About us
Who are we?
Since its inauguration in 2004, The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate "Andrey Nikolov" has established itself as the home of independent artists in Bulgaria and the place where the most important social, political and cultural issues of the day are freely discussed.

The centre is the first space for public debate and the first independent space for art, culture, social practices and psychodrama in Bulgaria. It is located in the former atelier and home of the great Bulgarian sculptor of the early twentieth century, Andrey Nikolov. Already with its construction in 1926-1928, the house became a place frequented by intellectuals and young artists with whom Andrey Nikolov exchanged ideas and shared his work spaces. Today, the building is a monument of culture of national importance.

The centre is a project of Gulliver Clearing House Foundation, which was founded in 1996. The mission of the centre is to develop the independent art scene, to inspire civic participation and critical thinking and to help integrate the most vulnerable social groups with the means of art and psychodrama. To fulfil its mission, the centre organizes events and develops three major programmes – Society and Politics, Arts and Culture and Social Practices and Psychodrama.

Approximately 30,000 people visit The Red House annually. They share an interest in our rich event programme and a desire to hear unusual and bold viewpoints on life in the country. Coming to the centre also gives them the opportunity to come in touch with the work of two great artists from the beginning of the XX century – the architect Ivan Vasilyov and the sculptor Andrey Nikolov – while also allowing us to continue in his footsteps and liberal spirit and fulfill his desire that the house remain a centre for artists and a place for culture and public activity.

"That he was particularly free-thinking, that he was never cowardly, that he loved people, that he was not servile but looked at art making as a public need, that he supported poor students financially, maybe these are the detailed character traits of Andrey Nikolov. "

Memories of the sculptor Vladimir Ginovski about Andrey Nikolov quoted in the book "The Red House: In Memory of the Sculptor Andrey Nikolov" by Maria Ovcharova

"This is a place where people can feel free to try new things, to test themselves and others, to declare themselves..."
Georgi Toshev
journalist and television producer
"If it wasn't for The Red House, there would be no Replica Theatre. This is one of the places where our theatre grew. To me, this is one of the most important places for developing the political culture and human relationships in Bulgaria."
Georg Jeno
theatre director

"The Red House is a place for critical thinking and resistance; it is the place where I took part in conversations that could not have happened elsewhere."
Georgi Gospodinov
"The Red House is a very powerful place for civil society where you can hear untraditional opinions that are different, controversial, extreme; where you can debate openly and freely; where difference can exist without hiding, without prejudice and shame."
Vesselin Dimov
theatre director
"The Red House created a haven for contemporary culture in all its forms."
Catherine Sarieva

"The Red House destroys the boundary between the one who makes art and the one who perceives it and helps us think of culture as a process involving both sides."
Antoaneta Koleva
head of the publishing house Critique and Humanism
"The Red House works with representatives of the most marginalized groups, which are not always admitted to other cultural spaces and often have no room for expression. Here they come not only as consumers, but also as authors of culture. "
Monika Pisankaneva
civil activist
"This is a place for alternative views on reality in the absence of which our spiritual, moral and artistic life would be much more superficial and uninteresting."
Stefan Komandarev
cinema director
The Red House performs its mission through three programmes: Society and Politics, Arts and Culture and Social Practices and Psychodrama

The public debates of the Red House are an invitation for an authentic and honest public dialogue on our shared life as citizens. They open for discussion the most important social, political and cultural issues of our time. They invite a variety of opinions without fearing any well-argued statement and are presented in a language that is both accurate and emotionally appealing to non-specialists.

The debates are open to a variety of speakers and social groups. We make a particular effort to present voices that cannot be heard elsewhere – young people, women, minorities, etc.

Most debates open with the interesting and in-depth analyses of panelists, which aim to provoke an open discussion at whose centre stand audience comments and questions. Half of each debate event is dedicated to questions and comments.

Debates are live events that can be experienced at the Red hall and Pesha Nikolova hall of The Red House. You can also participate in them via online streaming, as well as by asking questions in the Facebook event page. They will be included by the moderator during the live debate.

The discussions continue naturally in the rest of The Red House in the framework of exhibitions, screenings, lectures and plays. Thus they become the meeting point of exceptionally diverse audiences, often within one day.

Since its inauguration, the centre has had famous lecturer and panelist visitors like writers Orhan Pamuk, Dubravka Ugresic and Georgi Gospodinov, military journalist Kevin Sites, political scientist Ivan Krastev, historian Timothy Snyder, civilian activist Christian Picciolini, and many others .

