International Conference

Culture, Heritage and Tourism as Factors for Sustainable Development of Small and Medium-Size Cities (SMCs): the European Perspectives

Supported by the Scientific Research Fund

at the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science – Contract КП-06-МНФ/11

Co-organized by the Blagoevgrad Municipality and the Bulgarian Sociological Association

29-31 May 2019

I Corpus of the SWU “Neofit Rilsky”

66, Ivan Mihailov Bvd., Blagoevgrad 2700


29th of May 2019, Wednesday, 114 auditorium, Corpus 1

8.30-9.00 - Registration

9.00 – Welcome coffee

9.45 Opening of the conference: Congratulations to participants from the Rector, representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, the Mayor of Blagoevgrad, the President of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria and others. Prof. Assoc. Svetlana Hristova, Conference Coordinator: Approaching the contemporary problems of SMCs in Europe.

Moderator: Prof. Dr.Sc. Rumyana Stoilova, President of the Bulgarian Sociological Association

11.00 – 13.00 – Plenary Session: The Small and Medium-Size Cities: new developmental challenges in search of sustainability

Moderator: Anelia Gesheva, Vice-minister of culture – tbc

11.00-12.00Key note speech: Prof. Dr Milena Dragićević Šešić, University of Arts Belgrade: Cultural tourism on the European peripheries: heritage & spectacle as identity pillars of small European cities


12.00-12.30 – Coffee Break


12.30-13.30 Key note speech:  Prof. Dr. Matthias Theodor Vogt, Director of the Saxonian Institute for Cultural Infrastructures, GörlitzMethodological remarks on fostering co-creativity in Small and Middle Size Cities


13.30-14.30 – Lunch break


14.30-16.00 Thematic Session: The City of 21st Century: Co-Creating and Co-Governing Sustainable Urban Futures

Moderator: Mariusz Czepzcinski

Prof. Dr. Iván Zádori – Prof. Dr. Zsolt Nemeskéri, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Education and Regional Development, University of Pécs: Sustainable management of historical urban infrastructure of Hungarian small and middle sized cities in the 21st century

Nataša Urošević, PhD, Interdisciplinary Study Programme of Culture and Tourism Juraj Dobrila, University of Pula, Croatia: Co-Creating Creative Cities - Culture, Heritage and Tourism in Sustainable Urban Development

Mariana Prodanova, PhD student, Sofia University, Chair of “The Factory” cultural NGO, Gabrovo: The 21st Century City – In search of balance


16.00-16.30: Coffee break


16.30 – 19.00 Thematic Session: Processes of Digitization in the knowledgeable cities

Moderator: Valentina Milenkova

Prof. Dr.Sc.Valentina Milenkova, Depart. Of Sociology at the Philosophical Faculty of the South-West University: Digital Literacy and Inequalities in the Knowledgeable Society

Prof. Dr. Dobrinka Peicheva, Depart. Of Sociology at the Philosophical Faculty of the South-West University: Digitisation and Media Ecology

Sofia Margarida de Castro Barros Correia dos Santos, Administração Regional de Saúde do Porto: The Portuguese Historical Archives – Their Contribution for Cultural Heritage

Assist. Prof. Dr. Dilyana Keranova , Dr. Iva Dimitrovs: Self-evaluation of the digital literacy and abilities


19.30 – Reception

30th of May 2019, Thursday, 114 auditorium, Corpus 1

9.00-11.00 Plenary session: Cultural Limits of Sustainable Development of SMCs: expectations and challenges

Moderator: Nataša Urošević

Key note speech: Prof. Dr Mariusz Czepczyński, University of Gdańsk: Challenges of unsustainable touristification. Fast, furious and photogenic


Key note speech: Prof. Assoc. Svetlana Hristova, South-West University: Cultural Innovation of SMCs. The possibilities of “mission impossible”


