A25 Cultural Foundation is a non-governmental organization established in 2011. It strives to initiate, support and take part in cultural and social events that present various viewpoints with respect and interest, maintain intelligent and meaningful dialogue, and discover the fresh and relevant behind clichés and stereotypes. The tasks A25 has set for itself are concerned with supporting a more personal and creative approach to global processes in contemporary culture; the discovery and promotion of inspiring partnerships in the Balkans, in Europe, and around the world; the creation of creative connections between the different arts and different cultures. We are also interested in helping young artists foster a clearer and more stable civil presence in contemporary life.
Our organization sees possibilities for achieving these goals through joint initiatives with countries from Europe and the United States, as well as in cooperation with our “neighbors.” The latter include both Bulgaria’s geographic neighbors, but also the Arab world – our closest “other,” which is unknown to us, or more precisely, known by us primarily through certain stereotypes.
We created the A25 Cultural Foundation in our effort to have greater freedom in choosing the way we work, the people and organizations we do it with, and most of all, the ideas we value. And further, because we had the need to take more responsibility for all these things that we believe in.
We have gained most of our professional experience in the non-governmental sector in the last few years. The time spent there has given us the confidence that today we are able to ask unconventional questions and look for their answers beyond the clichés. In A25, we will be doing exactly that.
And since we do not believe in the existence of a single, absolute truth, we have chosen a crossroads with equal exits as a symbol of the diversity of perspectives, arts, and meanings in today’s modern world. Moreover, this is also our personal crossroads, where our own interests intersect.
We are delighted that in short time the concept behind A25 managed to attract curious, knowledgeable and capable people, together with whom we could do our work well.
Pavlina Doublekova, Kremena Hristova
Board of trustees
“I admit to myself that I’m a bit worried about the fact that my efforts have to reach a wider audience and that an energetic contribution to civil society in any form is a question of duty. Moreover, nobody will ever believe in your all your fancy talk if you don’t create something somehow. A25 is a promising ‘something and somehow.
I chose to take part in A25, since I believe that quality art can and should be promoted. Contrary to prevailing attitudes, I believe that all good things inevitably have their commercial tinge and that there is no shame in that; it makes them all the more real. But if there’s a single factor that prevents this from becoming apparent, it’s that nothing blooms in solitude. At this particular moment we should be united more than ever, while more than ever the success of an idea is connected with the way it is supported and positioned. Positive thinking demands little but gives surprisingly much in return.”
Anastas Punev, Chairman of the board, trustee
“In his speech upon receiving the Jerusalem Literary Prize in 2009, Haruki Murakami said: “Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.” With this metaphor he spoke about the System and how each of us is, more or less, an egg: “Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell.” This moves and excites me and I believe that even a very young organization could stand up for the fragile and the creative, to take this as its prime concern, to make it grow and present it to the world. It is possible that A25 will succeed in that, and even be very good at it. I don’t know yet, but I want to participate on the egg’s side. Of course, that brings up the question of what can I do about this. My background is in the arts; to that, I can add my work experience with large international organizations. I have tried to utilize their power to make meaningful changes in education and the arts, but I have also worked on smaller-scale projects, following my own ideas and creative impulses. Lately this has proved to be a promising course.”
Kristin Razsolkova, trustee
“I think that one of the most important and most complicated topics in the art’s sphere is its autonomy. On the one hand, art looks extremely free: it is independent creative act, very often provocative, bold and brave, sometimes even sacrificial—it confronts its context and becomes tragical. On the other hand, art is always in a particular cultural situation—it is created and interpreted by particular people with their own esteems, preferences, prejudices, and deeply rooted social values. That is why art never parts from the society and cannot be fully autonomous indeed. But it cannot melt away into its cultural context either (otherwise it would become an industry, a template) and it keeps its ideal for autonomy instead. On that conflicting juncture the most interesting events happen and the most complex diversity arise. This crossroad is where A25 situates itself, which is both responsible and caring.”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vassil Vidinsky, trustee