Since the beginning of June 2004 Krug circle is working on a long-term project, called "European Cultural Youth House - Art Horizons"(ECYH), supported by the Swiss Cultural Programme Bulgaria Pro Helvetia/SDC. In addition to the project aims the local old stone school building in the village of Duzhdovnitsa, inhabited only by the Turkish minority, is transformed into a Youth House with art-hostel in the East Rodopes Mountain. In September 2005 Krug circle and the ECYH will realize the First international plein-air "Art Horizons" with the participation of artists from Canada, the USA, Hungary, Italy, France, etc.
The project is focused on the establishment of an innovative culture-informational structure for regional and European cooperation in the field of culture, youth art, and creative expression. The structure is called European Cultural Youth House and is composed of two mutually linked "Zones":
The reconstruction of the 100-years-old stone building of the school in the Rodopes Mountain village Duzhdovnitsa into a multifunctional space is an original way a common platform for the exchange of ideas between the local cultural environment and the European ethnos and cultures to be created. The heartbeat of the village turns it into an open space for art experiments of young authors from Bulgaria and abroad, into a model for a village-gallery. The inclusion of the local children, youths and adults in the activities of the reconstructed school offers them a new personal perspective, in which art and culture serve as a development factor.
The reconstructed rooms, the multifunctional space and the modern technical equipment are condition for a wide spectrum of activities that would finnaly result in the repeatedly exposure of their profits.
Former use: school for imams (until 1963); elementary school (until 1993)
Total surface of the site: 260 m2 on two levels
Location : rural
Foundation year of the centre: 2005
Type of occupation : free-lending contract for a reconstruction on Krug circle expenses
Owner of the building: Krug for the period 2003-2013 (municipal building)
Infrastructures / Facilities
The Art house in Duzhdovnitsa village is a multifunctional open space, connecting the village of Duzdovnitsa (Kurdjali region, Bulgaria) with the European cultural landscape. Technically equiped for a professional work in various fields of art - literature, translations, visual arts, art expeditions and cultural inquiries. The „Art Horizons” are 1 000 m2 green space for open artistic activities - a property of ECYH.The building already functions as a residential art center for youth cultural activities and exchange.
Krug Art Gallery in the city of Kurdjali (12 km from Duzhdovnitsa village). Since 2002 the municipal Art Gallery (96 m2) is Krug circle base. Youth club, Studio 4 x 4 and Gallery are organized in it. This is a multifunctional open space for experimental work of young Bulgarian and European authors, for literary programs and workshops. Great part of the actions, realized in the Gallery mix the means of visual arts and literary texts. Corresponding to Krug circle policy to use art and culture for art development of the social environment a series of villages from the region are periodically "installed" in the Gallery with their concrete resources. A class in visual arts (12 children _ 6 h per week) work in the Studio.
Social and artistic disciplines
exhibitions, festivals, residencies, artschools, artfairs of creative crafts, workshops, debates, movements, artschools,artfairs of creative crafts, etc.
Other structures/organisations resident on the site:
Krug ArtGallery in Kurdjali town
This project has been realised by the support of Swiss Cultural Programme Bulgaria Pro Helvetia/SDC
Krug circle is a Bluelink member since 2004 and as such it is included in the national network of NGO’s working in the field of voluntary service.
• The Mission
Krug circle, NGO, aims to investigate and to provide new art zones, including art village development, to bring young artists and poets together, to improve international relations between youngsters, to promote good art practices, new forms of communication and art publications addressing young people and to develop greater understanding of the creative process amongst communities across Europe and the Balkans. Since 1998 we have worked together with Dutch, Macedonian, Japanese, Swiss, Italian, German, Czech, Greek, and Turkish organizations and young artists and poets.
• Activities, history
Krug circle is youth art movement (ArtMovement Krug circle), which consists of two main structures. The one is established in Sofia and since spring 1998 it publishes the literary magazine „Krug circle” for experimental literature (23 issues) accompanied by a special series of young authors’ and translators’ debute books (56 issues). The second structure is formed in 1998 in the city of Kurdjali and under the name "Art Laboratory" it unites a permanent team of 30 youths into the implementation of a series of art events, realized by ArtMovement "Krug circle" in the region. In 1999 with the support of King Baudouin Foundation two teams are formed here - for literature and visual arts.
In the period 1998-2003 they participated in a series of regional, national and international projects and are part of all the activities of ArtMovement "Krug circle" (educational, festival, literary, street theatre, etc.). Participation in: European cultural month, "Plovdiv-99"; International poetry festival "Struga literary evenings", Struga, Macedonia’00; International youth festival for street theatre, Den Helder, the Netherlands’01, International cultural action "From door to door" with the participation of young authors from Kurdjali, Plovdiv, Sofia (Bulgaria) and Strumica, Skopie (Macedonia), June’02 - February’03, International youth action with 48 participants from 5 European countries, June’03, Third and Fourth international festival "Perperikon", Kurdjali’03-04. Bulgarian-Macedonian project for a documental movie „Passwords” was realized with the participation of artists and poets from both of the neighbouring countries and 3-lingual issue of the literary magazine Krug circle (with Bulgarian, Macedonian, Turkish authors) was published.
In the end of 2001 „Art Laboratory” is registered as a foundation in the city of Kurdjali. In the structure is assciated also a Youth alliance „Krug circle”. On 28th February 2002 the organization signed 5-years Contract for colloborative activities in the field of culture and art with Municipality-Kurdjali, on the virtue of which in 2002 Krug circle renovated the municipal ArtGallery (96 m2), which is now a base of the organization - including youth club, studio and gallery. On 12th June 2003 the organization signed 10-years Contract with the Municipal council-Kurdjali for the reconstruction of the old ruined school in the village of Duzhdovnitsa, in order to transform it into an European Cultural Youth House (ECYH) - open platform, connecting contemporary art and the social development of the region. Peter Keizer from the Dutch "Richter" foundation is author of the name of ECYH.
• The Region
The Dujdovnitza village is situated in the East_rn Rodophes close to Kurdjali town, central city in the region. The local population is 120 people with Turkish ethnic beground. The region is especially interested with its multiethnic characteristic, because for decades it has been a place where both Bulgarians and Turks have lived. The Turks are almost 100 % of the local village people and they have their characteristic holidays, customs and folklore.
The major part of the villages have been deserted, as in the 80’s hundreds of families have been displaced in Turkey during the so-called “Renaissance period”, when by means of political terror and trials the communists led by force the process of the renaming the Bulgarian Turks. Since then, this question and the results are still a subject of hot discussions and a painful topic of conversation. Many of the deserted houses in the region are half-devastated - a kind of symbolic sign of the dramatic past and the miserable presence.
This site - near to the Bulgarian-Greek and Turkish border - has its own unique rich historical past and many unexplored cultural and archeological monuments and places of interest. The medieval stone city Perperikon is situated nearby.