28 Jan 2015, Wednesday
My English Teacher
I was 8 years old, when walking down the street in my hometown in Bulgaria I read a sign “English classes”, and out of the blue, I exclaimed to my mother who was holding my hand, “Mom, I want to learn English!”. And so I began, as one of the youngest students in that classroom, eager to learn, and eager to speak a language that I would only hear in films only shown once a week on Bulgarian TV.
I was immediately mesmerized by my English teacher: Ms Toromanova, who had such ease and elegance to her, and always made me feel loved and at ease. I wanted to return to her classes every week and I did so for the next 4 years until we had to emigrate from Bulgaria. She taught English with such ease and with such playfulness that (I would later realize) laid the strongest foundation for learning foreign languages and would also ignite incredible love for traveling and curiosity for discovering new cultures. I would sit in her classroom, read our English books and dream of one day living in London and even studying in Cambridge. She would encourage us to dream and nothing was impossible when I was in Ms Toromanova’s class. In my mind, I would walk down the streets of London, I would be on a double-decker bus on Piccadily Circus and even see myself as a Cambridge student.
As I became a young woman, I did accomplish all of those dreams and more, and in every step of the way, I would think of Ms Toromanova and wonder how she was, where she lived and if she even was still a teacher, still in Asenovgrad. In every accomplishment, I saw a part of her and one day I hoped she would know what an impact she has had on me.
Few days ago, I experienced one of the most incredible moments of my life. Twenty plus years later, I got to meet my English teacher Ms Toromanova! Words are not enough to describe how both of us felt and how incredible it all was. Her surprise for me was that she took me to the class where she still teaches and I found myself in the same classroom, with students who were about my age, when I first started learning English. They all sang three songs for me, showed me their homeworks with great pride and asked for my autograph, which they said they will carry in their wallets. It has been such an endearing memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Today is Ms Toromanova’s 70th Birthday – 28th of January! I wish her a happy birthday and may she continue to inspire, to share her love with everyone she touches.
With great love and gratitude,
14 Nov 2014, Friday
Two Cultures, One Soul
I am back to London and back to feeding my soul with art, dance and culture. I had the pleasure of seeing Torobaka at Saddler's Wells. Torobaka is a dance fiesta performed by Israel Galvan and Akhram Khan: two people with two different traditions and styles, each allowing their passion and soul, to come as one.
Read more about it HERE
24 Oct 2014, Friday
Meet Ara Guler , known as one of the best 7 photographers in the world, and as he likes to describe himself: a visual historian. Born in 1928, the Turkish-Armenian photojournalist, Guler, believed that photography should document the lives of people and capture the evolution of humanity and how cities transformed over time. His work documented far away lands, cities and the rich and famous such as Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock and Dustin Hoffman among others. But he is most proud of capturing his beloved city, Istanbul. He showed us the children playing in mud, the whirling dervishes permorfing their dance, as well as fishermen going out into the sea. It was not the building or the historical sites, but humanity that he was interested in.
“When I’m taking a picture of Aya Sofia, what counts is the person passing by who stands for life”
I recently had a chance to meet him at my favourite seafood restaurant on the Bosphorus, and I wanted to introduce you to him as his work and philosophy is in line with Neri Karra – to make love visible.
23 Oct 2014, Thursday
Beyond the Visible and Known
When in Istanbul, I visited the Joan Miro exhibition at the Sakip Sabanci Museum, a private fine arts museum with magnificent views of the Bosphorus. It is a must visit exhibition if you happen to be in Istanbul by February, 2015. Along with Picasso and Dali, Miro was a Catalan Spanish modernist who dominated the 20th century art. The exhibition titled Women, Birds, and Stars focuses mainly on the symbolism that Miro used in his art. In fact what stood out for me mainly is that he truly could see beyond an everyday object and therefore, create it into art. I felt that as he created, he also had an almost childlike curiosity and such a profound appreciation for looking and truly seeing beyond the visible, and beyond the object. He was almost like a mystic who developed his own visual and poetic vocabulary - stars and spirals, symbols of infinity and nothingness, the number 13 and 9. What I saw was the work of a great artist who had a deep and abiding love for life, which he made visible through his work. "Everything can be useful," Miró said (in 1947) of his use of ordinary objects in his work. One example for this seeing beyond the visible is his sculpture titled “Girl Escaping”, where he used a tap as the hat.
4 Dec 2012, Tuesday
SANTA MARIA LIGURE
14 Sep 2012, Friday
1 Oct 2012, Monday
PARIS FASHION WEEK
4 Dec 2012, Tuesday
NERI KARRA CRAFTSMANSHIP
21 Nov 2012, Wednesday
DANIEL CRAIG AND NERI KARRA