Jacko   Vassilev


I was born in a communist Bulgaria. As a boy, I have dreamed of freedom and simple life. In my late twenties I put my dreams to the test and attempted to escape the Bulgarian regime. I tried to pass the barbed wire fence which was guarded by border patrols, but I got caught, beaten and tossed into a slave labor camp. Instead of building up hate, the harsh conditions in the camp built up my strength. I learned how to survive. My body suffered, but my mind got clearer. After the communism fell I traveled around Europe and later on moved to the USA.

The willingness to confront even the most difficultobstaclesin life, strongly informs my work to this day. There is a thread of optimism that connects the people I've portrayed, even when they are shown in most vulnerable moments. There is no difference between me and them, they are photographers of life and I am the countrymanthat records memories. Through my photographs, I wish to uncover humanity and joy as indispensable rights of life. Why would a birth place dictate the freedom and the respect one gets.

Photography is a medium I use to breach the borders of regimes, big walls or corrupt politicians. As long as I can walk and see, I will photograph mankind. Residing in the USA, makes me a citizen of the world, where I can enjoy my dream of living in the biggest landscape of the human soul and mixed nationality.