Author: Kiril Vassilev

This article deals with the changes in Bulgarian culture after the fall of the Communist regime in Bulgaria in 1989. The first sections sketch the state of the Bulgarian culture and society during the later years of the communism. They describe the change in official ideology, i.e. the return to nationalism. The controversial role of the Communist regime in the modernization process of society is analyzed, with its simultaneous modernization and counter-modernization heritage. Then we shift to the changes in society and culture that have taken place since the fall of the regime. Attention is focused on the new mass culture, the embodiment of the value crisis in which the post-Communist Bulgarian society is located. The radical transformations in the field of the so-called ‘high’ culture are examined, especially the financial difficulties and the overall change in the social status of arts and culture. The basic trauma of the Bulgarian culture embodied in the constantly returning feeling of being a cultural by-product of the West is brought out. The article concludes that Bulgarian post-Communist culture has failed to create a more complex and flexible image of the “Bulgarian” that can use the energies of globalization without feeling threatened by disintegration.

In: Southeastern Europe