“There is always future for those want to work and grow”: Hristina Shopova, Deputy Mayor of Blagoevgrad
An interview with Hristina Shopova, Deputy Mayor of Blagoevgrad Municipality, talks about her professional realization, cultural development and the love for the home country. The interview was taken by Valeria Gadzheva, a 10th grade student from the Blagoevgrad High School of Maths and Science.
Could you tell us a little more about your job as a deputy mayor? Is it a difficult job?
Of course, it is not easy. I am responsible for sectors like healthcare, social activities, education, culture and sports. Everyone knows the pros and cons of their profession. I do not complain, but it is a difficult job that comes with its responsibilities because you are directly communicating with people. You see human destinies first hand, and that is why I always discuss issues with Mr. Kambitov, Mayor of Blagoevgrad Municipality. We must be careful with our decisions.
What distinguishes Blagoevgrad Municipality from others? What is the thing you most like about it?
Firstly, this is my hometown and I like everything about it. For me, it is the nicest and the most beautiful municipality. I love Blagoevgrad. A few years ago, when I went to study to Sofia, I had a great deal of self-esteem. I didn’t consider myself as coming from the province but from a very cultural and economically developed city. We were very active young people. I’ve always been glad to come back. When I am away from my city, I miss it. I love the city; I love my classmates and friends. For me, this city is the most beautiful place in the world.
What is the municipality doing now? What do you want to be improved?
There is always something to be done, and the thing is that many things have begun to improve. We are very proud to have been able to restore events that, unfortunately, ceased to exist. As I mentioned earlier, when I left the city as a student, it was a host to festivals such as “Francofolies”, “Alen Mak” and “Golden Antenna”. Unfavorably, returning 8 years ago and starting work here, none of these events were taking place anymore. These were major international events. I am very glad that we made the right steps and policies in the direction relaunching these events once again for the benefit of Blagoevgrad.
What do you most pride yourself with on a professional level the most?
I am very proud of my work to give children of Blagoevgrad the possibility to show off their skills. When children appear more often on stage, they become more confident and get used to it. They become responsible for the city’s cultural program and in that way they are feeling motivated. We strive to stimulate them in every possible way. Last but not least – the restoration of the “Francofolies” festival. This was a 5-year long hard battle. It is very easy to put an end to something and ruin it, but it is much harder to recover and to start it all over again. It is harder to regain the trust of the people involved. Now, here we are at the threshold of the Fifth Anniversary of the festival.
You, apart from the deputy mayor, are also an active citizen of the city. Do you think professional and life realization are possible here? Are there any conditions for a better future?
I’m absolutely sure that there are conditions for a better future. There is always future for those who want to work and grow. I graduated from Sofia University and have been in many different countries for the past 15 years. Somehow, fate brought me back to my hometown. I have never thought that my career will develop in Blagoevgrad, but here it is. For me, whoever works hard can always find their way.
Every year there have been more and more events organized by the municipality and thc cultural program becomes richer. What comes next for the municipality in the near future? What can we expect?
The Spring Festival of Arts. This is one of the most anticipated festivals, which will be very exciting. It will include many interesting events that are specifically designed to provoke and surprise people. We have something for every taste. There will be many exhibitions. We will continue presenting contemporary in Blagoevgrad. In parallel, the improvement of the cultural infrastructure of the city goes on. We are very happy that this is happening. This year we will revive summer cinema in Varosha and we will have the opportunity to watch movies and concerts from our children. “Yavorov” Hall will be repaired. Everything goes in parallel so that both culture and cultural infrastructure can be developed.