Boryana Rossa, associate professor of art video in the Department of Transmedia, has received a grant from the National Culture Fund (Bulgaria) to work on an archival and exhibition project “Bulgarian Drag History” together with artist Yasen Zgurovski on the history of drag performance in Bulgaria with a focus on the 1990s. This project is featured as the seventh edition of Sofia Queer Forum, an annual international artistic, activist, and academic event in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The aim of the project is to create a widely accessible online information database, exhibition, public discussions, and a printed book that will provoke a conversation between generations of drag performers and those who are inspired by them, by including the centers of drag performance across the country.
The online archive will feature documentary photos and videos of drag queens and kings. The materials will be accompanied by a series of interviews with the performers, as well as with theater directors and artists, who show the extremely strong influence of this club environment on theater, music, television, fashion, and lifestyle publishing from the 90s. The drag performance will be also situated in a historical context. The topic of cross-dressing has always been relevant and is present in many different layers of Bulgarian culture and folk traditions. Such rituals and their comparative consideration of today reflect not only the plasticity of human sexuality but also the polyvalence of gender roles in society. The archival website will be launched on December 28, and the exhibition at Structura Gallery, Sofia, will open in January 2021. Live performances and discussions are planned for May 2021.