The name of my project in Sofia is Temporal Monuments. It has moved dramatically from my initial intention of doing video projections on buildings. Living in Sofia for a few months I have become increasingly aware of people begging in the streets, selling flowers on the corners or plying any kind of skill such as playing the accordion and dancing or carving wooden figurines.
While some might find this unsightly I see these people as survivors. I see Roma wagons cruising the streets for recyclable goods and I think about sustainability. These goods would otherwise find their way into a landfill somewhere. When there is a lack of resources sustainability becomes about survival.
These people on the streets of Bulgaria living by their wits are just making ends meet, but as a result not putting the kind of pressure on their environment most people of means do.
So this begging and hustling I see as hopeful. It’s like fishing, hoping to collect a bounty, something positive, helpful to one’s survival. It is about being opportunistic, working with what you have. In academia it’s called writing a grant proposal, here on the streets there is a more immediate and pressing need.
These are the people that I am interested in establishing a temporal monument for.