11.00-11.30 – Coffee break


11.30-13.00 – Thematic Session: Animation of Public Space: Public Arts, Architecture, Artivism

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Todor Bulev

Arch. Maria Diamandieva, Center for Architectural Studies: The Architecture – A Culture Catalyst or a Marketing Tool? “La Liaison dangereuse”


Galina Dimitrova-Dimova, PhD student at the Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia: Contemporary Forms of Visual Art in Public Environment


Ilko Borisov Nikolchev, PhD students in New Bulgarian University: Sculpture in public space - a tool for social integration

13.00-14.00 – Lunch break


14.00-15.30 Thematic Session: Socio-cultural Resources for sustainable development of SMCs

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Matthias Theodor Vogt - tbc  

Zuzana Timčíková, PhD student at the Institute of Theatre and Film & Art Research Centre at the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava: Role of the independent cultural centres in the town´s and regional life


Tamari Taralashvili, PhD student at the Technical University of Chemnitz and Zittau/ Görlitz University of Applied Sciences: The Special role of Youth in preserving cultural heritage in the middle-sized towns in Georgia


Vladislava Lendjova, PhD student, South-West University: Digital abilities as a fundament of social sustainability


Chief Assist. Dr. Petrana Stoikova and Chief Assist. Dr. Teodora Kiryakova-Dineva, South-West University:, The Almost Forgotten Holy Places: a prerequisite for the development of SMCs in the Region of Blagoevgrad


15.45-19.00 - Study visit: Religious and wine tourism – Rila Monastery and Medi Valley Winery. In charge of the tour: Kristiyan Kovachev

31st of May 2019, Friday, 114 auditorium, Corpus 1

9.00-10.30 Thematic session: Looking for wellbeing of SMCs: Culturalizing Economy, Socializing Culture

Moderator: Svetlana Hristova

Prof. Dr. Pierpaolo Forte, Università degli Studi del SANNIO di BENEVENTO: Cultural enterprise


Mariela Bogdanova, PhD students at the Economic Faculty of the SWU: The Role of Social Economy as a stimulus of the creative potential of young people in the SMCs


Elena Arnaudova, PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, SWU "Neofit Rilski" and expert in the Department of Culture at Blagoevgrad Municipality: Reviving the city with the means of culture: From politics of cultural calendar to co-governance of the creative sector


Dr. Lyubomir Kutin, Monitoring and indicators of festival events in small and medium-sized towns

10.30-11.30 – Coffee break

11.30-13.00 – Thematic Session: Festivals, Celebrations and Urban Games as a Means to Animate the Public Spaces of SMCs

Moderator: Elena Arnaudova

Kristiyan Kovachev PhD student at the at the Faculty of Arts, SWU "Neofit Rilski": Contemporary medieval festivals and transformation of public space: the experience of Sibiu and Plovdiv


Elitsa Paneva. PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, SWU "Neofit Rilski": The Town as a place for Consumption and Celebration: A Study of the Fertility Holiday in the City of Kyustendil


Kristian Petrov, PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, SWU "Neofit Rilski" and PR at the Pernik Municipality: Advertising Opportunities for the International Masquerade Festival "Surva" As a Tool to Realize the Tourist Potential of the City of Pernik


Mirela Kyuchukova, PhD student in Philosophy of Education Programme, Pedagogical Faculty, SWU "Neofit Rilski": The Orthodox Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of Blagoevgrad and the Development of the Community

13.00-14.00: Lunch break

14.00-16.00 – Discussion for the establishment of a Research group on Small and MCs: Blagoevgrad Declaration.

Moderator: Luciano Gloor

16.30Study visit of the Varosha cultural Quarter and the Regional Historical Museum. In charge of the tour: Elena Arnaudova

19.00Dinner at National Cuisine Restaurant with the Blagoevgrad Vice-Mayor of Culture


1st of June 2019, Saturday: Study visit to Plovdiv, ECoC 2019 (optional)