FINE ACTS LABS | CEE

 
  Illustration:  Rozalina Burkova    for Fine Acts Labs

Illustration: Rozalina Burkova for Fine Acts Labs

 

Fine Acts Labs are unique events exploring the intersection of human rights, art and technology.

In Labs, teams of artists and technologists work together over a weekend to prototype ideas that raise awareness or provide solutions to a specific issue. A jury then awards the best idea with a grant for further development.

In past editions, ideas have ranged from from immersive, participatory art pieces to apps with a strong art component. By communicating human rights issues in new, unexpected ways, we seek novel avenues to inspire action and attract support.

The next edition of Fine Acts Labs will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria (7-11 June 2018) and will focus on the threats to democracy and civil rights in Europe, and the shrinking space for civil society in the region.

For this event, we selected 24 outstanding fellows from Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania, out of over 130 applications. We chose them because of their impressive accomplishments, as well as their passion, drive, curiosity and kindness. Fellows have the opportunity to win up to 5000 EUR in grant money to develop their idea; receive year-long mentoring and support for their project; and join a vibrant and diverse international community of visionaries and rising stars.

Public presentation of ideas: Sunday, 10 June, 18.30 h., Generator (Sofia, 47 “Cherni Vrah” Blvd., fl. 5). 

 
 
 
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FELLOWS

 

ART

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Anna Rubi / Hungary
Anna works in the fields of video, film, live performance. Awarded the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, she graduated in trans-disciplinary art at the Zürich University of the Arts. Video maker, 
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union. Permanent Artist, MyMuseum Gallery.

Anna Zsofia Kormos / Hungary
Anna Zsofia is a fashion designer. After graduating the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, she launched the fashion brand THEFOUR. In 2017 she started her D.L.A doctoral programme where she is researching Innovation and Smart Technology in Fashion.

Balint Komenczi / Hungary
Balint is a sociologist, sound artist, and community music facilitator. He works with Hungarian NGOs and often takes part in international collective art happenings. He is interested in developing hybrid projects that influence society.

Bogdan Topirceanu / Romania
Bogdan holds a BFA and a MFA degree in graphic arts, and is currently pursuing a PhD in visual arts at the National University of Art in Bucharest. Co-initiator of the Unnamed Association, an artist driven NGO that aims to encourage artistic and educational processes.

Georgi Tomov Georgiev / Bulgaria
Georgi is an artist focusing his work on installations. He works with ephemeral mediums — light and sound. The the purpose of his practice is not mere reflection, but rather augmentation of perception and facilitation of change.

Ioana Georgeta Turcan / Romania
Ioana is a filmmaker and a visual artist with a strong interdisciplinary background – from contact sports to choreography and visual mediums that address intersectional social topics. She received a Fulbright Grant to fulfil her MFA in Film and Video Production in the USA.

Katarzyna Pagowska / Poland
Katarzyna is a visual artist, working in the fields of performative and participatory actions, installation and photography. She often produces or places socially responsive works in public spaces. Her works have been exhibited across Europe and the USA.

Martin Grahovski / Bulgaria
Martin is a visual storyteller working mostly in the area of documentary films / photographic essays. Runs a freelance documentary / photojournalism company. Creator of the highly popular project “3 Minute Bulgaria”.

Robert Obert Romania
Robert is an urban artist, who creates murals, paintings, comics, and illustrations. Through his art he tries to uncover the hidden sides, the unveiled layers of perception, pushing them further and mashing up information into new configurations.

Stefan Prohorov / Bulgaria
Stefan is a stage director and playwright, working mostly in the fields of theatre and performance art. His work focuses on an interdisciplinary approach towards socially relevant subjects, as well as cross-cultural experiments in the field of classical theatre.

Vena Naskrecka / Poland
Vena is an artist, who works in the field of performance, video and installation. Holds a BA in Fine Arts from Hanze University Groningen,  and a First Class Honours Master in Art and Process from Cork Institute of Technology. 

Weronika Jurkiewicz / Poland
Weronika is a writer and filmmaker whose work explores topics related to gender, sexuality and politics. She was as a producer for the Future of StoryTelling Summit in New York, a conference that explores how new technologies are changing the way we tell stories.

TECH

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Alin Rautoiu / Romania
Alin is a full stack programmer by day, blogger and video essayist by night. As a hobby, he’s been writing about comics for 6 years, and has published two papers on the subject. Passionate about using his skills in the service of the civil society.

