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Workshop | 6 May, 12:00 | Breaking Silos, Building Bridges: Interdisciplinary Collaboration among Scholars, Artists, Curators, and Cultural Agencies for Amplifying Scholarship in the Public Sphere

When? Monday, 6 May, 12:00–16:00

Where? Room BA 806, Bajuwarenstr. 4, 93053 Regensburg

Registration by 2 May at

This workshop will be led by the scholarly and artistic team ofThe Neighbours collective from the Bulgarian Pavilion at the 2024 Venice Biennale: Dr Lilia Topouzova (Historian and Artist), Dr Krasimira Butseva (Visual Artist and Researcher), Vasil Vladimirov (Curator), and Dr Valentin Kalinov (Clinical Psychologist and Philosopher).

The workshop is aimed at graduate reserachers and students for finding creative ways of developing research output beyond traditional publications, showing how film and art can provide outlets for findings and for generating public discussions on difficult pasts.

Please register by 2 May at



The primary objective of our workshop is to propose a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration that spans across academia, artistic practice, curation, and cultural policy-making. Our point of departure is the dismantling of traditional barriers that often exist between these different domains of knowledge creation and dissemination. Our main aim is to enhance the visibility and impact of scholarly work and artistic practice in the broader public sphere. We invite participants who are interested in discussing practical strategies that turn scholarly research into collaborative public-facing projects. The Neighbours collective will share insights and lessons learned from our own interdisciplinary work.

One of the key highlights of the workshop is the emphasis on practical outcomes. The workshop will think about how we work with deficit, and we will discuss the trajectory of a failed oral history interview, which later became a scholarly article published in the American Historical Review, and then one of the rooms in our installation. We encourage participants to bring a summary of specific projects they would like to discuss or ask questions about the potential of their research for interdisciplinary collaboration.


The event will be followed by a public artist talk on Tuesday, 7 May at 18:00, titled
The Making of The Neighbours: The Artist Studio as a Transitory Archive or How to Visualize Silenced Histories?

Selected reports on The Neighbours in the international press

  • The Guardian/Observer's Laura Cumming called the Bulgarian pavilion "the greatest revelation" of the Biennale and selected it as one of the must-see exhibitions, "the most delicate and elegiac expression of a terrible history."
  • Caroline Roux for Gallerie, 6 standout pavilions at the 2024 Venice Biennale, including Bulgaria's the Neighbours.
  • Edward Behrens for Appolo Magazine's Must-See Pavillions, see the Bulgarian one where "the silence has been broken."
  • Pablo Lario for Artforum urges visitors to see " Bulgaria’s impassioned excavation of the psychological afterlives of political imprisonment."
  • Oliver Basciano for ArtReview, "the pavilion is a lesson to today’s problems beyond Bulgaria: it is easy erase a group of people, bringing them back is harder."
  • Aimee Dawson's curated selections of the 2024 Venice Art Biennale for Stirworld, Bulgaria's disquieting installation.
  • The Art Newspaper's Must-See Pavillion Around Town Venice Biennale 2024.

Interviews and articles about the Neighbours Bulgarian Pavillion before it opened:

In cooperation with: The Center for Commemorative Culture (Zentrum Erinnerungskultur), Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS Regensburg), Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies (GS OSES UR)

Krasimira Butseva, Julian Chehirian and Lilia Topouzova, The Neighbours, 2022. Multimedia installation: found objects, video projection. Photo: Krasimira Butseva. Studio Benkovski 40. © Krasimira Butseva, Julian Chehirian and Lilia Topouzova.