Zhivka Valiavicharska (Pratt Institute): Plovdiv’s Bratska Mogila as a Microcosm of the 1960s and ‘70s in Bulgaria and the Socialist World
This talk offers a historical reconstruction of the Bratska Mogila monument, a remarkable work of architecture and monumental sculpture from the post-Stalinist period in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. A syncretic ensemble of architecture, sculpture, monumental arts, and urban planning, the Bratska Mogila was built in 1974 as a temple to harbor the remains and the memory of young anti-fascist partisans who died in the region of Plovdiv before and during World War II. The monument has arrested the conflicting political logics of the post-Stalinist era and its worldly entanglements in all their monumentality and tension. Through close visual and contextual analysis of the monument, the talk explores post-Stalinist visions of socialism, nationhood, and the global imaginaries of the era.