The way Bulgaria feels and looks is anything but socialist. And in this changing part of southern Europe there are few places that have been renewed and invested in as much as Yambol – a small town in the Thracian Valley, an hour inland from Burgas on the Black Sea.
But still, in a few corners of Yambol survive some symbols of the Communist era – a left-behind but quite recent past. A brutalist building, just off the central Targovska street, still houses an art gallery. The square outside the gallery is only two minutes from the town’s old central post office, at one end of Rakovska street. And then there are all sorts of decades-old murals, mosaics and shop signs, which look more and more jarring with every sparkling new cafe that opens up next to them.
Communism is an aesthetic now. These days Bulgarians walk past the past without noticing… … More Yambol, Bulgaria in photographs – part two: Living in the past
In the scorching heat of summer in the Black Sea basin, the centre of Yambol – a town of 70,000 people in Bulgaria’s south-east – is a soothing blend of elegantly painted buildings, serene blue skies and pretty tree-lined avenues. From morning until night her two main streets – Rakovska is new and trendy; Targovska is old and tranquil – are full of people, young and old, basking in the shade of outdoor cafes. … More Yambol, Bulgaria in photographs – part one: Summer shade
Yerevan used to feel like the most relaxed city in the world – until the week I was caught up in Armenia’s revolution. … More Yerevan, April 2018: Memories of the Armenian Revolution
It was lunchtime at Chorsu Bazaar, and the wooden benches of the choykhona were filling up with hungry families. The room was dark from the smoke of cigarettes and shashlyk. I took a space opposite an older middle-aged couple, sitting with a boy of about six. … More A miracle in Tashkent
One of my photographs from Azerbaijan, taken in the courtyard of Baku’s Şəhidlər Məscidi (Martyr’s Mosque), is being displayed in the online exhibition ‘Top 25 Artworks of Eurasia’. This exhibition is organised by the Eurasian Creative Guild, and features paintings and photographs by artists from Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. … More A photograph from Baku, Azerbaijan in the exhibition ‘Artworks of Eurasia’
About half an hour outside Ulan-Ude is a vast forest park, dotted with model villages, representing the traditional cultures of the peoples who live in this part of Siberia – the Buryats, Evenks and Old Believers. The park is called the Ethnographic Museum of the Peoples of Transbaikalia, but it is more than a museum. … More The prize-winning camel of Ulan-Ude