Wonderland. This is how Bulgaria is often called in some native circles.
Wonderland, as in nothing is how and where it should be.
Say 'One to One', a renowned gay bar in Sofia. Where is it? In Bulgarian Socialist Party's (BSP) headquarters. This is at 20 Positano St, the all-times seat of Bulgarian Communist Party that in the early 90s changed its name to Bulgarian Socialist Party and decided to "give up on the strict application of Marxism".
Thus now, when night fals, at 20 Positano St one may see the surreal scene of young, torso naked males chatting and drinking on the pavement under the huge cast iron sculpture composition honouring those fallen in the fight against fascism evocatively ornating the entrance of BSPs headquarters.
To me, it was a rather unreal experience when gay friends invited me to a drag burlesque show that happened to take place at 20 Positano St, an address associated since childhood with completely different pictures - think of October Revolution military parade.
But that was just the first of the surprises. Many more followed. The drag show had an..."all female" animator wearing a wig, as if the wig will make less genuine woman of her. The devil is in the detail, they say. And this small detail is what makes of Bulgaria Wonderland for you. Then the wiged woman (BSP activist or sympathiser, I will straight speculate saying) made the following announcement : "Next week I am waiting for you at Sofia Pride. Gathering point the Monument of the Soviet Army".
- Why at the Monument of the Soviet Army? I heard my surprised voice ring in the announcements' time silence.
Stereo-surround laughter was the group answer I got. Then somebody shouted "Because this is the only army!"
Which actually reminded me where I was - drag or no drag show, be it a gay bar, I was indeed in the basement of BSP headquarters.
I was also made to reflect: In Sofia there still is ...a Monument of the Soviet Army. In its centre, in its heart....
Whilst Bulgarian communist-time monuments such as the Mausoleum of Georgi Dimitrov and the bizarre structure "1300 Years Bulgaria" were gradually dismantled; none dared touch to the this massive symbol of colonisation, The Monument of the Soviet Army. To modify and rename it.
"There is no way that I go to a Pride under the Monument of the Soviet Army", I told myself about a hundred times during the week that followed. Then being me, I did exactly the opposite. After all I have as many a gay friends in Sofia as in London, where we always go priding.
Between the two dates : 1st of June drag show and 8th of June Sofia pride I kept asking everybody I met one of the two questions:
- Why does the Party which refused to ratify the Istanbul Convention organises Sofia Pride?
In Wonderland the Istanbul Conbention is also known as the LGBT convention, despite it being a convention to protect women against violence in general and domestic violence in particular. In Wonderland the Convention's "aiming to break stereotypes " was read as "aiming to blur the boundaries between genders and create a third sex".
Hence, in Wonderland, Bulgarian Socialist Party has gathered forces with United Patriots (A coalition of nationalist parties) and Will, yet another populist, nationalistic party "that promotes friendlier relations with Moscow."
I repeat: Bulgarian Socialist Party united its effort with the whole spectrum of Wonderland's nationalistic parties so that the National Assembly does not ratify the Istanbul Convention. Thus becoming the first EU country to reject its ratification. How did we call the marriage between socialism and nationalism?
(UK didn't ratify IC either)
Some political analysts suggested that in this matter BSP chose to please their primarily elderly electorate, aligning with the nationalists in their... How was it?... Dieu Partie Famille?
So now Wonderland has a socialist party which in the daytime pleases its misses, the elderly core electorate; whilst flirting with the strongly marginalised Bulgarian LGBT community in the night time.
The misses gets the straight legislation ...the mistress gets what? ...some underground space?
Laaf though suggests that BSP's real spouse and masteress is not the elderly Bulgarian electorate (quickly vanishing on shamefully low wages and poor social and medical care), but Moscow. Moscow towards which BSP stands, once more, bend over with a bare derrière.
Now there, where is Wonderland? It's where Moscow backed socialism and nationalism unite to leave the convention to protect women against violence unsigned. Weak women = weak society. And let the naked dances around the sculpture of the Fallen in the Fight against Fascism commence.
The silver lining? As no homophobe macho will dare attack BSP's headquarters, if not my female at least my male gay friends are safe, and if not in Wonderland as a whole, at the minimum at Позитано 20 (20 Positano St.).
To be continued with:
- Sofia's Pride Picture.
- Why do we still have something called The Monument of the Soviet Army in the centre of Sofia?
A Moscowfobic Laaf under The Soviet Army Monument, Sofia Pride, 8 June 2018
This is the PAIN of Wonderland - One is obliged to be where one doesn't want to be.
