Labyrinth of Glass
Bulgaria 2012

From the Socialist era onward the Bulgarian state has taken care of the education of infants and toddlers. Primarily poor and socially disadvantaged families give up their newborns to so-called homes for medical and social care, and there they remain until they are three years old. They spend most of their time in isolation, in beds with bars, and every once in a while they’re taken into a room where there is a television and some colorful plastic toys. Some came into the world with mental or physical handicaps, while others depart the home with lasting damage incurred during their time there. If the parents decide not to take back their children, and no one else will adopt them, they remain in the care of the state. The severely handicapped go into senior citizens’ homes after their eighteenth birthday. Relatively healthy ones receive fifty euros and a blanket when they leave. Then they are free.