David Timis / Romania
David is a Growth Engine Manager at Google. He is also an active member of the Global Shapers Community. David was named “Young Leader of the Year” in Romania by Revista Cariere, and included on the prestigious “30 Under 30” list of Forbes.

Dragos Silion / Romania
Dragos is a AR/VR developer, with a prior experience as a backend developer. Graduated the Computer Science Faculty in Iasi, Romania. His hobbies include drawing and 3D modelling.  After joining Code For Romania, he became passionate to use his tech skills for good.

Gabriela Luhova/  Bulgaria
Gabriela holds a Bachelor degree in computer science. She is a Ruby on Rails developer at Tutuf, and is involved as a mentor in Rails Girls Sofia – a programme aiming to give tools and a community for women to understand technology and build their ideas.

Joanna Skorupska / Poland
Joanna is an educator, creative technologist and a product designer with a strong background in service design. She runs an innovation design studio that forms future ideas and democratizes possible future visions. A maker at heart.

Katerina Vaseva / Bulgaria
Katerina is a designer, developer and illustrator who has lived and worked in New York, Istanbul and nowadays Sofia. Her main interests are creative programming with platforms like Processing, openFrameworks and Arduino, as well as graphic novels and interactive narratives.

Mate Nadasdi / Hungary
Mate is a front-end tech lead engineer. Curator of JSConf Budapest. Loves to explore and experiment with new technologies, work on client side optimisation or just simply brainstorm with others to make the web a better place.

Michal Szota / Poland
Michal is an independent graphic and interaction designer, creative experimentalist, VJ, podcaster, workshopper. Cooperates mainly with cultural institutions and artists. His areas of expertise are web technologies, visual design, custom software-based presentations, UX.

Oktawian Freus / Poland
Oktawian is a programmer, snowboarder, and a free spirit. Graduate of The Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of the University of Warsaw, he has worked as a freelance programmer for the past 8 years.

Pardeep Attri / Hungary
Pardeep is a mechanical engineer with a business degree, trying to make a difference in people's life through the use of technology. He is passionate about social equality and justice, and writes on issues related to marginalized communities.

Stefan Vartolomeev / Bulgaria
Stefan is a developer, who jumped into the world of startups. He's playing with his computers all day and he calls it "work". As a true romantic soul, he loves to code late at night just on the light from a dimmed monitor. Daytime he's the CTO at Futurist Labs.

Vladimir Velikov / Bulgaria
Vladimir is a computer programmer, automation and optimisation freak, living in Sofia. Leading a team of twelve at a mid-sized company. Proficient in the Haxe programming language, which (albeit somewhat obscure) is a truly advanced one. Bitcoin maximalist. Young father.


 

MENTORS

 

John Dalhuisen / Activism

Human rights defender. Former Director of Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia programme (2007-2018). Between 2001 and 2006, he was a Special Adviser to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2007. ESI Senior Fellow.

Todor Gardos / Activism

Acting Eastern Europe and Balkans Researcher for Human Rights Watch, based in Budapest. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Todor worked for several years as a campaigner and researcher on Hungary and the Balkans at Amnesty International, mainly working on asylum and migration, discrimination of Roma and LGBTI people, and justice for war crimes.

  Yana Buhrer Tavanier   /   Activism   Co-founder and Director of  Fine Acts , Yana also serves as Board Member of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and expert member of Amnesty International’s Europe & Central Asia Regional Oversight Group. Academic background in communications and political science, executive education from Harvard, Yale and Oxford Universities. TED Senior Fellow, WEF Young Global Leader, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  

Yana Buhrer Tavanier / Activism

Co-founder and Director of Fine Acts, Yana also serves as Board Member of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and expert member of Amnesty International’s Europe & Central Asia Regional Oversight Group. Academic background in communications and political science, executive education from Harvard, Yale and Oxford Universities. TED Senior Fellow, WEF Young Global Leader, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  

  Svetla Baeva    /   Activism   Human rights activist with an academic background in communications and political science. Apart from being  Fine Acts ’ Campaigns Head, and the Campaigns Director of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the largest human rights organisation in Bulgaria, Svetla is also co-founder and CEO of  Power Pops , a company dedicated to supporting social change through popsicles. WEF Global Shaper. Fulbright Scholar at  Change.org

