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Participate in the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK 2021 competition

1 April 2021

Send us your photo, illustration or text that shows your views on the right of association, the right to peaceful assembly (protests) and freedom of speech in the digital age.

Deadline: June 1, 2021


If you are an artist, if you are engaged in photography, painting or writing and if for you art is a megaphone for expressing a civil position on important, public topics - dare and apply to the 4th edition of the competition for socially engaged art




The right of association, the right to peaceful assembly (protests) and freedom of speech are being recharged with new content and a way of exercising in the virtual world. How do you perceive this digital transformation - more opportunities, more freedom or more limitations and challenges? What does your imagination say?

Show us through your photos, illustrations or texts - send them to us by June 1, 2021 and participate in the competition.

You can use one of the following questions as a starting point for your creative idea:

>> How do we fight censorship, misinformation and fake news in the online environment? – the intersection between freedom of expression, critical thinking and telling lies.

>> How do we protest from virtual squares? - digital tools that help to express a civil position on important public issues.

>> How do we associate and work online in the name of common causes? – the voice of civil society organizations and their communities in the online space, new forms of unification and association in the virtual boundless world.

The author's works can be built on real examples and events that have inspired you to share your point of view as an artist on the theme of digital recharging of the right of association, the right to peaceful assembly or freedom of speech.


  • The competition is open for participation from April 1 to June 1, 2021, inclusive (see below for more on the rules, the form and who can participate).
  • Every Wednesday - on 14, 21, 28 April 2021 - there will be open creative workshops with representatives of the jury. They will share  tips on appropriate techniques and stylistics for developing the conceptual idea in a complete illustration, text or photograph, sending social messages (see meeting program below).
  • In the summer of 2021, the works will be evaluated by a jury with many years of professional experience (see who are the people of the jury below).
  • While the jury evaluates, the audience will be able to nominate on Facebook the best works in each of the 3 categories. Voting will be open from 15 June to 15 July 2021 (voting rules are below).
  • The authors of the works from the 3 categories, evaluated in "First place" by the jury, as well as those who have received a special award "The Audience Choice" as a result of the online voting, will receive certificates with a cash prize from the prize fund ** of the competition and special prize items (see at the end of the ad how you can support our efforts to raise the prize fund for awake artists)
  • The winners in each category will receive an additional prize - participation in an interview for Spisanie 8 in September and October 2021.
  • On August 26, 2021 at the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK FESTIVAL in Sofia we will award the distinguished authors. Their works will be presented in an open-air exhibition in front of the National theatre "Ivan Vazov" and distributed in an online exhibition.



>> Applying for the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK 2021 competition: April 1 - June 1, 2021

>> Online public voting: June 15 - July 15, 2021

>> CIVIC ALARM CLOCK FESTIVAL, awarding the authors and opening of the exhibition in Sofia: August 26, 2021

>> Concluding the award contracts with the awarded authors: at the end of August - beginning of September 2021



Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marin Bodakov ("Text"), Miroslav Marinov ("Photography") and Velina Mavrodinova ("Illustration") are part of the jury of the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK competition since 2019. They will lead 3 creative workshops in which they will share valuable guidelines and techniques on how to develop a conceptual idea and turn it into a text, photograph or illustration of high artistic value. The members of the jury will also give a lot of practical advice that will be useful when you want to convey through your work a socially engaged message. The meetings will be held in Bulgarian.

The workshops will be very useful for the candidates in this year's competition. Don't miss this incredible chance!








  • Applicant photographs, illustrations and texts must be copyrighted works that explore and / or reflect attitudes towards the digital transformation of the right of association, the right to peaceful assembly (protest) or freedom of speech in the virtual world.
  • Each author can submit up to 5 works to participate in each of the 3 categories.
  • Professional and amateur photos are accepted in the “Photography” category.
  • In the "Illustration" category are accepted drawings, paintings, illustrations, graphics, collages, typographic works and comics.
  • Essays, texts with poetry and prose are accepted in the "Text" category. Texts must have a maximum volume of 1,500 words.
  • The following must be indicated with the application:

>> Two names, e-mail and telephone number for contact with the author / author's team;

>> Category of the work / series of works;

>> Title of the work / series of works;

>> Short argumentation of the creative idea, referring to the chosen right / rights (maximum up to 100 words);

>> A short history of the work / series of works - when it was created and what provoked the author / author team to create it;

>> Consent, resp. the disagreement of the author / author's team for publishing the work / series of works on the Facebook page of the competition for voting by the public.

  • Authors whose works have been awarded in the competition and ranked for inclusion in the exhibitions should allow and explicitly provide the Bulgarian Center for not-for-profit law - organizer of the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK 2021 competition - the gratuitous right to use the author's works to promote the results of the competition and distribution of non-commercial works through exhibitions and the image bank for free use by third parties.


Important: Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law will make a preliminary selection of the received applications for their compliance with the topic and the rules of the competition. Author's works that do not meet the conditions of the competition, damage the good name of the organizer, incite violence or hate speech will not be allowed to be evaluated by the jury, as well as for public voting.

Important: Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law does not use, distribute or promote in any way unclassified by the jury works received at the application stage, whose authors in the application form have noted their explicit disagreement with their works to be published on the Facebook page of the competition for public voting.




Bulgarian and foreign authors can participate in the competition. Works by established authors are accepted, as well as the application of artists who are at the beginning of their creative career. Participants do not have to have professional creative experience or have their works exhibited or published elsewhere.



