“Portraits of Shame” is a short personal project, which I photographed in the Rowing Base of Vidin, Northwestern Bulgaria, startled by the conditions, under which the sportsmen there are forced to train and accomplish their achievements despite them. Some of the most successful sportsmen of the city agreed to take part in it, champions, who have brought numerous titles in their respective disciplines for my country.

As a photographer, I hope to drive the public attention towards the problems, which are deeply rooted in my country and which drive major discontent with our government on a regular basis.

I am a firm believer in the sentence that art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer to shape it and I hope that if this project gains enough momentum and public attention, there would be a reaction from the people, who are able to make things better for them.

Dedicated to my Friend, who passed away on the evening I shot this series.

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Bogomil Petrov

Born on 20 November 1939 in Vidin. In May 1964 he set the first world record for the Bulgarian weightlifting and first record for the country after WWII. In Sofia’s regional weightlifting tournament he overcame the weight of 140kg, which is more than the Russian record in the “lifting” discipline – cat. 67.5kg. He had been a national competitor for 8 years, took part in 101 tournaments, of which he won 67. Graduated the National Sports Academy with a pedagogic and weightlifting trainer profiles. He has accomplished numerous rowing achievements. In 1977 he traveled non-stop for 300km in a boat, from Vidin to Rousse which he managed to do in 41 hours and 40 minutes. He rowed in a kayak for the whole distance of the river Danube’s springs in Germany to its delta by the Romanian city Sulina.

Boris Nedylkov

He was born on 25th of June, 1993 in Vidin. Rower for the kayak clubs “Bdin” and “Vanto – Vidin”. Currently a rower for the SC Levski, Sofia. Eight time republican champion of Bulgaria in the single kayak – in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The only Bulgarian competitor in the Junior Olympics in Singapore 2010. Sixth in the European championship in Croatia in 2011 for juniors. Ranked 10th in the Junior World Championship in 2012.

Tsvetelina Tsvetanova

She was born on 27th of February 1996 in Vidin. Competes for SC “Wrestling, Sambo, Judo” – Vidin. Four times world champion in Sambo for girls under 18. Two times European champion for girls in Sambo. Two times bronze medalist in Judo in European and World Championship. In 2012 she won the title of European Champion for girls under 16, the same year she won the first place in the Balkan championship for Judo. Gold medalist and owner of the European cup for Judo in 2012 and 2015.

Stefan Iliev

He was born on April 21st, 1954 in Vidin. He is a canoe competitor in the clubs “Bdin”, CSKA and “Akademik” – Sofia. He started his sports career in the “Bdin” club of Vidin, where he won numerous titles in the National competitions. He has participated in multiple World and European tournaments, a bronze medalist in two seated canoe from the World Championship in Belgrade in 1975 with the marathon’s distance of 10 kilometers. He had been working as a trainer in “Bdin” – Vidin, “Akademik” – Sofia and Pleven. Currently a trainer for the “Vanto – Vidin” club. Master of sports.

Training Spot In The Facility

Hallway Between The Showers And The Hotel Part


The Showers

One Of The Hotel Rooms Now Used As A Storage Room

A Hotel Room

The Rowing Facility

A View From The Outside