The volume Age(ing) under Socialism is the final academic output based on CAS popular Discussion Series, Existential Policies under Socialism. Started by Associate Professor Dr Daniela Koleva back in 2011–2012, over nearly a decade, the Discussion Series brought together a number of Bulgarian scholars from various walks of life addressing, researching and debating everyday life under Socialism as illustrated by Love, Death, and Childhood, as well as shedding light on state attitudes towards the Body between 1944–1989.
The title of the last collection, Age(ing) under Socialism, is a double entendre, alluding both to the generational aspect and the demographic issues of Old Age as a topic of investigation. The concept of ‘Age’ acquired a polysemantic function, as it does not only articulate the interdependence amongst the generational groups, but also serves as a key instrument to explore the links between people’s life paths and the overall social changes and dynamics undergone by Socialism over its decades.
Against any chronological logic this books opens with Aging. Its characteristic wisdom ponders on the “life path” of the socialist regime rather than on the lives of the people who populated it. The “young system” sees Aging as abnormal as far as it is a feature of the denied past and it should be left behind; Aging remains segregated and hidden, or at least neglected by communist ideology and “really existing” socialism.