We use cookies
(They are not for eating)
Ок or Information
Home Home Home Search Facebook БГ


Apply for the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK 2020 Competition for Socially Engaged Art

1 June 2020

Tell about the civic rights and freedoms during the COVID-19 crisis through the eye of your art. The best art works will distribute the prize fund of BGN 1,000. Deadline: July 1, 2020

This year, the lives of all of us have changed. The measures imposed to combat COVID-19, the state of emergency and forced social isolation have created a sense of restriction of our civil liberties, growing fears and helplessness. At the same time, remarkable examples of solidarity, striving for common action in support of those in need and new forms of expression of empathy and civic engagement were born.

If you are a professional or amateur PHOTOGRAPHER, ILLUSTRATOR, or WRITER and you want to share your form of solidarity with what happened from the beginning of the state of emergency until today, to convey through the power of your art messages about the importance of our civic rights and freedoms - challenge yourself and apply for:


By July 1, 2020, send us your original photos, illustrations or texts that tell about:

     >>  Solidarity and the power of association in the name of socially significant causes during the state of emergency;

     >>  How we have expressed our civic position on current social issues and problems and how we have demanded for it to be heard, even when we couldn`t gather for peaceful outdoor protests;

     >> Freedom of speech that couldn`t be quarantined behind masks and restrictive measures against COVID-19.

Original works can be based on real examples and events that have taken place since the beginning of the state of emergency to date, which reflect your personal attitude as an artist to the importance of the right of association, the right to peaceful assembly or freedom of speech during and after the crisis.

The prize fund** is BGN 1,000, which will be distributed among the authors of the works ranked first in the three categories of the competition.

In the summer of 2020, the works will be evaluated by a jury with many years of professional experience. At the end of September 2020, the awarding of the distinguished authors will take place, and their works will be presented in a special open-air exhibition and made available in an online exhibition.


  • Applicant’s photographs, illustrations and texts must be original works that explore and / or reflect attitudes towards civil rights and freedoms during a crisis according to the set theme of the competition.
  • Each author can submit up to 5 works to participate in each of the three categories of the competition.
  • The category, title and short argumentation of the creative idea / idea, referring to the chosen right / rights (maximum up to 150 words or 1000 symbols) must be submitted with the application. Applicants also provide two names, email and phone for contact.
  • Professional photography as well as amateur photography (digital or analog) are accepted in the "Photography" category;
  • In the "Illustration" category are accepted drawings, paintings, illustrations, graphics, collages, typographic works and comics;
  • In the "Text" category essays, texts with poetry, prose, as well as journalistic texts are accepted. Texts must be up to 1,500 words long.
  • For the purposes of organizing and conducting the competition, the authors should provide free of charge the right to use the copyrighted works to the Bulgarian Center for Non-Profit Law - organizer of the competition "Civil Alarm Clock" 2020 – and to the Sofia Municipality, managing the "Culture” Program of Sofia.


Bulgarian and foreign artists, including students, can participate in the competition. Works by established artists are accepted and applications of artists who are at the beginning of their creative careers are encouraged. It is not necessary for participants have professional creative experience or their works to have been exhibited or published.


Authors and artists can participate in any of the 3 categories: "Photography", "Illustration", "Text". The works will be reviewed and evaluated by a jury of prominent professionals and cultural figures in the relevant category:

Jury of the "Photography" Category

  • Veselina Nikolaeva – narrative photographer, Documentary Photography graduate at the Academy of Arts in Utrecht, the Netherlands, her themes are always of social significance, thus expressing her position as an artist and civic activist.
  • Miroslav Marinov – freelance photographer, lecturer in photography and founder of the Sofia School of Photography.
  • Hristina Tasheva – photographer, conceptual artist, through her art she expresses an active civil position, part of her photo books deal with topics such as migration and national identity.