Authors 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:




  • Nadezhda Pavlova - curator of Synthesis Gallery. She has been interested in photography for over 20 years, initially as an author and later as a curator and historian. In recent years, the focus of her research has been photo books and their specifics. Nadezhda is teaching "History of Photography in Bulgaria" at the National Academy of Arts, where she is currently a doctoral student.
  • Miroslav Marinov - freelance photographer, photography teacher and founder of Sofia Photography School.
  • Hristina Tasheva - a conceptual artist who through photography, text and performance presents her research on migration, home, identity and belonging. Develops, presents and distributes her projects in the form of a book




  • Velina Mavrodinova - co-founder and longtime creative director of Enthusiasm - a leading branding company. With her 30 years of experience as a graphic designer, art director and illustrator, she is behind the construction of some of the leading and very popular brands on the Bulgarian market, successfully established on international markets as well.
  •  Rosalina Burkova - visual artist, illustrator and animation director, has worked for brands and organizations such as New York Times, Human Rights Watch, NBC, Tate Modern, Washington Post and Gucci, as well as for various social causes and projects focusing on responsible nature, human rights women and the fight against gender stereotypes.
  • Rositsa Raleva - illustrator and graphic designer. She has worked for Compote Collective, poststudio, Anima Docs, Polish Institute, Muzeiko, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, FineActs, Hungarian Cultural Institute, Ted-Ed, Human Rights Watch, Dushman, Kolibri Publishing and others.




  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Marin Bodakov - Lecturer at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ”. Among his most recent publications are the monograph “Criticism and Sincerity”, “The case of Jordan Marinopolski ”(2019) and the collection of poems “Bear of Fear ”(2018). He is a regular author of the site on literary and social issues.
  • Stefan Ivanov - poet, culturologist and doctor of philosophy, author of poetry collections, resident playwright of the National Theater of Luxembourg (2018). He co-authored, together with Ivan Dobchev, the play "Medea - my mother", which won "Icarus" (2013) for best performance, and his play "The same day" was staged in New York at LPAC (2017). In 2019, the short animated film "Tasks for the day", based on his poem of the same name, is an official proposal of Bulgaria for an Oscar.
  • Zarina Vasileva - a longtime journalist at OFFMedia. Currently Zarina is a doctoral student at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ” with a study on the effectiveness of the implementation of social causes in the online environment.



While the jury evaluates, the public will nominate their favorite works. Online voting will be open from June 15 to July 15, 2021, 11.59 pm on the Civic Alarm Clock Facebook page. The works that received the largest number of shares in their category will receive a special award "The Audience Choice", and their authors will be awarded a cash prize from the prize fund** of the competition.





The best, influential and related to the theme of the competition works will be awarded with cash and symbolic prizes - a set of bandana scarves and canvas bags with the design vision of the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK.

The authors of the works ranked by the jury, as well as those selected by the audience for the prize "First place" in each of the three categories, will receive a cash prize. They will distribute the funds from the prize fund ** of the competition. They will also have the opportunity to promote their work through a special interview in Spisanie 8.

A wider selection of works will be presented in an outdoor exhibition in the capital's city park, as well as promoted in an online exhibition. The awarded works will be published in an online bank for free use of images on the website of Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law.



>> An application form << is filled in to participate in the competition.

Digital copies of copyrighted photographs, illustrations and texts are sent in the following format: jpg, png, pdf or word - as attachments or, if larger than 5 MB, via a link to download the files from a free sharing platform (e.g.;;;

The application form and the attached works are sent to e-mail:, contact person - Aylin Yumerova.

Application deadline: June 1, 2021, inclusive.



For the fourth year, we are looking for donors to support and encourage young artists to develop their talent, inspired by what is happening with our civil rights.

By June 1, 2021, we aim to raise the amount of BGN 1,500.

The collected donations will be distributed in the form of cash prizes for the six most exciting works in the categories of the competition - "Illustration", "Photography" and "Text", selected by a jury and after a vote of the audience.    


Support socially engaged artists now with a donation on >><<


Together we will pay due attention to the new, talented generation of illustrators, photographers and writers - awake to their rights and engaged in the themes of civil society in Bulgaria. We believe that they are the new voices, critical and powerful in their speech, mastering the power of art. They are the megaphone of time.

Donate to the cause of CIVIC ALARM CLOCK and become an engine for change!



The mission of the Bulgarian Center for not-for-profit law is to help people come together and share their ideas for a better world. With the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK competition for the fourth year we give space to awake and socially engaged artists to send messages about the importance of freedom to associate for common actions, to openly defend our goals and to say what we think. We trust the power of art and believe that it can bring change in people and communities.

So far, more than 280 authors have taken part in the editions of the competition. Thanks to donors we managed to support the creative development of 9 young artists, with a total value of BGN 2,550.

114 authors with 226 illustrations, photographs and texts took part in the CIVIC ALARM CLOCK 2020 competition. Each of the winners in the 3 categories received a cash prize of BGN 300.



You can be one of them this year. Participate!


The competition is realized with the financial support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation and Sofia Municipality under the "Culture" Program for 2021


With the media partnership of:



The author of the title photo "Keep Walking" is Tuncher Eminov, awarded in the "Photography" category at the "Civic Alarm Clock" competition for 2018.