Svetla Baeva / Activism

Human rights activist with an academic background in communications and political science. Apart from being Fine Acts’ Campaigns Head, and the Campaigns Director of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the largest human rights organisation in Bulgaria, Svetla is also co-founder and CEO of Power Pops, a company dedicated to supporting social change through popsicles. WEF Global Shaper. Fulbright Scholar at Change.org

  Julie Freeman /   Art    Co-founder and Creative Director of  Fine Acts , Julie is an artist who explores how technology can connect us to nature. She  translates  complex processes and data from natural sources into kinetic sculptures, physical objects, images, sound compositions and animations. A TED Senior Fellow, Julie leads the Data as Culture art programme at the  Open Data Institute , and holds a PhD from the Queen Mary University of London.

Julie Freeman / Art

Co-founder and Creative Director of Fine Acts, Julie is an artist who explores how technology can connect us to nature. She translates complex processes and data from natural sources into kinetic sculptures, physical objects, images, sound compositions and animations. A TED Senior Fellow, Julie leads the Data as Culture art programme at the Open Data Institute, and holds a PhD from the Queen Mary University of London.

  Pravdoliub Ivanov /   Art     Artist . Pravdoliub held solo exhibitions in private galleries in Sofia, Plovdiv, Warsaw, Vienna and art institutions in New York and La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He has participated in a number of big international shows and biennales, including the 4th Istanbul Biennial (1995); 4th Manifesta, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2000); 14th Sydney Biennial (2004); 5th Berlin Biennial, Germany (2006); 52nd Venice Biennial, Italy (2007).

Pravdoliub Ivanov / Art

Artist. Pravdoliub held solo exhibitions in private galleries in Sofia, Plovdiv, Warsaw, Vienna and art institutions in New York and La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. He has participated in a number of big international shows and biennales, including the 4th Istanbul Biennial (1995); 4th Manifesta, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2000); 14th Sydney Biennial (2004); 5th Berlin Biennial, Germany (2006); 52nd Venice Biennial, Italy (2007).

  Maria Milusheva /   Marketing   Creative Director at  Noble Graphics  – a three times Creative Agency of the Year at the annual FARA festival. Maria’s passion for problem-solving has earned her a bevy of creative and marketing effectiveness awards. In 2017 she has been selected as one of 15 women globally for the Cannes Lions See It Be It programme, which recruits high-potential creative women from around the world.

Maria Milusheva / Marketing

Creative Director at Noble Graphics – a three times Creative Agency of the Year at the annual FARA festival. Maria’s passion for problem-solving has earned her a bevy of creative and marketing effectiveness awards. In 2017 she has been selected as one of 15 women globally for the Cannes Lions See It Be It programme, which recruits high-potential creative women from around the world.

  Zhelez Atanasov /   Marketing   Strategic planning director of  Noble Graphics  - one of the leading advertising agencies in Bulgaria. When he’s not working for beer brands, big banks, retailers and soft drinks, Zhelez spends his time doing campaigns for nonprofits like Time Heroes, The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and WWF. Young Lions Winner at Cannes 2014. Cat person.

Zhelez Atanasov / Marketing

Strategic planning director of Noble Graphics - one of the leading advertising agencies in Bulgaria. When he’s not working for beer brands, big banks, retailers and soft drinks, Zhelez spends his time doing campaigns for nonprofits like Time Heroes, The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and WWF. Young Lions Winner at Cannes 2014. Cat person.

  Mihajlo Nikolic /   Technology   Polymath and interdisciplinary professional. Co-founder of  Athlon , an international design and technology company, Managing Partner for Athlon’s Sofia studio and CTO for Athlon’s international scene (Sofia, London, New York and Toronto), where he leads technology and software innovation. Founder of Resonator, a co-innovation hub, and co-founder of Technokrati, a company operating at the intersection of education and technology for kids and youth.

Mihajlo Nikolic / Technology

Polymath and interdisciplinary professional. Co-founder of Athlon, an international design and technology company, Managing Partner for Athlon’s Sofia studio and CTO for Athlon’s international scene (Sofia, London, New York and Toronto), where he leads technology and software innovation. Founder of Resonator, a co-innovation hub, and co-founder of Technokrati, a company operating at the intersection of education and technology for kids and youth.

