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We shared our Visual Vibes in Bulgaria

We are looking back on an incredible weekend in Plovdiv, Bulgaria! The European Visual Practitioners’ two-day event in Plovdiv was called Visual Vibes and we think we shared them with each other and lots of other people.

“I find myself filled with memories that extend far beyond the main event.”

One of the highlights was meeting the fellow community members. Some off us knew each other from previous events, others met for the first time in real life. It is amazing to see the joy when this happens and hear how they traveled to get to the venue.

About that venue: we knew we were going to be in the creative district Kapana, but entering Néctar felt like coming home. The small venue is bright and colorful, ready to get creative and the host Petya helped us with everything. And of course she joined us when she could.

Day 1: workshops and sharing

After kicking of the event, we dived deep into Plovdiv’s rich history with a performance. In workshops we explored the Bulgarian learning method ‘suggestopedia’ and delved into city marketing based on participatory design. The workshops were insightful, but what struck most was the conversations that blossomed afterward. Professionals applying visual thinking in fields such as education, urban planning, and healthcare sought each other out, driven by a shared desire to learn and share knowledge. A common thread throughout the weekend.

Day 2: time travel

On the second day, we traveled through time. We began at a Byzantinian basilica full of symbols and symbolism, build in layers and an amazing place to explore multiple ways of visualisation.

In the afternoon we relearned how to use AI for creating visual notes, and drew in 3D with VR headsets. In the open space much more crafts were shared and developed. There was a genuine curiosity about the past and the future, as well as about each other’s work and the advice we could offer one another.

We ended the event with a talk about the future of EVP. More on that later!

“Thank you all for creating a wonderful space! 🥰🥳🤗”

And…

Somehow a bunch of us ended up at a PechaKucha Night in Sofia. The topic was ‘placemaking’ in communities, architecture and urban planning. Our board member Karl kicked off the evening by recounting our weekend in Plovdiv. Core team member Betty shared her experiences with visually facilitating community participation in public spaces.

Maaike and Eveline took the opportunity to make visual recordings of all the talks. Maaike made them with pen and paper, sharing a personal piece of art with all individual presenters. Eveline made one recording of all talks on her Ipad and took the stage to explain what we’ve been doing with our heads down the whole time.

Svetla, Rossitsa and Antonia had just served us a wonderful event, but had some energy to connect with the Bulgarian audience and tell them about our work.

“The fantastic memories overrule the missing.”


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