No, I DON'T WANT to be under The Soviet Army any any more.
This monument combines many elements. On its centre though there is an obelisk with a composition of sculptured human figures, the central statue of which is that of a Soviet soldier with a lifted hand holding a machine-gun piercing Sofia's skies...
7 June 2019
Aleister Crowley's Magick Now Available in Bulgarian
The BOOK with Георги Zhoro Pyrko Мартинов and Soror Ligachuchu & Soror Solve et Coagula .
Aleister Crowley's Magick is now available in Bulgarian thanks to the brilliant work of Georgi Martinov aka Zhoro Pyrko and editor Angela Alexandrova.
This edition came to life with the support of Bulgaria's Heliopolis Camp - OTO and the army of Pyrko's personal fans.
The launch took place in Cinema Vlaikova on 4 June.
The book is available through: Oto-bg.org
Голямата 'Магия' на Алистър Кроули се роди на български език благодарение на титаничния труд на Георги Жоро Пирко Мартинов и редактор Анжела Александрова.
В усилието участваха активно и Хелиополис базов лагер на ОТО в България, както и отборът от лични почитатели Жоро Пирко.
Представянето се състоя в кино Влайкова на 4 юни 2019.
Книгата може да се закупи от Oto-bg.org
The Messy Picture of Moscow's Siege of Sofia in MEPs Elections Time and Its Results
This article has for purpose to show that Russia interferes in EU elections and successfully rides nationalistic movements in EU countries.
National Gallery, Sofia, 24 of May, about 4 pm
The physical presence
Bulgarian MEPs elections date was Sunday, 26 of May.
The Days of the Hermitage in Sofia initially planed to start on 27 of May were forwarded to 24 of May.
The Anniversary of Union of Bulgarian Journalist took place on 22 of May.
What's common between these events?
Nothing at first glance, for except that the last two brought with them hordes of Russians to Sofia just about the time for MEPs elections.
The Day of UBJ came with the Chairman of the Russian Union of Journalist Mr Vladimir Sovliov. There might have been other Russian guests for the occasion in different parts of the country, but I have seen this one.
The Days of the Hermitage in Sofia came with the deputy-director of the State Hermitage dr. Georgi Velunbahov and crowds of Russian archeologists and academicians.
Hence, during the days before the elections, I, while going on my usual business - art and blogging, was surrounded by Russian presence.
And this is what I witnessed single-handedly. Can't say what was going on in the countryside, nor in the business circles. It must have been very dense too, especially as Russian businesses have to resort to Bulgarian (and other) proxies since the EU economic embargo on Russia.
The nationalistic theme
On the 24 of May, Bulgaria celebrated one of its national holidays (bank holidays) know as "Alphabet, Culture, and Education Day" .
This one, just as all other Bulgarian national days, is a tricky one. It's the day of the saintly brothers Cyril and Methodius the inventors of the Glagolitic alphabet. The idea was to create an alphabet to match the Slavic languages. Today, the two brothers are diplomatically described as Byzantine Christian theologians, as more than a nation claims their belonging. Born and buried in different parts of the vast Byzantine Empire the brothers lived, travelled and worked all around the place. So many Easter European countries claims one of them or the other.
The alphabet known today as Cyrillic alphabet though was commissioned by Bulgarian king, Tsar Simeon, the most educated ruler of his time. Tsar Simeon commissioned Clement, Naum and Angelarii, Preslav scholars and disciples of the saintly brothers Cyril and Methodius to create a practical alphabet for stately use. Else to speak the Cyrillic alphabet was the result of a Bulgarian state commission.
This historic fact, as countless others, is hard to swallow for Moscow. Moscow, in case you are not aware, claims to be the hire of the Byzantine Empire. (!)
Other historic fact that Moscow has systematically rejected so far is the early existence of a Great Bulgarian state. A state so old and big that it was splashed on vast Eurasian territories, much before the existence of as much as a notion of Russia and on most of Russia's territories today.
Therefore, during communist times Moscow has imposed on Bulgaria (as well as on all its other colonies) its own historic version allowing Bulgarian history to start only in 681 AC with Kan Asparuh, one of the three sons of Kan Kubrat, who decided to continue his father's conquests and acrossed the Danube.