  Peio Popov /   Technology   Key accounts manager for  Ontotext , a global developer of a unique portfolio of core semantic technologies. Usually involved in company's contracts, negotiations and disputes. Peio helps apply Ontotext technology to real world problems. Loves the spark of playful cleverness when technology is applied to a human frustration.

Peio Popov / Technology

Key accounts manager for Ontotext, a global developer of a unique portfolio of core semantic technologies. Usually involved in company's contracts, negotiations and disputes. Peio helps apply Ontotext technology to real world problems. Loves the spark of playful cleverness when technology is applied to a human frustration.

  Vladimir Petkov (Kaladan)   /   Technology   Chief Technology Officer at  A Data Pro  where he is responsible for the business with automation and trained machines, as well as for the technology development of the company's own media and products. Kaladan is proud to be involved in projects such as the podcast "Internet talks", and Rails Girls Bulgaria.

Vladimir Petkov (Kaladan) / Technology

Chief Technology Officer at A Data Pro where he is responsible for the business with automation and trained machines, as well as for the technology development of the company's own media and products. Kaladan is proud to be involved in projects such as the podcast "Internet talks", and Rails Girls Bulgaria.

  Anton Stoychev   /   Technology    Analytically thinking, open-minded technologist. Anton has been coordinating, developing, designing and consulting on data-driven projects and government systems. Working in sync with latest practices in UX and software development. Has been involved in open source projects and applications that empower citizens and improve access to their human rights –e.g.  Obshtestvo.bg ;  Time Heroes .

Anton Stoychev / Technology

Analytically thinking, open-minded technologist. Anton has been coordinating, developing, designing and consulting on data-driven projects and government systems. Working in sync with latest practices in UX and software development. Has been involved in open source projects and applications that empower citizens and improve access to their human rights –e.g. Obshtestvo.bgTime Heroes.

  Dima Peteva /   Pitching   One of the first people to join the team of  SiteGround , an international tech company, founded in Bulgaria and Best Employer in their field in AON’s survey for the past two years. Since 2004 Dima has played a key role in different departments such as project management, product and creative marketing. Today she is SiteGround’s Brand Director and part of the team behind  Creative Mornings Sofia .

Dima Peteva / Pitching

One of the first people to join the team of SiteGround, an international tech company, founded in Bulgaria and Best Employer in their field in AON’s survey for the past two years. Since 2004 Dima has played a key role in different departments such as project management, product and creative marketing. Today she is SiteGround’s Brand Director and part of the team behind Creative Mornings Sofia.

  Ana Alexieva /   Pitching   Documentary producer, cultural manager and  Fine Acts ’ Project Manager, Ana graduated in film production at EURODOC (France) and EAVE (Luxembourg). Former producer at AGITPROP and Balkan Documentary Center. Selected in the Emerging Producers 2015 initiative of Jihlava International Film Festival. Forbes Bulgaria 30 Under 30. WEF Global Shaper. YTILI 2017 Fellow.

Ana Alexieva / Pitching

Documentary producer, cultural manager and Fine Acts’ Project Manager, Ana graduated in film production at EURODOC (France) and EAVE (Luxembourg). Former producer at AGITPROP and Balkan Documentary Center. Selected in the Emerging Producers 2015 initiative of Jihlava International Film Festival. Forbes Bulgaria 30 Under 30. WEF Global Shaper. YTILI 2017 Fellow.

  Martina Koleva /   Presentations   Digital specialist with a background in communications, psychology and design, and  Fine Acts ’ Digital Lead, Martina is one of the co-founders of CoderDojo Bulgaria and is actively involved in the organization of  Rails Girls Sofia , making coding more accessible to women and children.

Martina Koleva / Presentations

Digital specialist with a background in communications, psychology and design, and Fine Acts’ Digital Lead, Martina is one of the co-founders of CoderDojo Bulgaria and is actively involved in the organization of Rails Girls Sofia, making coding more accessible to women and children.

 

 

JURY

 
  Dimitar Dimitrov /  Rails Girls Sofia    Software developer, one of the organizers of the programming workshop for women  Rails Girls Sofia  and an active member of the  Obshtestvo.bg  foundation, working for a better e-government. Dimitar did some teaching at the Sofia University, founded Foundation Open Media and the Future is Code initiative and participated as an ambassador in Europe Code Week.

