School of Kindness is a ‘non-disciplined’ performative, educational and discursive program that takes place yearly in Bulgaria and its surroundings. It is a summer school, a workshop, a residency program, and a research platform, bringing together artistic practitioners, thinkers, and social workers.

School of Kindness started in 2020 from the idea that in a time when we are living in real, virtual, and psychological wars, both in the so-called west and non-west, being kind is a radical form of action. To arrive to kindness is to embrace friendship and kinship.

School of Kindness looks at historical and contemporary forms of conviviality and takes inspiration from what typifies the Balkans as the meeting point between West and East. The curriculum focuses on social and cultural narratives of migration and displacement and develops emancipatory tools for (young) practitioners to confront economic, cultural, and political inequality and antagonism in, and on the border with, Europe through theoretical and practical-artistic learning.

The program is intended for participants from different social and artistic backgrounds, especially those coming from disadvantaged communities and those who work from experiences of individual or collective trauma. The participants engage in a program of workshops, seminars, and field work, provided by mentors (artists, theorists, and activists), who are also invited to give a public presentation.   

School of Kindness (2021) was initiated by Lisette Smits (The Netherlands/founder of the research project Migrating Voices), together with artist Voin de Voin (Bulgaria/founder of Æther Art Space), combining their long-term engagement and expertise with (performance) art, education and social action.

Since then, School of Kindness has extended its team to include the poet and writer Anna Lounguine (France, Russian/Armenian diaspora.) 

For its 2022 edition, School of Kindness partnered with the Sofia-based organisation Silent Space (founded by School of Kindness mentor Mladen Alexiev). 

For its 2023 edition, School of Kindness partners with the Varna-based organisation Moving Body (founded by Iskra Ivanova and Svetlozara Hristova.) 

The Burāq (Arabic: الْبُرَاق al-Burāq or /ælˈbʊrɑːk/ "lightning" or more generally "bright") is a creature in Islamic tradition that was said to be a transport for certain prophets. Most notably hadith accounts about the Isra and Mi'raj recount that the Buraq carried the Islamic prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and up in the heavens and back by night.

all images and content © School of Kindness, 2022
background images:map of the Black Sea,Piri Reis, originally composed in 932 AH/AD 1525 and dedicated to Sultan Süleyman, it is now part of the The Walters Art Museum Collection and Map of the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean,Joan Martines, Portolan Atlas, Italy, ca. 1578