Accepted paper:

Gardening the city: appropriation of the common spaces and neigbourhooding in Bulgarian towns


Meglena Zlatkova (University of Plovidv)

Paper short abstract:

Short abstract The paper presents different discourses of construction the borders between public and private space in Bulgarian towns, researching the urban gardening and everyday practices in urban neighbourhood, inherited from the socialism.

Paper long abstract:

Long abstract The paper discusses the forms and mechanism of public-private division in the postcosialist Bulgarian towns and cities though the everyday practices of inhabiting and appropriation of the common spaces in the urban neighbourhoods in Bulgaria. The anthropological research of the urban spaces includes a long term observation of the everyday practices in the city of socialism, the city in transition and the changed cities nowadays, following the line of the changing boundaries, distinction and expression of the public and private, common and individual. The cases of particular interest in my research are the forms of transgression of the physical borders and social boundaries as well as establishing new, according to the changing identities, social hierarchies, power relations, forms of social solidarity and networking and investment in social capital. The paper presents two cases of blurring borders and boundaries as two urban discourses - one of the city in transition (the city from below) and the other - the city after 2007 when Bulgaria joined the EU (the city from above). These cases are studied on the base of the everyday practices of urban gardening in common spaces - around blocs of flats, on the windowed balconies and small gardens in the city outskirts and, as urban management efforts in regulations and rules implementation.

panel Urba003
Ethnographies of urban public spaces