Seminar 19 October: The image of Bulgaria

The image of Bulgaria in Finnish travel narratives – outdated or in need of an update?

Date: Thursday 19 October 2017 at 14:00-16:00

Place: Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

In the past two centuries, several travellers from Finland visited Bulgaria and wrote about their experiences.

Among the visitors were military men such as Casimir Ehrnrooth and officers from the Finnish Guard, writers such as Mika Waltari and other social and political figures, some of whom even contributed to Bulgarian political history.

The travellers’ views still influence Finnish images about Bulgaria and also shape the relationship between the two countries.

How was the image built and for what purposes? Do the narratives offer a code for understanding contemporary Bulgaria, or have they lost their relevance?

Dr. Martin Ivanov and Dr. Sabira Ståhlberg discuss myth and reality in the travel narratives, the historical context and the Bulgarian perspective in contrast to Finnish views.

Dr. Martin Ivanov is Ambassador of Bulgaria in Finland and historian with focus on 19th and 20th century Bulgaria.

Dr. Sabira Ståhlberg researches Bulgarian history and culture and has written extensively on Finnish visitors to Bulgaria.

The seminar is organised by Aleksanteri Institute, Finland and Lecti Culture Centre, Bulgaria, in cooperation with the Embassy of Bulgaria in Finland.