CITIZEN LAB AND VILLAGE OF BRESTOVO
Village Brestovo is situated 23 km away from the district town Lovech.
Lovech is the district center of Lovech district – one of the alarmingly depopulating districts in Bulgaria with an increasing share of the aging population (at the age over 65).
Thirty five years ago the region was industrial center with many light and heavy industry factories, including the only cars manufacturing plant in Bulgaria. There was also a well-developed agricultural sector.
The rapid and prevailingly not transparent privatization of the economy in the 90s changed the industrial landscape of the district, leaving it with only few working factories, seriously damaged agriculture and huge army of unemployed people. Sometime in the late 90s criminal groups hijacked the local economy and had been suffocating every single entrepreneurial initiative.
Nowadays the situation is a bit different – the criminal groups are already legal businessmen and the local economy is still to a great extent captured by them, but there are also new initiatives and enterprises that gain international recognition – for example Walltopia (the worldwide famous producer of climbing walls) or Rico Style – a furniture producer furnishing some of the world’s famous hotel and restaurant chains, the football club Tottenham, Formula 1 speedway Silverstone, Wimbledon, World Trade Center in Dubai, etc. Some SMEs are slowly making their path but the lack of qualified and motivated labour force is stopping their further growth and expansion. It might sound like a paradox, but although the big number of unemployed people, the business still faces a lack of good workers. The supply and demand on labour market do not meet regarding qualification, discipline and remuneration of labour force.
There is a great but not fully utilized potential for all sorts of tourism and organic food production in the district. The administrative centre of the district – Lovech – is less developed then some of the smaller towns like Troyan, Letnica, Lesidren, etc., which is due to the mentioned above capture of the local economy by people not being able to develop its full potential but at the same time not allowing others to do so and also due to the local government reluctance to implement policies in support to further and advanced local development.
The culinary design tool will be tested here as part of the action “Step out of the box let’s start dreaming”, conducted as part of the Citizen Lab programme run by the MITOST association.
This action involves a group of artists, dancers, actors, plastic artists, storytellers with whom Marisella Pacheco will try to invent a common language to take the inhabitants of the village towards the path back to the dream.