Moscow denies to Bulgaria any claims to previous history. Despite the fact that generations of Kan Asparuh's ancestors are known, it was and is still forbidden to call or think of them as Bulgarians. Bulgarian is only the first king to enter the lands of nowadays Bulgaria. This is what is allowed. (Have you dined with Russian scientists lately? No? You've missed plenty, they'll try to convince you that the leg in your plate is of chicken and the egg in theirs is of dragon).
Again: until two days ago, Moscow recognises Bulgarian History to have started in 681 with Kan Asparuh; on the 24 of May 2019 though, two days before the 26 of May MEP elections, the Days of the Hermitage in Sofia open with two artefacts: The Sword and the Ring with Monogram of Kan Kubrat.
This way Moscow hints that it might be inclined to recognise to Bulgaria a national history starting on a prior to 681 date. "If you are good we might recognise as Bulgarian the father of Asparuh too. If you behave we might allow you to claim Kubrat" mouthed Moscow to Sofia with its Hermitage artefacts.
This of course if Bulgarians are good children. Because if they don't behave they will be punished as the naughty naughty Ukrainians from which lands the two artefacts were taken. "See what happens to naughty ex-colonies like Ukraine?!? What we have given them earlier, we've now taken" continues Moscow its silent signs discourse.
"If you, Bulgarians misbehave, we might go to Northern Macedonia and give them this or that artefact belonging to say... Clement of Ohrid. You won't like that will you?" shakes Moscow its rather visible threatening finger.
It goes by itself: The Sword and the Ring with Monogram of Kan Kubrat provoked massive interest among Bulgarians of all ages and backgrounds.
The figures emblematic for 24 of May celebrations, the saintly brothers Cyril and Methodius were forgotten in the background.
One thing should be admitted full heartedly: the cold smoked Russian salmon was out-of-this-worldly. On the bad side: it came with wine only. On the good side : it came for free - vast is the Russian pocket as well as the Russian soul.
The picture en gros:
One: Moscow, with the assistance of the current Bulgarian gouvernement, abducted the day of Alphabet, Culture, and Education, and tainted it with a nationalistic mood of a very specific sort, two days prior to MEP elections.
Two: Moscow is actively seeding nationalistic discordance between neighbouring Eastern Europran countries. As illustrated, on 24 May 2019, Moscow managed to play between Bulgaria, Ukraine and North Macedonia. (Someone should investigate what does Moscow do through its Orthodox-FSB charities in Greece).
Quick reminder : Russia replays its old USSR-times game when during last century's eighties it deposed ethical time-bombs set up to explored after the planed departure of its loyal regimes in the nineties. Moscow still does not forgive Bulgaria for having kept its peace during the Ex-Yugoslavia war years. Despite all the efforts that Moscow did with the assistance of Bulgarian Communist Party via the Revival Process (1984-1989 The Revival Process, was the official name of the policy of forced assimilation of Bulgaria's Muslim Turkish minority and the country's other Muslim minorities of different ethnicities.) to set an ethnic bomb, Bulgaria kept its integrity and stability.
The Obvious : Moscow does what it has always done: seed discordance and depopulate. Moscow needs to be surrounded by open burning conflicts in order to survive. Hence, if the war in Syria slowly burns down, better some other war replace it. Why not a new Balkan conflict?
Voting station, 26 of May, about 4 pm
Bulgaria MEP 2019 Election Results
Bulgarian Gerb party, which is at rule and has assisted Moscow to turn the Day of Alphabet, Culture and Education, the 24th of May, to a weird nationalistic demonstration from one hand, and to influence MEP elections by steering "patriotic feelings" from other hand, has now 6 MEPs.
Bulgarian Socialist Party, the hire of Bulgarian Communist Party that initiated the Revival Process, the aim of which was to drag Bulgaria along with Yugoslavia in an ethnic war has now 5 MEPs.
DPS, The Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a member of the Liberal International and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party is an ethnically based party. It is the party that represents Bulgarian Muslim and ethnic minorities. A party the existence of which was an obvious result of last century's Revival Process. A party sponsored largely by Turkey. Has 3 MEPs.
VMRO, Bulgarian National Movement or IMROBulga the nationalist political party in has 2 MEP.
There is one last MEP representing a coalition led by a treacherous party that is not worth mentioning.
Товарищ Путин, Emperor of the New Byzantine Empire
Conclusion: both major parties GERB and BSP recieved open pre-election support by Moscow. The next two in line profited from the "uplifted patriotic climate".
Good luck with this lot EUP.
Laaf wishes you good luck.
The silver lining?
All the secrets of the world are openly displayed in the art spaces.
