Award Ceremony and 10th Anniversary of the Bulgarian National History Competition 2017
On 16 December, the Bulgarian Values Foundation presented the awards to the winners of the 2017 National History Competition in the National Gallery in Sofia. Under this year’s topic “Family stories from the time of the communist regime” 36 young people participated and handed in 30 contributions. It is the tenth time that the competition was organised since its creation in 1998 by Antonina Stoyanova’s organisation. Over 1,600 young people have participated in the competitions throughout the years.
In their works the participants researched how the destiny of family members has been impacted by the totalitarian regime in the framework of the criteria set by the competition. In their research they showed diverse approaches such as following the paths of their own family history or uncovering the histories of nearby places. The first place was awarded to Daniel Vlahov from Dobri Chintulov School in Sliven for his research paper on the topic “The fate of the descendants of the Sliven textile industrialists after the nationalization”, with Dr. Momchil Metodiev as his supervisor.
Former president Petar Stoyanov (1997-2002) who also handed out the diplomas emphasised: “This year the topic is extremely relevant and close to my heart. During the time of communism, the people of my generation were young and it is only natural that […] some of my contemporaries tend to look at their youth with romanticism. […] However, it is important that you - the young generation - should be more aware of the terrible destiny of the Bulgarian population during communism. It is us who have lived during that time who need to instigate such studies, and you can create your opinion on this difficult and controversial period of our history.
Petya Georgieva, project manager at the Values Foundation, further noted that “the date of the presentation of the awards of this year’s competition is not chosen by accident. Symbolically, the date itself is related to the topic as it is the closest possible date to 14th December, when in 1989 the first anticommunist demonstrations were held in Sofia and when the communist parliament was sieged by the democratic forces, which set the beginning of the end of the communist regime”.
Overview of the prize winners:
Daniel Vlahov, Dobri Chintulov school, Sliven: "The fate of the descendants of the Sliven textile industrialists after the nationalisation", supervisor: Dr. Momchil Metodiev
Melis Mehmed, Hristo Smirnenski school, Chernoochene village, district Kardzhali: "One life", supervisor: Julia Chortleneva
Elisaveta Petrova, Professional school of tourism Dr Vasil Beron, Veliko Tarnovo: "They leave silently", supervisor: Slavka Prodanova
Decho Pavlov, 91 Prof. Konstantin Galabov: "From the officers' elite and battles for the Fatherland to the unknown tomb – the lost honor of a Bulgarian family", supervisor: Krasimir Uzunov
Milica Gecheva and Momchil Trayanov, Otec Paisii school: "On the pavement of communism in the town of Kardzhali", supervisor: Kiril Gogov
Vladislav Borisov, professional high school on tourism Dr Vasil Beron, Veliko Tarnovo: "Let’s hear the voice of history. Research in Merdania village2, supervisor: Bistra Stefanova
In addition to the diplomas the prize winners received financial rewards. Furthermore Dr. Momchil Metodiev, Julia Chortleneva, Krasimir Uzunov and Slavka Prodanova were awarded for scientific supervision.