Dimitar Dimitrov / Rails Girls Sofia

Software developer, one of the organizers of the programming workshop for women Rails Girls Sofia and an active member of the Obshtestvo.bg foundation, working for a better e-government. Dimitar did some teaching at the Sofia University, founded Foundation Open Media and the Future is Code initiative and participated as an ambassador in Europe Code Week.

  Yordan Zhechev /  gutsandbrainsDDB    The most noticeable and awarded creative director in Bulgaria. Yordan has won Agency of the year four times (but hasn’t won it more times). Father of the creative at  gutsandbrainsDDB , the processes at  Tribal Worldwide Sofia , and three sons. Claims that everything good that happens to him in advertising comes from his love to listen, hear and make sounds.

Yordan Zhechev / gutsandbrainsDDB

The most noticeable and awarded creative director in Bulgaria. Yordan has won Agency of the year four times (but hasn’t won it more times). Father of the creative at gutsandbrainsDDB, the processes at Tribal Worldwide Sofia, and three sons. Claims that everything good that happens to him in advertising comes from his love to listen, hear and make sounds.

  Kalina Zhuleva /  Generator    Clinical psychologist and design thinking expert, Kalina has a vast experience in advertising & communications. Former Managing Director of New Moment, a leading ad agency in Bulgaria. Currently co-founder of  Generator  - a concept/physical space using design to generate ideas, experiments, solutions and experiences that provoke innovation and add value to life and society.

Kalina Zhuleva / Generator

Clinical psychologist and design thinking expert, Kalina has a vast experience in advertising & communications. Former Managing Director of New Moment, a leading ad agency in Bulgaria. Currently co-founder of Generator - a concept/physical space using design to generate ideas, experiments, solutions and experiences that provoke innovation and add value to life and society.

  Pavel Kounchev /  Fine Acts    Co-founder and Chair of the Board of  Fine Acts , Pavel is a social entrepreneur with a strong background in advertising and marketing. Co-founder and Managing Director of  Time Heroes , the largest do-more-good platform in Bulgaria. Currently finishing his MA in Digital Management at Hyper Island - a digital creative business school. WEF Global Shaper, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Forbes Bulgaria 30 Under 30, Aspen Institute Romania Alumnus.

Pavel Kounchev / Fine Acts

Co-founder and Chair of the Board of Fine Acts, Pavel is a social entrepreneur with a strong background in advertising and marketing. Co-founder and Managing Director of Time Heroes, the largest do-more-good platform in Bulgaria. Currently finishing his MA in Digital Management at Hyper Island - a digital creative business school. WEF Global Shaper, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Forbes Bulgaria 30 Under 30, Aspen Institute Romania Alumnus.

  Stefka Tsaneva /    Goethe-Institut Bulgaria    Curator and cultural manager. Currently part of the cultural department of  Goethe-Institut Bulgaria , Stefka has worked for the Municipal foundation “Plovdiv 2019”, Open Arts Foundation and Sariev Contemporary. Among her curatorial projects are: Places of pleasure (Sofia City Gallery, 2017), Art Start: Young artists to follow (Goethe-Institut and Credo Bonum Gallery, 2017 and 2018), Sofia Queer Forum 2015.

Stefka Tsaneva / Goethe-Institut Bulgaria

Curator and cultural manager. Currently part of the cultural department of Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, Stefka has worked for the Municipal foundation “Plovdiv 2019”, Open Arts Foundation and Sariev Contemporary. Among her curatorial projects are: Places of pleasure (Sofia City Gallery, 2017), Art Start: Young artists to follow (Goethe-Institut and Credo Bonum Gallery, 2017 and 2018), Sofia Queer Forum 2015.

Observing members of the Jury:
John Dalhuisen & Yana Buhrer Tavanier


 

PARTNERS

 
 
 The project is supported in part by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Human Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations. 

The project is supported in part by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Human Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations. 

 
 
 

Patrons

 
 
 

Supporters

 
 

Mobility partner:

 
 

Media partners:

 
 
 
 

FRIENDS

DESIGN:  Rozalina Burkova, Borislava Willnevermadeit

PHOTOGRAPHY: Radina Gancheva

VIDEOGRAPHY: Gold Grippin

MUSIC: Margg Names, DJ CVETKA

VOLUNTEERS: Iva Mechkunova, Nia Kiriakova, Zdravko Lazarov, Zornitsa Mitkova, Raya Raeva, Veer Shah