time and place

2011 - 2023, Bulgaria


The project Collapse stands as Dimitri Stefanov’s impassioned confession to the world. A candid and sincere photographic series from within himself that uncovers inner struggles and addresses existential questions. A story in between life and death.

Since the fall of communism in the end of 1989, Bulgaria has been experiencing severe economic difficulties. In 1996 the problems of the country’s transition culminated in one of the most severe financial crisis. As an outcome of a moral problem and the inadequate and unsustainable policies of the government, the crisis forced one million Bulgarians to leave the country, either permanently or as a temporary workforce. All of this led to a significant increase in social inequalities. Trapped in the labyrinth of insecurity, poverty and the unsustainability of their life perspectives, many decided to immigrate abroad.

Dimitri Stefanov was born on March 7, 1987 in Pleven, Bulgaria to a middle-class family. In 2001, they moved to Spain as a result of the political turmoil in their country. Though Dimitri and his parents remained safe in Madrid where he grew up, the immigration process nonetheless affected his understanding of life related to negotiating human values. Another event that had crucial consequences for Dimitri during a time of significant physical, emotional, and social changes was the death of his beloved uncle Evgeni. Leaving his grandparents in grief, not having the chance to say goodbye, the photographer is still trying to overcome this loss.

Dimitri Stefanov is turning to photography in order to convey his personal perspectives and experiences through creative means. Even though he already feels local, the photographer returns home to Bulgaria periodically in the 2010s to work on the project. Most of the photographs were taken in this period. Driven by the burden of the past, the decade-long sequence moves between various reports, combining photographs as a means of introspection and remembrance. The result is a profound and deeply moving narrative that not only weaves the tapestry of a single human existence but also reflects the very soul of our society.


The photo book "Collapse"

ISBN 978-619-92599-0-0

Copyright © 2023 by BECA Publishing

All rights reserved.