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Have a virtual conversation with a survivor and visit the communist labor camp with the Histories from Belene program

Everyone can have a virtual conversation with a survivor from a communist labor camp, take a virtual tour of the Belene camp or join a tour of the actual site. This is now possible with the belene.camp platform, which is part of the Histories from Belene program, implemented by the Sofia Platform Foundation with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Why the Belene camp?
More than 15,000 people passed through the Belene communist camp over its entire existence. The Sofia Platform Foundation decided to introduce the wider public to several of them so that the survivors can share their first-hand accounts of what it was like to be among the staunchest opponents of the communist regime. This initiative was informed by representative sociological data showing wide-spread lack of awareness of our most recent past amongst the16-40 year-olds.

Histories from Belene
The belene.camp platform allows visitors to:
- Have a virtual conversation with six survivors of communist labor camps. This is made possible by hundreds of hours of video recordings and artificial intelligence that translates stories from the past into the language of the present. The stories of the camp survivors will be preserved for future generations. Please note that the virtual conversations are currently available in Bulgarian only and the first virtual conversation in English will be available in December 2023.
- Take a virtual tour  and explore key sites on the islands of the Belene Archipelago connected to the lives of the internees.
- Request a guided tour of the camp
- Learn more about the camp and the regime

Meet the free people of Persin Island and hear their messages!
The Histories from Belene project is made possible through the work of Borislav Skochev, Prof Daniela Koleva, Prof Momchil Metodiev, Dimitar Dimov, Andrey Nonchev and Blagovesta Pugyova from Childish, Ilina Marinova, Georgi Totev and Georgi Kozhuharov from LENS2LENS, Animajor Studios, Mikhail Marinov from the Belene Island Foundation, Father Paolo Cortesi, Belene Municipality, and the team of the Sofia Platform Foundation over the more than 12months.

The project is supported by the America for Bulgaria Foundation.
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