Dimitar Stankov, 2022, Bulgaria


My work is based on the research of the physical and spiritual connection of the bagpipe music with the Surva and Nestinarstvo rituals. With this exploratory research I investigate how these rituals are driven and influenced by the music. The Bulgarian traditional rituals ‘Surva’ and ‘Nestinarstvo’ are protected by UNESCO as an intangible heritage. In these rituals the body is used as a main tool to represent the ideas of life and afterlife, to unite culture and nature, and show symbols and powers. Here again the main driving physical and spiritual force of the performance is the bagpipe music. The symbolism of ‘Surva’ is aimed at banishing the evil spirits and to prepare for a new beginning . ‘Nestinarstvo’ is a ritual of people dancing on bagpipe music with bare feet on burning coals to ensure the well-being and the fertility of the village. It’s believed that they fall in trance in order to avoid burns.
I have used the data gathered from the rituals, the costumes worn during the rituals and the music which I have converted into visual information represented by contemporary jewellery and art objects.