On our YouTube channel, you can find our playlists from synthesized debates, full debates and lectures.
Follow our YouTube playlists!

Since its inauguration, The Red House has established itself as the home for independent artists in Bulgaria. With series like Debuts on the Edge, Zero Gravity Art and Reverse Angle, the centre invites young debuting artists with non-traditional views.

Art and culture events are the main part of The Red House programme. Most of them examine painful social issues and seek to answer questions like: "What do Sofia's homeless people dream about?", "What do refugees run from?" and "What kind of country do we want and create ourselves?" In this way, they work alongside our Society and Politics programme to achieve greater awareness of social problems through socially committed art forms like forum theatre (theatre of the oppressed), documentary theatre and ethnodrama. They explore current themes and also involve the audience as a commentator, participant and co-author. Thus the boundary between reality and art blurs and the viewer sees how he or she participates or not in the important events happening in the country here and now.

The Documentary Art Platform N/TRY is the main engine of The Red House's socially engaged art programme.

In addition to developing independent and socially committed art, the Arts and Culture programme organizes short-term training that complementс the arts education in the country, such as courses on the acting methods Suzuki and Viewpoints, on digital technologies, virtual reality and others.

The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate is the co-organizer of the first international festival for contemporary dance and performance in Bulgaria, Antistatic. It is also traditionally the setting for The Month of Photography, the international forum of non-objective art "orthogonal", the LGBTI Community Fest in Sofia and many others.

On our YouTube channel, you can find our playlists for theatre, music, dance, cinema, and literature.
Follow our YouTube playlsits!

The mission of the Social Practices and Psychodrama Programme is to help integrate the most vulnerable social groups with the help of art and expressive methods, as well as to develop psychodrama, sociometry and group therapy and promote their application in education, social work, psychological counseling and organizational development.

Social practices
The Red House has made a major contribution in Bulgaria for introducing and developing a new type of social service for integrating disadvantaged people in institutions. This is psychosocial support through art (drama, drawing, forum theatre) and expressive methods (sociodrama, playback theatre, psychodrama). They stimulate social adaptability, self-reflection and the ability to deal with personal and social problems.

At the beginning, we were fully focused on practical work with children and youth from social institutions. Later on, we gradually included other places and groups –children from special schools, auxiliary schools, drop-out students from mass schools, homeless children and families, migrants and refugees.

Psychodrama Institute
The mission of the Psychodrama Institute is to develop, popularize and train people in methods that are less known Bulgarian such as psychodrama, sociometry and group dynamics. The institute has been an accredited training institute at FEPTO (Federation of European Training Organizations on Psychodrama) since June 2012.

The main element of the training is the Master's Programme Artistic Psychosocial Practices and Psychodrama implemented jointly with New Bulgarian University. It develops the knowledge of man and his surroundings and his interactions through creativity and spontaneity as the basis of personal growth. The goal is to acquire skills to improve human relationships in individual, group and organizational contexts, as well as skills in decision-making, people and team management, etc. The programme received national accreditation in the professional field "Social Activities" by the National Agency for Assessment and Accreditation.
The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate "Andrey Nikolov" is a project of Gulliver Clearing House Foundation registered under the Persons and Families Act by Dessislava Gavrilova and Tzvetelina Iossifova on 16 February 1996 (Sofia District Registry No. 1928/1996 ). The same year, the Foundation initiated and organized the first Informal European Theatre Meeting in Eastern Europe called "Shall We Take Over?", which brought together over 200 young theatre professionals. A Bulagrian independent theatre festival and a number of seminars were also organised as a part of this meeting.

Since 2000, the efforts of Gulliver Clearing House have been focused entirely on the creation and management of The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate. On December 3, 2007, a Sofia City Court Decision No. 2 re-registered it as a public benefit entity under the Non-Profit Legal Entities Act. BULSTAT Register No.: 121060197.

Gulliver Clearing House Foundation is managed by:

Board of Founders: Dessislava Gavrilova and Tzvetelina Iossifova
Advisory Board: Alexander Velichkov, Veneta Domuschieva, Veselin Danev, Yonko Grozev (chairman) and Julian Popov

Gulliver Clearing House Foundation is represented by Dessislava Gavrilova and Tzvetelina Iossifova, together and individually.

The executive management is carried out by Nikolay Neykov, administrative director.
Our team
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