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EВРОПЕЙСКИ ФОТО ФЕСТИВАЛ - EUROPEAN PHOTO FESTIVAL

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Todor Slavchev Photo Archive

Todor Slavchev (1900-1992) is a photo journalist, one of the most prominent masters of reportage photography in Bulgaria. His artistic career spans 60 years, from the 1930s to the 1990s, during which he snapped people and events from various spheres of public life in his homeland: political events, urban and rural life, lifestyle and livelihood, construction and industry, the activities of the Bulgarian Red Cross, hunting and fishing, sports and tourism, artists, landscapes and portraits.

Todor Slavchev was born in 1900 in Plovdiv but in 1930 he settled permanently in the capital. Member of the Society of Photojournalists in Bulgaria since 1934. From 1929 to 1946, Slavchev was editor-in-chief of the Trudovi Vesti (Labour News) magazine, where he published his photographs of social and labour issues. In 1941, he visited Vardar, Macedonia and captured views, lifestyle and important social events in Skopje, Ohrid and other towns. Slavchev co-worked as a photo journalist for the newspapers Utro, Zarya, Dnevnik, Dnes, Vecher and Nashenets („Morning“, „Dawn“, „Diary“, „Today“, „Evening“ and „Fellow-countryman)“. During the bombing of Sofia in 1944, his office at Passage St. Nicholas was ruined, and much of his photo archive was burnt. Todor Slavchev shot on September 9 in the capital. In the autumn of 1944, he published at his own cost the first issue of the Photojournalism magazine, richly illustrated with his reportage photography of current events in the country. He participated as a volunteer photo correspondent in the Second World War (1945), carrying his photo lab. On 1 May 1945 in Hungary, Todor Slavchev organized a front photo exhibition featuring photos of many photo correspondents. After the war, Slavchev worked as a photo-assistant of the journal of the Bulgarian Red Cross, on the Zemlyak (“Compatriot”) newpaper and as a photo reporter for the newspapers Svjat (World) (1948-1949), Naroden Sport („People’s sport“) (1951-1953) and Kooperativno selo („Cooperative village „)(1954-1960). After his retirement, Todor Slavchev worked actively till the end of his life for the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Pogled („Look”) newspaper, the Slavyani magazine, the Lov i Ribolov („Hunting and Angling”) magazine,the  Trezvenost („Sobriety) magazine, the Balgarski Voin („Bulgarian Warrior“), . the Literaturen Front („Literary Front“) and others.

Todor Slavchev participated in a number of group photo exhibitions before and after 9.09.1944. In 1937, he organized the first of its kind exhibition „Fight against Labour Accidents“ whose photographic part was entirely his. In 1989 he made his own photo exhibition. Winner of many awards, medals and diplomas. He is the holder of the 1970 Fine Art Photographer Award, Honoured Worker of Culture (1984), and the posthumous Master Prize of the Union of the Bulgarian Journalists.

Todor Slavchev remained nonpartisan throughout his life. He wanted his work to be seen through the prism of patriotism and humanism that most accurately describe his heart.