Local and global – Europe, Chiprovtsi and the Bulgarian Northwest Region’: Anyuta BORIN, Director of Chiprovtsi Historical Museum,



Green cities: how to save, renovate and bring back to life key urban spaces through sustainable management and development of cities’: arch. Kliment IVANOV (New Bulgarian University) and Dr. Franck DUBOIS (La Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Dijon, France )


Visiting the Kozarnika cave near the village of Oreshets (near Belogradchik), where 3 years ago, a paleoarchaeologist team found the oldest human remains in Europe (Homo erectus dating from 1.6 million years ago). Lecture by Prof. Nikolay SIRAKOV (National Institute of Archaeology with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences). Looking around the cave under the guidance of discoverers Aleta GUADELLI (University of Bordeaux IV Montesquieu,Prof. Jean-Luc Guadelli‘s wife) and prof. SIRAKOV. (In Bulgarian.)

МиниизображениеFranck DUBOIS (House of Human Sciences, Dijon, France) — Sustainable development in Dijon — best practices for sustainable urbanization: lecture at the Travelling university and Summer school for sustainable regional development ‘Place for Future: Chiprovtsi 2013′ 3-9 June 2013 Chiprovtsi, Bulgaria

МиниизображениеDr. Lilia SAZONOVA (Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, BAS) — Cultural aspects of sustainable development: lecture at the Travelling university and Summer school for sustainable regional development ‘Place for Future: Chiprovtsi 2013′ 3-9 June 2013 Chiprovtsi, Bulgaria


“Why we need a culture?” On December 8, 2010 Petar Kanev is discussing about the memory of our past and our culture, and about ecology of the cultural environment:

Unknown Vitosha: Dr. Petar Kanev talks about cultural and historical value of Dragalevtsi Monastery


Some of the unique outdoor murals in Paleologus style, Dragalevtsi Monastery