Art4Diplomacy is a project showcasing traditional costumes from different countries, organized by H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Madbouh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Palestine in Bulgaria and the Artist Dr. Petia Ilieva, the event was held under the auspices of H.M. Tsar Simeon II, on the 25th of September hosted in the beautiful grounds of Vrana Palace in Sofia.
The Bulgarian and international audience enjoyed a colourful display of men’s and women’s traditional clothing from Palestine, Brazil, Indonesia, Japan, Morocco, India, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Pakistan, Iran, Cuba, South Sudan, Rwanda and Cameroon.
The gathering united the tradition and folklore of the represented Nations; it showed the similarities between the people highlighted through the beauty and diversity of their national outfits. All proceed raised from the event will be donated to hospitals in the fight against Covid-19
The costumes were provided by the participants – the Diplomatic Missions in Bulgaria and were modelled by students from the National Theatre and Film Academy. I was delighted to be invited to participate, providing vibrant outfits from my father’s country South Sudan and representing the beauty of the African heritage.
The event was made extraordinary, as our kind host H.M. Tsar Simeon II, showcased for the first time part of the personal collection of costumes belonging to his mother Queen Joanna. The Royal Collection of costumes that were more than 100 years old represented all folklore regions of Bulgaria.
All the displays were amazing, my favourite were the Indonesian traditional costumes with their unique Hinduism characteristics and distinctive features, complemented by heavy jewellery and striking head accessories, which represent status in the social cultural structure of the Indonesians.
My other personal favourite were the Palestinian folk costumes, beside the beautiful array of colours, Ms. Sylvia Mihaylova the Cultural Attaché of the Palestinian Embassy explained that every outfit has a distinctive traditional embroidery pattern which is associated with the particular geographical area that the clothes come from.
Naturally the exotic African clothes brought a tropical feel to the event with their flair and eye-catching colourfully printed fabrics, the models were swaying and twirling to the sounds of African music, the display was met with delightful applauses by the Royal family, distinguished guests and the entire audience.
Because of the pandemic restrictions, the event could not be public as originally planned; however, the event organizers plan to distribute the message of the event through photos videos, and articles such as this.
I hope you enjoyed it!