Topic ID #33899 - posted 10/23/2014 1:16 AM

"Fresco-Hunting" Photo Research Expedition to Medieval Balkan Churches 2015 (Bulgaria/Serbia)


Location: Bankya, Sofia, Bulgaria
Session dates: Standard Project: 16 – 30 May 2015 Extended Project: 16 May – 6 June 2015
Period(s) of Occupation: Late Medieval period (14th –17th centuries AD)

Project Description: The project provides a unique opportunity to students and volunteers to take part in an expedition for documentation of abandoned medieval churches/chapels and their frescoes in Western Bulgaria and to visit many other Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries, museums and archaeological sites in Sofia, Western Bulgaria and Eastern Serbia. In 2015 the expedition envisions to enhance the database created during the previous seasons by documenting architecture and frescoes (and their condition) of two to three medieval Christian Orthodox chapels and small churches in Western Bulgaria and collecting new data on their history, artifacts and environment. The target region is geographically and culturally very close to present-day Eastern Serbia, where a photo-excursion will take place. The students will be able to find parallels and make comparisons with ecclesiastic monuments across the border. The project venue is a hotel in Bankya, a small SPA town in the Sofia Metropolitan Area, Bulgaria. The fieldwork during the work days will involve travel to the church sites (app. 60-80 km away from Bankya) and the transport will be arranged by the BHFS.

The Field School Program is comprised of: fieldwork that entails the creation of both graphic (drawn) and photographic records of ecclesiastic edifices and frescos (two to three churches will be in the focus of study);specialized lectures in South East European Medieval History, Orthodox iconography, introduction to Documental Photography, Fresco Conservation and Restoration as well as Workshops for Graphic Documentation (drawn and photographic record) and Processing of Digital Images and Development of Digital Archives. Free optional course in Illustration of architectural features and frescos (using graphic software) as well as excursions/guided tours of Sofia and the Rila Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Bulgaria. All participants will receive a project handbook and the BHFS Certificate of Attendance. Students in the the Extended Field School Project will be introduced to Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), a powerful technique to expose minute surface details by dynamic relighting and will take part in study-trips to prospective sites in Western Bulgaria assessing their current condition and potential to be included in the expedition’s agenda and photo-excursions to medieval eccelsiastic monuments in Eastern Serbia. Students could join the optional 5-day tour of Istanbul, Turkey after the project.
All candidates are expected to have some familiarity with the basic principles of photography and digital SLR cameras. For those who don’t, the BHFS could offer the opportunity to take part in a special, brief but comprehensive online course about Digital Photography Basics by Sofia Photography School prior to their arrival in Bulgaria.
Accommodation in comfortable rooms with two to three beds (bathrooms with shower and WC, TV) in a hotel located in the downtown of Bankya, which also provides free Wi-Fi. Laundry service is available. Three meals (fresh, organic Bulgarian food) per day are covered by the admission fee. They usually take place (except the lunch packages during the excursions) in the hotel restaurant. Requests for vegetarian food are accepted. Staying an extra day at the hotel costs 35 EUR. Single rooms are available upon request for the supplement of 190 EUR (for one-week period).

Cost: EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: before 31 January, 2015 for the Standard/Extended Project is 1259/1889 EUR (app. 1599/2429 USD). Regular Admission fee after 31 January, 2015 for the Standard/Extended Project is 1399/2099 EUR (app.1799/ 2699 USD). The admission fee includes educational and fieldwork activities, full-board accommodation (hotel + 3 meals per day), tools, materials, project Handbook, issue of Certificate of Attendance, excursions/sightseeing tours/entrance fees and administrative costs. 
Academic Credit: New Bulgarian University offers 6/9 credits for participation in Standard / Extended project sessions for an additional fee! 


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