На български език

About YARN

This project seeks to empower Bulgarian youth by centering their perspectives. The topics inevitably threaded through the students’ stories speak to issues of globalization, identity, and the politics of daily life in a post-Socialist state as perceived by youth born after 1989.

All of the individuals interviewed for this project have had the opportunity to study English at specialized language schools—the fact that their lives can be narrated in English, in their own voices, relates to their particular place in history and opens questions about contemporary life in Bulgaria and beyond. In compiling and editing these interviews, three organizing themes emerged, conveniently temporal: how our students relate to the past; what occupies their minds in the present; and what perceptions and aspirations they have for the future.nThese are, of course, not encompassing nor inclusive of the patterns, questions, and relationships that exist within Yarn. The experiences recorded are positioned to spur discussion and broaden the frameworks through which Bulgaria is often interpreted by outsiders.

Yarn is not a comprehensive study of Bulgarian youth. Some voices are heard more than others; many voices are not represented at all. All of the interviews are edited, some more noticeably so than others. Our edits were a genuine attempt to overcome the unavoidable difficulties in understanding posed by long, unstructured interviews with students for whom English is a second language. Interviewees were given the choice to have their stories published under a pseudonym, though some chose to be represented by their real names. We sought to preserve the core intentions of the interviewees as we worked to weave together their disjointed, yet deeply intertwined experiences towards a larger narrative.

We feel that together, the individual stories on Yarn tell one larger story—a story whose texture both shapes and is shaped by the opportunities that exist to speak and be heard.

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This website was developed and produced by Dena Feherenbacher and Kate Maley.

Website design by Ivan Domouztschieff and Pat Hannon with the financial support of the Bulgarian National Science Fund.

Yarn was conceived of by Dena Fehrenbacher, Kate Maley, and Hillary Traugh. Interviews were conducted during their 2010-2011 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant period in Lovech, Smolyan, and Haskovo, Bulgaria, respectively.

Special thanks to The Fulbright Program, Julia Stefanova, Rada Kaneva, Maria Kostova, and all of our students, colleagues, and friends that gave us pomosht along the way.

Contact: yarn.bulgaria@gmail.com

Disclaimer: This is not an official Department of State website, and the views and information presented are our own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State.