With the Name of a Flower


This multi-media project is a continuation of my ongoing investigation of the forced name changes of the Bulgarian Muslim population (from Muslim to Slavic names) during the “Revival Process” in Bulgaria (1912-1989). The project takes into consideration the historical and political context of the 500 years long Ottoman Rule over Bulgaria (1396-1878), the years after the Liberation to present day.

A new name entails a new sense of identity. I am interested in how these historical events have affected the cultural and national identity of these people and their descendants, how these have been preserved or purposefully omitted from their family narrative. As a descendant myself, I feel it is my duty to unearth and share the stories of these people, who have been repressed and kept silent for a long time. The purpose of this project is to unearth and preserve parts of Bulgarian history and collective memory, which might otherwise be forgotten with time.

This series is part of a larger body of ongoing work. My exploration of the topic includes portraits and interviews with family members and acquaintances affected by forced name changes and enforced migration; a multi-channel sound installation questioning the significance of the name in maintaining a sense of identity and self; a video installation touching upon the religious aspects of traditions; a performance piece and other.

Using Format