Jury of the "Illustration" Category

  • Velina Mavrodinova – co-founder and longtime creative director of Enthusiasm Studio - a leading branding company. With her 30 years of experience as a graphic designer and art director, she is behind the development of some of the leading and very popular brands on the Bulgarian market and successfully established on the international market.
  • Rozalina Burkova - visual artist, illustrator and animation director, she has worked for brands and organizations such as Human Rights Watch, NBC, Tate Modern, Washington Post and Gucci, as well as various social causes and projects with a focus on ecology, women's rights and the fights against gender stereotypes.
  • Rositza Raleva – illustrator and graphic designer. She has worked for Compote Collective, poststudio, Anima Docs, the Polish Institute, Muzeiko, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Fine Acts, the Hungarian Cultural Institute, Ted-Ed, Human Rights Watch, Dushman, Colibri Publishing and others.

Jury of the "Text" Category

  • Marin Bodakov – writer, journalist, university teacher.
  • Stefan Ivanov –poet, culturologist and PhD of philosophy, author of poetry collections. He is the winner of the award "Sofia: Poetics" (2011). He is a co-author, together with Ivan Dobchev, of the play "Medea - my mother", which won "Icarus" (2013) for best play. His play "Between the Holidays" was nominated for "Icarus" (2014) for best drama. In 2017, his play "The Same Day" was played in LPAC in New York, and in 2018 he was a resident playwright at the National Theater of Luxembourg. In 2019, the short animated film "Tasks for the day", based on his poem of the same name, was an official proposal of Bulgaria for an Oscar nomination.
  • Zarina Vasileva – journalist at OFFMedia, PhD student at Sofia University researching the effectiveness in the implementation of social causes online.


The best, influential and related works of the competition will be awarded with monetary and symbolic prizes.

The authors of the works ranked first in each of the three categories will distribute the prize fund** of BGN 1,000.

A wider selection of works will be included in a special outdoor exhibition as well as promoted in an online exhibition. The awarded works will be published for free access and download from the online image bank on the website of the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law.


For participation in the Competition an application form should be filled.

Digital copies of the photographs, illustrations and texts are sent in the format: jpeg, png, pdf or word or, if larger than 5 MB - via a link to download the files from a free sharing platform (for example,;;;

The application form and the attached files should be sent to e-mail:, contact person – Aylin Yumerova.

Deadline: 1st of July.


By mid-June, we managed to raise the prize fund of BGN 1,000 for the first place winners in the three categories of the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK 2020 Competition!

We thank all the donors and supporters who joined the donation campaign and supported the young artists to create awakening art. Our donation initiative lasts until June, 30. The additional funds raised will increase the cash prizes for those ranked first. You can support us by sending a donation SMS with the text DMS BUDILNIK to the short number 17 777 or online on the DMS Platform.



For the third year in a row, the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law supports the vigilant and socially engaged artists by organizing the CIVIL ALARM CLOCK Competition. With it, we encourage and honor young artists who talk about the importance of the freedom to associate for common action, to openly defend our goals and to say what we think.

In 2019, 85 socially engaged artists took part in the Competition, and their messages reached over 200,000 people. Among them, the jury awarded 21 young talents who stood out with their vigilance and artistic style. Thanks to the donors of the competition, the three 1st place winners in the categories "Photography", "Illustration" and "Text" received a special cash prize. Amongst the winners were:

  • Biliana Mateeva, who received a cash prize of BGN 250 for her illustration "MEDIA". The interference in her work is a metaphor for the censorship and selectivity of the modern media in terms of the information they transmit and the way they transmit it. Just like "old TVs lose connection, interrupt and change the frame and sound."
  • Polya Hristova, who earned the first place and the cash prize of BGN 250 for the photo series "Climate change - Be the change". The message in her photographs is a remark against the problems of global warming. The footage presents moments from the student protest "Fridays for future", held in Dobrich in 2019. Through its lens, Polya shows the freedom of speech or, in other words, the publicity of the current social problem. According to the author, "if there is publicity, there is a solution."
  • Emine Sadky, who distinguished herself with the power of her speech and voice via the text "Silence" and was awarded a cash prize of BGN 250. The text is dedicated to the students of Veliko Tarnovo University "St. St. Cyril and Methodius ”, who sacrificing their own personal life and time and risking their education perspectives have fought against the politicization of the University. The focus of the message is education and the need its role to be developed in order to inspire and unite.


The competition has been realized within "Artists - Ambassadors for Social Change" Project, implemented by Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law in partnership with TUHART Association. The project is financed by "Culture" Programme of Sofia Municipality for 2020.