Big Deals

As we were told by some older salesmen we interviewed, during socialist time this fair was one of the view opportunities for eastern and western companies to fix their deals and sign contracts. By walking around one can still imagine that big machineries change hands – with possibly very high commissions! Of course also of interest – all events and locations on the fair ground and throughout the city, which modulate the various forms of social interaction between the fair participants. All those little situations, invitiations etc. contribute and might speed up the process of decision making.    ...

National Performances

Our little booth as part of the official representation and joint stall of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. As Mr. Christof, the local long-standing employee of the Bulgarian Austrian Chamber branch office told us, until recently they used to have their own pavilion. And our local support – the crew for the mapping workshops and interviews. Thanks to Illiana, Mila and Evelyna!   The official Austrian reception – with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, of Austrian companies and some of their clients.    ...

Cleaning Crew

Every morning previous to the opening of the fair ground, the cleaning crew is busy. Nearly solely women working for several temporary employment...

Mapping the Fair

As a sample and for attracting more visitors, we mapped some paths of our interviewees directly on our booths‘ walls....

Anniversary

By coincidence we attend the International Plovdiv Fair at its 70th anniversary. So we are invited for the gala dinner at the „St. Petersburg Hotel“, operated already during socialist times as „Leningrad Hotel“, which was back then the largest and most prestigious in town. A special feature of the building – the amazing openable ceiling above the main hall! And of course the extensive outdoor area with a large pool. Here one can still imagine the formal or more informal meetings and gatherings of international protagonists and delegations from east and...

Fair Encounters

In our imagination we considered the fair itself as an important node for encounters of different social milieus – both in past and present times! After we finished the setup of our stall we walk around, look for evidence and invite people for our mapping-workshop. Back in Vienna we got a very useful hint, that Mary Neuburger an US-American social scientist already published an article about this fair, focussing on its special role during the Cold War era. „Kebabche, Caviar or Hot Dogs? Consuming the Cold War at the Plovdiv Fair...

Trade Fair

One of my fellow travelers asks her best friend to drive me to the fair ground. What a kind welcome! Accidentally both are logistics managers – cooperating and working with an Austrian...