Communist era monument, Bulgaria

Words/Photographs: Tony Eveling

I visited the town of Shumen in Bulgaria a couple of years ago to have a look at the monument that you see in the distance in the left hand photo. I was just passing through on a bike and so this is my first view upon arriving into town, so I am still straddling the bike having stopped as soon as the monument itself came into view.

When I take images like this, they tend to get forgotton for a while after I’ve taken them…like a year and a half in this case! Their lack of spectacularness doesn’t impress me much! And that’s why I never delete an image. Never, never, never!!

I read a blog post recently about a photographer who deletes most of his images in a brutal editing process, so all that he ends up with are his keepers (at least what he considered to be keepers immediately after a shoot). The conclusion being that over time he never missed the deleted images and it saved hard drive space.

I personally never take an image unless I think it has certain aesthetic qualities, I never guess a composition, everything is slow(ish) and deliberate. So I take relatively few images and never delete a single one. Most of them are left lonely and unloved on a hard drive somewhere. Had I deleted these two ‘lonely and unloved non-keepers’ in a similar, brutal editing process, I would have forgotten them, not missed them and moved on. But scanning back through my hard drive in an idle moment, I re-discovered them, felt completely differently about them 18 months on, liked them much more than originally, and now they have been rediscovered I am very relieved I never deleted them permanently!

Anyway, back to the photos…After I took these I sat in a cafe for a while before cycling up to the monument itself, and the images are in a small gallery here….

The monument itself is huge and tells the story of the history of Bulgaria in a series of huge mosaics and sculptures.

  • I like the rotten appearance of these buildings which underlining the condition of the political system. People make themselves comfortable with the situation.

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