Does it happen to you when you’re walking the streets of a foreign city you know nothing about and wonder where it’s at? And I mean not the cafes, bars or shops, not the clubs or even the cultural hubs, but something of a community space, the place where people gather WITHOUT the occasion of monetary exchange?
When this happens to me I look for parks, public spaces and squats. In Sofia sadly we don’t have any of the latter, but the closest thing we have are social centers like the Fridge/Haspel. It’s a space for discussions, community purposes and art left out of the official discourse (pun intended), aiming to promote cooperation, debate and critical thinking.
That being said, they organize discussions, lectures by prominent thinkers, presentations of different academic and activist projects, screenings, soliparties, workshops on how to fix your bike, and parties and events at the suggestion of someone from the community. Ever since they united with the Fridge, an independent art space, they also host exhibitions and theater projects. Currently it’s part of the the Art-Up exhibition. Basically, it’s a place for people to inhabit. If you want to learn about real issues in Sofia or just talk to an intelligent person, that’s the place to find them.
As the poetic cannon goes, it’s based behind a big supermarket, facing the trash-bins . And right next to that there’s the my favorite makeshift terrace of a neighborhood café, where you can experience the true delights of a Sofia backyard.