The summer festival “Be The Change” took place for the fifth time in a row in Varna, Bulgaria. On August 23rd the festival was opened by the Varna Institute for Peace Research (VIPR), Daniela Penkova from “Dokumentalni.com” and the Bulgarian trade union “APC” in the beautiful “Seaside Garden”. At the beginning, lectures and presentations on various political topics were held. Music from El Freegano, Abstract, DJ The Student, DJ Prodegy, made the breaks between the different speeches entertaining. Towards evening, two selected and translated documentaries were projected for each day of the event.

The festival “Be The Change” was designed and financed by voluntary helpers and autonomous organizations as before. Thus political and financial independence was preserved. Both the music, as well as the individual lectures and presentations can be called up on our Youtube channel (just click the picture).


The press conference of the trade union “APC” was held by Evgeni Nikitin, co-founder of the Varna Peace Research Institute (VIPR).

While Evgeni Nikitin talked about the social struggles in Bulgaria, Josef Mühlbauer, member of ARC, member of “Wiener ArbeiterInnen Syndikat”, member of the IOPS (International Organization for a Participatory Society), who studied philosophy and political science in Vienna, gave an insight into the tasks and objectives of VIPR.

The economist and founder of the platform for documentary films (documentary) Daniela Penkova PhD finished the lecture series on the first day of the festival with a speech on social inequalities, minimum wages and on legal amendments. Iliyan Stanchev from Dokumentalni followed up for an exciting and informative cinema evening.


The second day the economist Petar Piperkov PhD, co-founder of the project “Фабрика Автономия” (Autonomous Factory), co-founded “Indimedia Bulgaria” and founder of the publishing house “Anarres”, opened the festival day. He is also one of the leading figures in the project “Life After Capitalism”. As a member of IOPS’s “International Organization for a Participatory Society” and as an anarchist supporter of radical democracy, he gave a speech on the importance of solidarity in times of global change. With this lecture he wanted to point out that a social change is possible even without clearly stated goals.

After a musical interlude by the Israeli DJ The Student, the next exciting lecture continued. Many passersby stopped and listened to the rhythmic tones, while the preparations for the next presentation were on high speed.

The contributor of the Varna Peace Research Institute (VIPR), Mariele Friesacher BA BA, challenged social prejudice and stereotypes with her lecture. The main focus was on “gender roles” in our patriarchal society. After a great applause, there was still interaction with the interested audience. An economics student and others came to speak and enriched the contribution of the Austrian political scientist Mariele Friesacher. Here you can watch the whole lecture (english).

After a further musical contribution, the next speakers took part. The historian Peter Dobrev PhD and the political scientist Bojin Traikov PhD presented their publishing house and their online magazine “Dversia”. Afterwards, many enthusiastic persons from the audience came up with the relevant publications.
Here a small impression of the booksstands:

And as on the first evening, the second days finished with two exciting documentary films. Here on the right in the picture you get an impression of the atmosphere:


Petar Piperkov, mentioned above, opened the third day of the event with a presentation on the project “Autonomous Factory”.

Immediately afterwards the Bulgarian trade union APC asked some employees of “Max-Telekom” and “Pikadili” on the stage. These companies are either involved in corruption scandals or in insolvency proceedings and do not pay their employees fairly.

Before the documentary films were shown, two Bulgarian hip-hopers appeared. Particularly EL FREEGANO made audience very happy. His colleague ABSTRAKT also received a great applause.

The lecture series was finished by the Turkish student Naz Sakar. She is a member of the Turkish revolutionary workers’ party and spoke about the situation of the workers in Turkey.


The festival has attracted lots of visitors and was very well attended every three days. The Bulgarian political magazine “Barikada” has reported exclusively on the event. Young people in particular were enthusiastic about the revolutionary themes, and either VIPR as APC won new members and supporters!

A successful VIPR project had come to an end.


Author: Evgeni Nikitin