Mark Bossanyi

Born near Newcastle, the first three and a half decades of Mark Bossanyi's life were spent in various corners of the British Isles. His French-speaking parents were from refugee families of Hungarian Jewish, German and Belgian origin, brought together by their disgust for Hitler's Fascist regime. Educated as a geologist, Mark's work took him in the 1980s to the oil wells in the North Sea. Later, looking for more hands-on experience, he started work in forestry, working his way up through the industry, from cutting and delivering firewood, running a sawmill, timber harvesting and planting new woodlands to forestry management and tree surgery. In 1992, feeling excited by the (later broken) promise of borders opening up throughout Europe, and attracted by the sounds of Balkan music that were just beginning to permeate into the West, he travelled after a couple of years in France to the country that, for Westerners, was perhaps the most enigmatic in Europe: Bulgaria. He arrived in Sofia in 1994 and has lived in Bulgaria ever since, working both in human rights and environmental organisations and as a freelance translator. When not engaged in working for a living, Mark Bossanyi enjoys sea kayaking, cycling and sailing small boats and composes and plays jazz on the accordina and the double bass. He is the narrator in the documentary "Bratsigovo - The builders who put the clock back into the future".