Vanya Boneva works as a trainer and facilitator with different groups of adults and youth, as well as with teams of organizations. Vanya has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology (Sofia University – 2004). She holds an additional qualification as a systemic-family therapist (PISEL – 2022).
What inspires her most in her work is the ability to develop programm specific to the needs of each individual group, which best allows it to unleash tits potential and to achieve their common goals and at the same time give freedom and space for expression and personal development to each individual. The methods of Systemic Facilitation, Integral Facilitation, Experiential Learning and Forum Theater enable her to work effectively on topics related to aggressive behavior prevention, social and emotional skills, soft skills and organizational development.
Vanya’s main areas of work are related to training teachers, school psychologists in supplementary education programs; outdoors – experiential adventure and personal development programs; working with disadvantaged children and young people; facilitating teams of organisations.
Additional qualifications and interests: Mountain guide, experienced in guiding groups and individual tourists from Bulgaria and from around Europe; Lecturer in social psychology at a professional training center for mountain guides; Sailing.
Genika Baicheva is involved in the field of group facilitation, individual psychological counseling and supplementary training of educational professionals. Genika holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy (Sofia University, 2004) and a Master’s degree in Artistic Psycho-social Practices and Psychodrama (NBU, 2010), and is trained as a psychodrama therapist. An important focus of Genika’s work is the intersection between creativity and therapeutic work aimed at groups and individuals. Using techniques from art therapy, psychodrama and forum theater, she develops various program aimed at those on the road to self-discovery and the unfolding of their personal and/or group potential.
Since 2013, within the framework of various programs and projects, she has been developing a methodology and conducting trainings for the prevention of professional burnout, working with children and parents from minority and vulnerable groups, prevention of violence in schools, aimed at educational professionals, social and youth workers, parents.
Genika is co-author of the successful bid of Plovdiv for European capital of culture 2019 as well as of manuals and articles in the field of psychology and anthropology.
Desislava has been working on environmental and social justice issues for nearly 20 years, both locally and internationally. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics at St. Kliment Ohridski, after which she completed two master’s degrees in environmental management and policy at the University of Amsterdam and the Central European University in Budapest.
Desislava’s interests and experience range from campaigning for fair and transparent investment of public funds, promoting the concept of zero waste, to seeking alternatives for and working with local communities. After 9 years abroad and working in the NGO sector in Brussels, Desislava is currently exploring new methods and horizons to bring about change in Bulgaria, combining artistic, social and environmental practices.
Milena Stanojevic works in the field of theatre arts as a director, actress, performer and trainer. Milena holds a BA in Acting and Directing for Contemporary and Alternative Theater Forms (NBU, Sofia, 2007), and has a very extensive informal theater education, received at home and abroad through participation in various forums, workshops and master classes for performing arts, upcoming MA in Theater Art and Society, specialization in Directing and Management (NBU).
She has participated in the creation and presentation of many different artistic projects, some of which have been highly appreciated and presented at various international forums and events, such as: 13th Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy; International Theater Festival – “Varna Summer”, Bulgaria; XXXV International Cervantino Street Festival of CLETA – Guanajuato – Mexico; 13th International Small Scenes Theater Festival, Rijeka, Croatia; International Festival of Alternative and New Theater Forms INFANT, Novi Sad, Serbia, UNIDRAM, Germany; BITEF, Serbia and others. She has realized theatrical performances, performances, street actions, performances for and by children, numerous performances and trainings related to interactive, immersive and sensory theater at home and abroad aimed at professionals, youth, youth workers and/or amateurs, as well as projects involving work with different groups and communities. Work with a variety of performers, theater groups and free creative ‘electrons’ in the development, delivery and management of projects that are directly or indirectly related to theater and/or education.
In the framework of various European programs and projects, she leads theater workshops, and as part of international expert groups, she produces manuals on the application of play and theater methods in working with young people and vulnerable groups towards inclusion, empowerment and free creative expression, as well as manuals for various groups of professionals working for the preservation of cultural heritage.
Ivan Karadzhov – Indy
Ivan Karadzhov – Indy is an artist, actor, painter, technician, responsible for logistics, co-organizer of events, collaborator in the field of advertising and distribution of artistic events. Ivan is a graduate of PGEE – town of Plovdid (2005). He graduated from Plovdiv University of Technology (2005) in industrial electronics with microprocessor unit. With eyes set on the future he complements his knowledge with graphic design (NTS-Engineering 2013), qualified electronic systems (2015), software and hardware courses. He has interest in psychodrama events, trainings and cultural workshops. His love for art mixed with a drop of humor and electronics spices up every event Ivan participates in. Each multicultural performance in which Ivan is involved is woven into the fabric of society in defense of the rights of isolated communities and nature.
In 2012, Ivan’s work in the field of human rights was recognized as a major contribution to the development of culture and society. Ivan co-organized the first independent and free exhibition “Onomatopoeia”, initiated by young artists from Plovdiv, which continues to be organized annually to this day. Since 2018 he is coordinator and technical support of various cultural festivals with artists from Bulgaria and around the world.
Ivan is among the winners of the “Worthy Bulgarian” 2010 award in the field of ecology.
In recent years, Mina has developed as a trainer and facilitator interested in group work with people of all ages, inspired to create an environment of understanding and support for the people she meets at work, so that they can tap into and discover their inner potential.
Mina has a Doctorate of Philosophy in Education. She continues to explore various topics of life with curiosity and is passionate about societal processes and motivating people to take personal responsibility in their lives. She has participated in a number of Erasmus trainings in non-formal education and experiential learning.
Her work includes organising and delivering trainings, working with Forum Theater methods, teaching at school and university.
For her ‘travel’ is word that holds many different meanins- her inner world, her dreams and active participation in life and her relationships with people. To travel in the processes! She is continuously learning, growing, discovering.
Georgi Feliksov – Feldi
Georgi is a long-time friend and collaborator of the Open Spaces team. His main professional activity is in the field of web and graphic design and he is currently responsible for the organization’s web presence.
Georgi graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Visual Communications (Dowling College, USA, 2003), then upgraded with a Master’s degree in Media Science and Cultural Studies (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany, 2005).
In addition to freelancing as his main profession, Georgi has been the manager of a tourist hostel in Plovdiv and a radio journalist in the Bulgarian section of the BBC World Service in London.
Georgi dreams of a world of small communities, where each individual has the opportunity to unleash their potential in a collective environment of shared and complementary interests and inspirations, and where one feels part of something bigger.
Dimitar Panchev holds a PhD in Sociology (Paisii Hilendarski University – 2019, Plovdiv) and is a lecturer at the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of Paisii Hilendarski University. He specialized in criminology at the University of Kent (2012 – 2014).
Dimitar is one of the founders of “Open Spaces” and together with Genika Baicheva is part of the team that conducts anthropological and sociological research in the East neighborhood of Plovdiv. The results of the research laid the foundations for a large part of Plovdiv’s European Capital of Culture 2019 initiatives in the Mahala cluster. He has published in the field of Roma studies, drug addiction and forms of homelessness, as well as aspects of deviant behaviour in international holiday resorts such as Ibiza. His research interests include topics related to social exclusion, advanced marginality and new forms of social inequality; forms of deviant behaviour in socio-historical contexts; consumer cultures and night-time economies.
Dimitar dreams of a world where mental boundaries do not limit or exclude, and the “green grass at home” of Tom Jones’ song is not just an aphorism and pop culture cliché.