Poli Angelova: Art is an inherent building block of human civilisation, rather than a luxury, hobby or fun


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Platform for Arts, Institute of Art Studies, BAS, did a series of exclusive interviews with this country’s leading artists and art historians about how does it feel to make art amid the coronavirus pandemic, about its impact on culture and long-term implications.

Poli Angelova studied Film and TV Directing at NBU, Sofia. Producer at Screening Emotions since 2008. Filmography: A dozen of shorts such as The Minutes After, Three Days in Sarajevo, Before I Go to Sleep, Nina. She was the producer of such award-winning pictures as The Lesson and Glory, executive producer of The Father. Producer of the documentary Theo’s Formula screened to packed cinemas for a year now.

Q: What are you doing now in self-isolation at home? Are you making the best use of your time?

A: I was given the gift of time, an incredible luxury! I am doing all the fascinating things I had no time for: spending more hours with my family, enjoying, studying and playing with the children, reading books, watching films, performances, concerts and exhibitions online. I am teleworking, but it is impossible to get all things done.

Q: At what point of your work were you caught up in the COVID-19 crisis?

A: We were about to shoot an indie we are very committed to.

Q: How did the pandemic change your everyday life, professional agenda and decisions?

A: I benefited much from this lockdown and slowing down. I realised that I needed someone to bring me to a halt. It helped me decide on my priorities and highlighted the things that matter most to me.

Q: Do you have a room of your own to work in or you find it difficult to isolate yourself, taking care of young children or students?

A: I do not separate my work and home life. My children have never disturbed my work. They teach me lessons on a daily basis and now I have even more lessons to learn. Well, that’s great!

Q: What smouldering problematic subjects surfaced as a result of self-isolation and with all activities across Bulgaria and the world cancelled?

A: The subject of the meaning, of how should we live, what we really need. I think that this situation enriched people’s cultural life. New methods were found to make artworks available to us. We, of course, miss some very important things: personal contacts, breathing the same air, sharing an emotion, feeling part of something much greater than you… I deem the opportunities afforded to be a preparation for the upcoming touch with art.

Q: Your opinion about the impact on creative and research quests and the long-term implications?

A: I hope for a positive impact. It will make a difference if even one percent of the artists reflect on the meaning of what they are doing.

Q: Where do you expect to get support in the declared state of emergency over Covid-19?

A: From those, who have become conscious of their need of culture.

Q: What about the therapeutic role of art in the resocialization after the pandemic ends?

A: It will be the same: helping people feel the frissons of human psyche, one’s own and that of the other.

Q: Any ideas about how to resume this country’s cultural activities after the end of the pandemic?

A: The idea, which is worth championing, is that art is what makes us human. Art is an inherent building block of human civilisation, rather than a luxury, hobby or fun.

Poli Angelova: Art is an inherent building block of human civilisation, rather than a luxury, hobby or fun

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