• What remains of the village of Zhivovtsi today on the bank of the lake Ogosta are only the ruined church and village burial grounds. When the water level is lower, the village drinking fountain can be seen sometimes, and it is still running.
  • Although in 1976 the village was officially removed from the Bulgarian settlements register, some remained along the lake banks to live in shacks, breed animals and use the church as a shed. When the last inhabitants of the area were gone, what remained of the village and the iconostasis in the church was pillaged gradually.
  • The inside of the bell tower still holds images of the crucified Christ and the Devil. They were drawn in the early seventies for the filming of the international production Goya or the Hard Way to Enlightenment (USSR / German Democratic Republic, 1971). Parallel to its demolition, Zhivovtsi also turned into a film set for the Bulgarian productions: Midday Heat (1966), The Last Word (1973) and The Last Summer (1973).
  • The film The Last Summer, based on the short novel by Yordan Radichkov, tells a similar story. The protagonist refuses to leave his home and remains on the bank of the newly built dam lake.
  • Today Ogosta is the second biggest artificial lake in Bulgaria. The rivers Barziya, Zlatitsa and Ogosta run into it. Its construction lasted for 20 years, but its initial purpose to water the agricultural lands all the way up to the Danube remained unfulfilled, since until 1989 merely half of the necessary irrigation system was built. Nowadays the lake is used for electricity production and fishing.
Antina Zlatkova

Zhivovtsi is a village in North-western Bulgaria in which over 900 people lived till the mid-sixties. Apart from a church, school, library, bread bakery, there were a tin can factory, animal-breeding house, railway station, four water mills, three threshing machines and five brass-bands in the village. Today Zhivovtsi lies at the bottom of the lake Osta.  In 1965 the state issued a decree for the eviction of Zhivovtsi and the neighbouring village of Kalimanitsa – the birthplace of the famous Bulgarian writer Yordan Radichkov. The largest dam lake on the Balkan Peninsula was supposed to be built on the territories of the two villages. The villagers had to take their houses apart themselves and take them to the designated building area in the peripheries of the two nearby towns – Berkovitsa and Montana (the then town of Mihaylovgrad). Later on the dam plans were changed – the water never reached the village of Kalimanitsa and Zhivovtsi remained at the lake’s edge. Today the only remnants of Zhivovtsi are the ruins of the church Sveto Voznesenie (Holy Ascension), left on the bank along with the burial grounds and the remains of several houses.The cyanotype series Zhivovtsi tells the story of the vanished village by combining present-day photographs from the dam area and archive photographs from the collection of the ethnographer Dimitar Tserovski. With its characteristic aesthetics, the cyanotype, a photographic development method dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century, muddies the borders between the archive and the contemporary storylines and focuses the attention towards the intermediary space of memory.

Antina Zlatkova was born in Montana in 1990. She graduated Communication Sciences at the University of Vienna and Interdisciplinary Art at the University of Applied Art in Vienna. She is author of two poetry books. Her interdisciplinary artistic work is centred round the concepts of personal and collective memory in their historical and socio-political context.