Meeting with Sylwia Siedlecka author of book “Golden Sands”

Where: Luna Cinema
Date: 14.04.2023

Sylwia Siedlecka (born 1980) – a writer and a scholar specializing in Bulgarian and Czech culture. She holds a PhD in cultural studies from the Faculty of Polish Studies at the University of Warsaw. She works at the Institute of Western and Southern Slavic Studies at UW. She’s an author of the collection of short stories “Puppies” (2010), the novel “Moat” (2015), the monography “Pagans and intellectuals. Protagonists of Blaga Dimitrova” (2012), a co-author of “Lexicon of Bulgarian tradition” (2011), and a co-editor of the collection “Change of frames. Institutions after 1989 in Central Eastern Europe and at the Balkans” (2019). She published her articles in “Pismo”, “Tygiel Kultury”, “Kultura Popularna”, “Literatura na świecie”, and “Slavia Meridionalis”. She takes interest in cultural transfers and social imagination. She gave lectures at Collegium Civitas and Warsaw School of Photography. She collaborates with the History Meeting House in Warsaw.

Golden sands
This isn’t a book about sunny Black Sea resorts that come to mind when we think of Bulgaria. This is a portrayal of a much rougher side of the country that has been shaped by over 1300 years of turbulent history.
Sylwia Siedlecka describes the last few decades: Todor Zhivkov’s iron-fist rule of communist Bulgaria, a period of difficult transformation, and a Bulgarian present day. She writes about places, times, and people – mostly about people. About a psychic named Wanga; an owner of Bulgarian circus; the prime minister Boyko Borissov who launched his political career as Zhivkov’s bodyguard; an architect who designed a gigantic monument resembling UFO, a symbol of Bulgarian socialism; the philosopher Julia Kristeva and her alleged collaboration with secret service; and residents of contemporary Sofia. About dramatic history scarred up in people’s lives, ingrained in architecture, shouted about in folk songs, and danced in choro.  
This a book about Bulgaria we’ve been waiting for.


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