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.
Stanislav Todorov – Rogi graduated from NATFA in Film and TV Directing, in the classes of Prof. Christo Christov. He directed a number of popular TV series such as She and He, Redundant Sofianites, A Stolen Life TV series, documentaries, etc. His feature-length directorial debut Bubblegum won Golden Rose for Best Screenplay, Bulgarian Feature Film Festival, Varna ‘17.
Q: What are you doing now during self-isolation at home? Are you making the best use of your time?
A: I painted the kitchen and the hallway, fixed a wall in the bathroom, and installed skirting boards, doing such chores before Easter.
Q: At what point of your work were you caught up in the COVID-19 crisis?
A: Together with a friend of mine completed a screenplay and are submitting it to the Bulgarian National Film Center to apply for a grant. I am working on a screenplay of a TV series, several commercial projects and created my own website: stanislavtodorov-rogi.eu. It felt like I was doing nothing, but now, enumerating my endeavours, well, not too shabby.
Q: How did the pandemic change your everyday life, professional agenda and decisions?
A: We certainly live in a different world now, but I do not want to be humble, down-to-earth or more modest in my demands. I find it really hard to reconcile and toe the line, but now I am doing my best to observe the measures. I think the lockdown measures are too strict, but I could be wrong. Well, I expected to start shooting in the spring and the beginning of summer. But now I do not believe it is possible until the autumn. But then again, I am a pessimist so don’t mind me!
Q: What smouldering problematic subjects surfaced as a result of self-isolation and with all activities across Bulgaria and the world cancelled?
A: How dependent upon each other we are.
Q: Your opinion about the long-term implications for the creative and research quests?
A: We will be impoverished. But more importantly, the crisis will teach us to contemplate ourselves in the little things, to look into ourselves, into the people around us.
Q: Where do you expect to get support in the declared state of emergency over Covid-19?
A: From savings for the time being. If it lasts longer, I do not know…. The Ministry of Culture are making efforts to do something for the people on low incomes.. I am classed as ‘marginal’: an interest-free credit. A credit indeed, but interest-free after all; interest-free indeed, but a credit still.
Q: What about the therapeutic role of art in the resocialization after the pandemic ends?
A: As soon as theatres, cinemas, concert halls, bars and cafes reopen, we’ll re-socialise pretty quickly. We, people, are avid creatures and social animals.
Q: Any ideas about how to resume this country’s cultural activities after the end of the pandemic?
A: Let processes of funding art projects continue at least at the stage of paperwork, rather than calling for submissions only when the bans are lifted, thus the implementation will start right away.