Shiny supermarkets stand next to dilapidated factory buildings in the Bulgarian city of Pernik, one of the Balkans once most important industrial areas. The film explores daily life experiences and memories in a city marked by a history of industrialization and deindustrialization, where multiple epochs and teleologies of modernity coexist. People’s lives are filtered by Pernik’s industrial rise and decline and by the shift from the socialist to the post-socialist era. The narrative focusses on people’s working lives, through which stories unfold: current work practices, memories from the abandoned factories, migration stories, narratives about precarity, strikes, daily coping strategies. The ‘cracks’ are apparent in the urban landscapes and in the narratives. They are employed in the film as metaphors that underline the meeting points of multiple temporalities; cracks inscribe changes and epochs while they also connect them.
Dimitra Kofti is an anthropologist interested in work, precarity, shifting temporalities, and film. She
has conducted doctoral research on changing work relations, in the context of flexibilization of labour
in post-socialist Bulgaria. “Cracks/ пукнатини” (2018) is her first film conducted in collaboration with
the film maker Nicola Zambelli, based on her long term fieldwork on (de)industrialization in Pernik
(Bulgaria), as part of the group project on “Industry and Inequality” at the Max Planck Institute for
Social Anthropology (Halle, Germany). Her current project is about financialization, indebtedness and
political contestation in Greece. Dimitra is an assistant professor at the Department of Anthropology,
Panteion University of Social and Political Science (Athens, Greece).