Oops, They Did It Again or Bulgarian Journalism Anniversaries
Vladimir Sovliov, Chairman of Union of Russian Journalists walked shoulder to shoulder, nearly arm in arm, with Snejanka Todorova Chairwoman of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists
Member of UBJ (Union of Bulgarian Journalists) since couple of decades, I recieved an invitation to join the celebrations on the occasion of 175 years Bulgarian journalism and 125 UBJ on Wednesday, 22 May.
Of all the festive activities, I decided to attend the first : a solemn procession starting at UBJ's Central and ending at the National Library, by the statue of the founders of the Glagolic Alphabet the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius.
Sofia is beautiful on a sunny May morning with parks covered in tender green and horse-chestnut trees lightened with white and pink chandelier-shaped blossoms lined along boulevards and streets.
Upon my arrival at the meeting point, the small number of participants and their age was of no surprise, it made sense mainly the old guard to go marching on a week day morning. Once the procession started though, what caught me unprepared was to hear....Russian speech right behind my back.
During the last decade, Russia's chilling finger has become as long and omnipresent worldwide as Death's own one. And just like Death's manifestation, Russia's one always catches me unprepared. I swear, in my life time Russia was never more physically present in Bulgaria than now*.
It shouldn't be the case, but et voila it is. No matter how often I write "Bulgaria continues to be Russian colony and proxy in EU" or "Russia's Siberian-cold presence is felt at the hotest spots around the world" I'm still, at each time, surprised by the insolent demonstrations of this presence.
Just like today, this morning, when Vladimir Sovliov, Chairman of Union of Russian Journalists walked shoulder to shoulder, nearly arm in arm, with Snejanka Todorova Chairwoman of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists on the solemn procession.
Mr Sovliov's presence wouldn't be so disturbing if say chairpeople of other countries, neighbouring or European, were present. But they weren't. Only Putin's representative was there.
At the final point of the solemn journey a young journalist from Radio Horizont, Bulgarian National Radio primary station, went amongst the attendees asking "Why does Bulgaria ranks at 111 place on the 2019 World Press Freedom Index?"
I suggested that the key to the question might abide in the provenance of the honorable guest, meaning the Russian star of the procession, when few minutes later the Ambassadors of.. Cuba, Mongolia, and Morocco showed up.
"The Chinese Ambassador will be attending the concert tonight", announced promisingly Snejanka Todorova, the Chairwoman. In the light of the celebrations of its journalists' union Bulgaria didn't look neither especially European, nor particularly democratic.
The main reason for the ranking of Bulgaria at 111 position , Reporters without Borders' report mentions the murder of TV journalist Victoria Marinova, over which Laaf cried last year, "and a blatant attempt by the authorities to cover up the circumstances by botching the investigation". (Bulgarian authorities maintain the version that Victoria was a random rape victim. While sources close to the victim's family informed recently that the first autopsy stated as reason for death "a shot in the head"). "Threats against reporters have also increased in recent months, to the extent that journalism is now dangerous in Bulgaria", concludes RWB's report.
*Today, 24 May, The Day of the Saint Brothers Cyril and Methodius, a day which Bulgaria celebrates with a national holiday; Laaf learned that, Russian "emigrant" Âra Bubnova, graduate of the Moscow State University М. В. Ломоносов was appointed in September 2018 as Head of Bulagaria's National Museum Complex (Bulagaria's National Museum Complex includes : The National Gallery, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Socialist Art, Square 500 - ex National Museum for Foreign Art and all Artists Museum Houses).
Âra Bubnova's academic cradle Московский государственный университет имени М. В. Ломоносова
Why did I upload this photo?
For you to just try to imagine the state of mind of the person entering, staying in and exiting this building.
Nurses' Protest, 15 May 2019
While nurses protest outside the Council of Ministers, the cameras of the media are focused on the Presidency next door, awaiting the Minister of Justice Dani Kirilov to pop out with a statement. (Laaf couldn't find any trace of this statement. It looks like Dani Kirilov didn't bother with such).
Nurses from across the country protested outside the Council of Ministers, insisting on special status of children's medical facilities and on removing healthcare admission limits for children. They also demand a pay raise.
Laaf spoke with a nurse from Pleven who along with the fact of being second generation nurse, who have "inherited" her mother's exact working position, mentioned receiving 660 bgn as a basic sallary with some 80 bgn "added to it by our mayor" (no idea how this happens). As a whole this is about £330 monthly. She also shared her plans to migrate to Germany.
