Eugenia Maximova – Kitchen Stories from the Balkans

“The kitchen room is not only the soul and spirit of the Balkan home it is also the exact mirror image of the Balkan society.”


Kitchen interior from Kremikovzi, Bulgaria

The kitchen impeccably depicts the crossroad position of the, so-called, Balkan countries and conveys the highly perceptible sense of lost identity in the region – an inevitable legacy of the 500 years of Ottoman yoke and another almost 50 years of isolation and captivity behind the iron curtain There is neither time nor money (but it also lacks on spirit) for “creative” decoration in most of the Balkan homes (actually we, the Balkan people, would rather spend our money in cafés than on decoration or enrichment.)

Most young families are either forced to live in rented properties (where the rental fee is often higher than an average monthly salary) or live packed like sardines in their parents’ flats- usually located in hopelessly ugly, non-renovated concrete buildings – an omnipresent heritage from the communist era. In many of those flats time seems to stay still.


Kitchen interior from Skoder, Albania




Kitchen interior from Ruse, Bulgaria




Kitchen interior from Ohrid, Macedonia




Kitchen interior from Sofia, Bulgaria




Kitchen interior from Kremikovzi, Bulgaria



More images and other stories on Eugenia Maximova’s website and on Balkan Photographers Collective. Via La Lettre de la Photographie.

Eugenia Maximova first became interested in photography in 2005 after the sudden death of her mother, a recognized Bulgarian painter.

“Looking through the viewer and pressing the camera button helped me to escape the harrowing reality of her loss, to overcome the shock and lessen the burning pain. As time passed, photography became my favored means of communication; a new outlet of creative expression, for how I felt about both myself and my perception of the world around me.”

Eugenia is now inseparable from her coeval Hasselblad 500 C, travelling together around the world in search of comprehension and visual truth.