Helping the needy does not make you superhuman, but it brings satisfaction

Deyan Yankov

Industrialization and urbanization in ever expanding territories are among the most objective indicators of the development of a city or a country. Along with the positives, however, urbanization brings negatives as well. We throw tons of waste every day without realizing that some of it can be recycled. We justify our behavior with the fact that we live in a consumer society in which the desire to own more new things prevails. As a result, we leave more and more waste that destroys the natural resources.

Bulgarian sculptor Lyubomir Mishonov draws our attention to the more rational use of the products we buy, with the clear awareness that over consumption can’t be stopped. He does it in an unconventional way creating a copy of the world famous Statue of Liberty made of various types of plastic packaging. Unlike the original statue in New York whose broken shackles symbolize the abolition of slavery, the one in Sofia is a symbol of a broken connection with reality. This is not the only difference between the two statues, because instead of a torch symbolizing the progress of society, Mishonov’s statue holds a mobile phone and the US Constitution was replaced by a Black Friday sign. The location of the work of art was not chosen accidentally. 

Since the author wants to show the true face of degradation of the modern society, the work of art named Statue of the Great Consumption is located on the roof of a youth center where it managed to provoke great interest and discussion among visitors. Trotoara foundation, which owns the place, has the ambition to inspire young people to fulfill various ideas, build their own values and become an active part of the change we all dream of. Although the building has been going through repair works, Deyan Yankov and his team have thee ambition to organize the traditional TRAP Festival at the end of the year:

This is the third consecutive edition of the festival. We want to have fun at the TRAP festival, but also want toengage the students in various volunteering activities, Deyan Yankov, founder of Trotoara Foundation told Radio Bulgaria. Last year 150 volunteers took part at the festival. The number of the visitors exceeded 1,000.  This is an interesting event, which unites all our activities- recycling, arts, music and dances. Meanwhile, we are currently holding a gaming tournament named League of Legends. The final will be on December 7 and 8 during the TRAP Festival. This is a team game in which every team has its duties, tasks and positions. The teams must have their own strategy and team thinking is important both for the game and for the way of thinking of every person. The students applying to participate at the tournament must have at least grade 4 in the previous school year. The prize fund amounts to 3,000 Leva (EUR 1.500). Thus, we want to show the students that their school grades matter when they want to join certain activities. Eighteen teams will compete in two stages- a group stage and elimination stage.

After the reconstruction, the youth center will have a rehearsal hall, a recording studio, a dance hall and a recycling workshop. It will continue to develop its causes connected with the better present and future of the society. The youth center has been working under a programme named Volunteers in Action, but in Deyan’s view, volunteering is still poorly developed in Bulgaria. That is why he advises the students from the center to help the needy, even if they are strangers, because heling people does not make you superhuman, but it brings satisfaction.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov
Photos: private library

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