Pleven, Bulgaria

Valentin Asenov-Hakala

Valentin Asenov-Hakala was born on December 22, 1961 in the village of Obitel, Targovishte district. In 1981 he graduated from the Art High School in Kazanlak, and in 1987 from the University of VelikoTurnovo with a degree in painting. Since 1988 he has participated in many national and regional art exhibitions throughout the country, as well as in plein air painting. He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists – painting section. Since 2008 he has been a part of the Board of Directors of the UBA Representative Office in Pleven, in 2015 becoming the chairman of the organization. He is a teacher at the National School of Arts "Panayot Pipkov", Pleven.

Stancho Toshkov Totov

Stancho Toshkov Totov is a businessman. He was born on February 7, 1972 in Pleven. Married, with two twin boys. He completed his secondary education in Pleven, and his higher education at the Academy of Economics "D. A. Tsenov", Svishtov, specialty in Finance. He entered politics in 2000 and from 2003 to 2005 was vice-chairman and member of the National Council of the Youth Union of Democratic Forces (UDF). Municipal Councillor and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget and Finance at the Municipal Council – Pleven, Mandate 2003-2007. In 2007 he was among the founders of the Political Party "Society for New Bulgaria".

Pencho Linov – "Pelin Pelinov"

Pencho Linov, more widely known by his pseudonym Pelin Pelinov, is a Bulgarian author and playwright. He studied at the Men’s High School in Pleven in 1954, graduating with full honors. In 1959 he got his diploma from the Faculty of Law at Sofia University, and later in 1965 his diploma from the National Academy for Theater and Film Arts "Krastyo Sarafov". For 12 years he worked as a playwright at the "Ivan Vazov" National Theater in Sofia. He is one of the founders of the "Tears and Laugher" theater. An author of novels, screenplays and scripts, his most impressive work is the pentalogy "Rise and Fall", dedicated to the wars for Bulgarian national unification since the beginning of the XX century.

Nina Chelijanska

Nina Chelijanska was born in 1962 in Sofia. She studied in Pleven and in the German Language High School in Lovech, graduating with German Philology at the "St. Cyril and St. Methodius" University of Veliko Tarnovo. She has worked as a teacher in Dolni Dabnik, Troyan and at the Foreign Language High School in Pleven. She has been writing poems for 10 years. These are published primarily online, but also appear in print and in almanacs. She has been awarded by many national poetry competitions.

Diyan Pavlov – "Jimmy"

Diyan Pavlov, popularly known by his nickname Jimmy for his likeness in his youth to Jimmy Hendrix, is an artist. The Creative workshop "O'Pismenech" which he made, is included in the school textbook on Fine Arts for 10th grade. Jimmy presents to the public a spectacle on the history of writing, disguising himself as Chinese, Egyptian, Arab, medieval monk, Johannes Gutenberg, and demonstrating manual production of paper made by Cai Lun method. Jimmy is an active participant in the first demonstrations and rallies in Bulgaria after November 10th, 1989.

Prof. Sergey Iliev

Assoc. prof. Sergey Iliev, MD, Ph.D, is a surgeon. Head of the Department of Coloproctology and purulent-septic surgery at University Hospital "Dr. Georgi Stranski", Pleven. Born on 22.12.1963. Graduated from the Mathematics high school "Geo Milev" in Pleven in 1981. Graduated in Medicine in 1989 from the Higher Medical Academy in Pleven. He acquired a specialty in General Surgery in 1996. Associate Professor of Surgery at the DPSD (Department of Propedeutics of Surgical Diseases) since 2013. He writes poetry.

Valja Minkova

Valja Minkova is a public figure and pedagogue. She was born on May 20, 1954. She completed her high school education at the High School of Mathematics in Pleven, while her higher education in philosophy she received at Sofia University. From 1975 to 1979 she worked in the Department of Education at the aviation faculty of the National Defense University, located in Dolna Mitropoliya. During the period between 1991 and 2008 she held various positions in the Military Club in Pleven – from organizer of cultural and artistic activities to director. Additionally, she has taught at many of the town’s schools. She is currently an associate at a private company in Pleven, where she is involved with training courses and with preparing projects for European programs.

Vassil Georgiev – "Vasko the Patch"

Vassil Georgiev, known as Vasko the Patch, born 1959, is a blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, frontman of the Sofia rock band Poduene Blues Band. Organizer of the festival "Flower for Gosho", dedicated to Georgi Minchev, and of Sofia Blues Meeting.

Antonija Karaivanova

Antonija Karaivanova is an artist. She was born in Veliko Tarnovo and studied Graphics at the "St. Cyril and St. Methodius" University of Veliko Tarnovo. She currently lives in Pleven. For years she has worked as a curator at Art Gallery "Iliya Beshkov". Since May 2019 she has been the director of the gallery.