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My Country
See Us... Know Us... Pray for Us

Jacko Vassilev's portrayal of Bulgaria gives us a compelling look at the peasant countryside of Bulgaria. He communicates to us the strength of the human spirit that prevails in spite of primitive living conditions and political oppression.

Jacko explains, "I really want to preserve all we have in Bulgaria, especially the big army of the old generation. Those people have something that the young generation does not have. Their spirit I have seen in their eyes, in their hands, and on their faces. The grand and endless expressions on their faces are so natural, so real, sometime I wish my photography could have smell and sound. At least it is something that will remain for future generations. That is why I photograph man. Photography is a big art, and no one, no regimes, no party can stop the creation of it."

Jacko Vassilev began taking these photographs at a time when Bulgaria was under Communist Totalitarianism. His darkroom has been raided in the past and he has been accused of presenting the "bad" side of Bulgaria.

Photographs by Jacko Vassilev have been published in a book titled Bulgarians, by Contrejour Publishers in Paris. His work is in the permanent collections of the International Center for Photography in New York and the European Center of Photography in Paris, France.

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