Austerity 2016-Present is an ongoing project on abandoned schools in Bulgaria.
In 1989 not only the Berlin Wall fell but also communism as a political system. The impact on Europe and especially the Eastern part of it was huge. Almost overnight a political system dating back to the end of World War II and the Cold War era collapsed and made these countries transform to market driven liberal-capitalism. Bulgaria was one of them.
In 2007 Bulgaria entered the European Union as one of the last former communist states together with its neighbour Romania.
Ever since 1989 and certainly since 2007 money has been tight in Bulgaria. Over the last 26 years the population dropped from 9 million to little over 7 million. Nowadays the population drops with 60.000 every year and as a result of the economic situation, the European Union’s craving for austerity and the decline in population there are less children to fill the schools and classrooms.
Bulgaria must have had a good and vast educational system with schools all over the country. Now dozens of schools are closed and left abandoned.
This photo project commemorates their remains.