BORN FREE
Photography exhibition by Konstantin Vulkov

30/08/2023 - 29/10/2023

Opening on Wednesday, 30 August, 6 p.m.

Try, fall down, get up, try again. Make friends with pain. Smile. You’ve made friends with your body. Now you know more about yourself. This makes you confident to continue, take risks and reach a new level you had only dreamt of. You now look at yourself and the world around you with new eyes. You never laugh at the amateurish efforts of others and light-heartedly share your knowledge. This is what nobility means. In skateboarding the little ones can also be great. Every person to take off from the ground in flight for even seconds has overcome their fears and knows what it means to rely on nobody but yourself.

The photo series of skate parks by Konstantin Vulkov is a major lesson in social photography. Not sports, nor portrait, but documentary – a visual story of street culture with locations in Cape Town and Barcelona, Manchester and Burgas, Sofia and Tsarevo. The images are extraordinary encounters with people from different generations who all practise this sport. They were taken in social environments that fought to be recognized by society – transitioning from a “delinquent bunch” into “Olympic hopefuls”. From thug appearances with skateboards in public spaces to training in purpose-built skate parks.

Accelerate-soar-land. Konstantin Vulkov does not neglect any of the three stages. He does not use effects. He documents this environment with its culture. He has gained the trust of everyone at the ramp; nobody is posing. This exhibition is an account of skateboarding – a sport used to solve social problems in different societies. A sport where there are no social boundaries and which, in its democratic essence, resolves psychological issues. A sport where freedom is personal, yet also shared with anyone with the courage to stand up for it.

Marieta Tsenova
Exhibition curator