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Destructive Creation or the Bulgarian version of Banksy

04 March 2014 / 11:03:03  GRReporter
3760 reads

Polina Spartyanova

    Some consider them as vandals and others as innovators but actually, it mainly depends on the viewpoint. They are a small group of young men who call themselves "Destructive Creation" and their motto is "You should have done it yourself." Their creative intervention in the urban environment of Sofia always faces a wide public response because their works are usually something unprecedented. "Destructive Creation" not only cultivates the urban environment through its innovative solutions but also often uses the monuments and statues in Sofia as canvases for its political art.
    The group of young artists became widely known in 2011 when it transformed part of the monument of the "Soviet army, liberator of the Bulgarian people" in Sofia into a variety of popular American symbols under the slogan "Keeping up with the times." This act of "Destructive Creation" attracted the interest of global media and provoked in Bulgarian society the debate as to whether the monument should be removed. Subsequently street artists in Sofia followed the example of the political art group, first by transforming the monument several times, into a "pink excuse" for the invasion of the Bulgarian army in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and then y painting it in the colours of the Ukrainian flag in support of the protesters on Maidan square earlier this year.    


    The skilled young people from "Destructive Creation" improve the conditions of the urban environment under the cover of night because they find no meaning in the fight against bureaucracy. They make ​​benches, pavilions, bookshelves for parks, workshops for the repair of bicycles and many other useful things for the urban population and in the night install them in suitable places. The identity of the creators involved in "Destructive Creation" is still a mystery to society because they never show their faces to the cameras. They say that they prefer to be known for their work instead of for their faces in order for the people to appreciate what they do rather than who they are. The simple workshop of "Destructive Creation" uses cheap available materials that the creators purchase with their own funds, never seeking financial help from society for which they design a more beautiful urban environment. Recently the idea of the formation to beautify neglected busy urban areas in Sofia has won the "Challenge Sofia" competition and it will have the opportunity to represent the capital during the international contest "Mayor's challenge" organized by Bloomberg foundation.   


    Although the persons from "Destructive Creation" insist on remaining anonymous, they are not silent about the problems of Bulgarian society. Last year while, under the auspices of former Minister of Interior Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the exhibition of student paintings was touring Bulgaria to make people aware of the problem of people trafficking, "Destructive Creation" approached this problem in a completely different way. The campaign of the artists presented some statues of women and children in Sofia parks as fragile items, with a Bulgarian and Dutch postage stamp on them, prepared for shipping and attracted the attention of Bulgarian society to the goal of "Destructive Creation" to focus on one of the most common associations of Western Europe for Bulgaria, namely the trafficking of Bulgarian citizens by their compatriots.
    During the protests against the government of Oresharski last summer, "Destructive Creation" expressed their social dissatisfaction by painting one of the lions in front of the Palace of Justice as a clown, writing under it "20 years of circus". Knowing that the lion is the symbol of Bulgaria the creative group criticized the developments at the highest levels in the state government, blaming the arbitrariness of politicians on the judiciary. According to the artists, "the governing of the country over the past 20 years has been like a circus, its clowns being the leaders."
Even today, the boys from "Destructive Creation" remain a mystery to the public. When asked about their future projects, they replied that all of them are kept secret and they do not share them before they are actually completed in practice. Perhaps this is the secret of the success of these creative urban activists because their acts always manage to (un)pleasantly surprise the citizens of Sofia and bring some changes to their daily lives.

Tags: Destructive CreationStreet artMonument of the Soviet armyPalace of JusticeAnonymous creatorsPolina Spartyanova
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