After spending twenty-four hours in Rome's Fiumicino Airport, we boarded a plane bound for Sofia, Bulgaria, where we would spend one night before heading to our next work-trade host. In our e-mail correspondence, our hosts generously suggested that we stay at Hostel Mostel for the night, and just as we were about to put down a deposit on a room, Catherine noticed that they offered a free night's stay for "artistic travelers willing to put on a performance." Naturally, Catherine jumped at the opportunity, and e-mailed the hostel asking if she could do portraits of guests and hostel workers in exchange for a bed (which also included dinner and breakfast the following morning!). The hostel replied with a yes, and we were excited at the prospect of using art to barter, and also at the opportunity of meeting new people in an interesting and unlikely circumstance. It turned out to be the best hostel experience we've had thus far, as we were able to meet a variety of new people (from as far as Sweden, Germany, and Korea) in the uniquely intimate instance of a portrait session. The models were all excited to take home the drawings, and we were glad to leave them with a personal memento from the experience. Here are some shots from the night:
We also chanced upon an interesting little book in the book exchange - a beautiful, independently published notebook documenting the 5 year anniversary of the Goat Milk Festival. The festival is held in northeast Bulgaria, on the Black Sea coast, and looks to be a unique and beautiful event honoring community and tradition while provoking questions about perception and personal and collective memory in order to instigate healthy cultural progression. The booklet highlights the people of the town who have contributed to the festival as well as detailing workshops, art and music held there. Despite not attending the festival, we were still inspired by the ideas, ideals, and stories surrounding Goat Milk festival.