Can intergenerational initiatives bring depopulating rural Bulgaria back to life? Young Bulgarian urbanites think so and are experimenting with artistic and lifestyle projects to spur village revitalization. Rural culture is often associated with family roots, the traditional authority of elders, and with right-wing politics rather than with the conscious innovations of university-educated young adults. This brown bag gives an overview of my dissertation project, which investigates the stakes of rural vitality for young Bulgarians and the assumptions and aspirations embedded in their projects. I suggest that understanding the motivations and practices of youth to (re)-engage with villages is crucial to understanding how young people navigate belonging, intergenerational relationships, and attachments to place in contemporary Bulgaria.
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