Laaf managed to drag a friend to the protest. Other friends stated strange things like "This is a pre-election protest", "It's a protest organised by Moscow"; "This protest has the same organisers as the Yellow Vests" (a quick reminder, Bulgaria had its own Yellow Vest movement a couple of weeks prior to their Jaune confrère (which Laaf admits, smells a lot like a Moscow finger); "I can't, I am taking the small one to a hospital appointment" and "We WHO LIVE HERE think that we've never been better than now". In a word, support mobilization close to zero.
Note: The person writing these lines is making its living mostly by accompanying Bulgarian patients on their hospital visits in London NHS and private hospitals. It has a clear notion of the size of Bulgaria's health migration to the UK! Together with all other types of migration Bulgaria generates huge numbers of HEALTH MIGRANTS.
Who has said "When there's no person, there's no problem."?
Sofia Centre, Ivan Vazov Street
During the last four decades, Bulgaria systematically exports its nationals using methods varying from ethnic cleansing through organized crime, bank siphoning and corrupted justice system to low wages and lack of social and health care and many more more or less subtle ways.
Urban humiliation is the latest trend in the methods for depopulation with target group Sofianites.
Sofia ot Idlib?
Laaf on Ivan Vazov Street, Sofia Centre. Photo courtesy @Dolcheto
My town has been kidnapped by Isis but Al Qaeda claims the deed!
Банда сомалийски пирати отвлякоха столицата, но Ал Каида и Даеш претендират за авторство
"Това е наш хапънинг стил перформанс" споделиха от централата на Даеш.
"Безспорно, това наше класическо произведение ще влезе в учебниците по история" заяви говорител на Ал Каида.
Лааф потърси за коментар истинските извършители - сомалийските пирати, но ги завари заети с предизборна суетня, а коментар така и не получи..
The Papal escort as seen from the office of Antistatic Dance Festival, Union of Bulgarian Actors, Sofia 6 May 2019 about 1800
It's worth mentioning that FSB's Church in Bulgaria, traditionally called Bulgarian Orthodox Church refused to join Pope Francis in his Prayer for Peace while Bulgaria's Chief Mufti, The Representative of the Jewish Community and the Head of Armenian Orthodox Apostle Church all attended the event.
It is curious to note that the Pope who intended to inspire a "Prayer for Peace" ended up with an event called "Event for Peace".
Ay ay ay in a Putin/FSB/exUSSR proxy-state such as Bulgaria all is upside down.
Note to myself: Put Patriarch of All Bulgaria Neophyte of Bulgaria on LuciFairian Games invite list for next year. Not because we like state security services, but because there must be plenty of tricks to learn from him in regards to The Devils Balls game.
Antistatic Dance Festival Founders Iva Sveshtarova and Willy Prager in Antistatic's office at the Union of Bulgarian Actors, Sofia 6 May 2019 about 1700. (Stefan Shterev, the third founding member is by the window in the room next door waiting to spot the papal escort)
While the LuciFairian Games were Laaf's reason to start its tour in BG, Antistatic 12th edition is Laaf's reason to prolong it.
Antistatic No. 12 Casts Its #VoteForDance
From 09 to 21 May a committed and active, yet non-political election campaign will be held in Sofia: the 12th edition of Antistatic International Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance. Under such a dense political agenda Antistatic is raising its voice thus: #VoteForDance! A vote “FOR” art: as a dimension not merely knowing in depth the past and understanding the lines of the present but one that can and does create a future. Contemporary dance language is universal and it belongs to everybody.
For Antistatic full manifesto check here :
St George's - Patron saint of Bulgaria - celebrations at St George Church's Garden, Sofia, 6 May 2019 about 1400
St George's celebrations at St George Church, Sofia, 6 May 2019 about 1200
Bulgarian martial arts master, writer and healer Dincho amidst his curious practices, Asenovgrad 5 May 2019 about 1900
Chepelarska River passing amidst Asenovgrad 5 May 2019 about 1800
LuciFairian Games 2nd Edition, Zaimova Garden, 4 May 2019 about 1800
Verginia Pencheva's "Arsenal Exhibition" at Etud Gallery, Sofia 3 May 2019 about 1800
Verginia Pencheva's "Arsenal Exhibition" at Etud Gallery, Sofia 3 May 2019 about 1800
Milcho Leviev on the piano at the launch of his biography book, Club-1, Sofia 2 May 2019 about 1900
Vladimir Gajev author of Milcho Leviev's biography at the launch of his book