Filip Lyapov (Bulgaria 2018, 2019) is a PhD student in history at the Central European University, Budapest. He holds a BA in History from the American University in Bulgaria, an MPhil in Modern British and European History from the University of Oxford and an MA in Nationalism Studies from CEU. His dissertation focuses on the royal dictatorships of Tsar Boris of Bulgaria and King Alexander of Yugoslavia and their relationship with the army. He has previously worked on interwar Bulgarian and Hungarian history and is also interested in contemporary issues related to far-right parties, historical revisionism, memory politics, and history textbooks.
Topics: Lukov March as a “Template of Possibility” for Historical Revisionism in Bulgaria; Ideological Links between Interwar Nationalistic Organizations in Bulgaria and Their Modern-day Counterparts
Filip Lypov works on a case study that illuminates the role of events in pushing forward a revisionist historical narrative that aims at legitimizing contemporary Bulgarian national populism. The event in mind, Lukov March, which started as a marginal commemoration of a pro-fascist interwar leader, has become a major battle in the memory politics of the Balkan country. Despite being supported in the very beginning by only a dozen radical nationalists, the event offered a “window of opportunity” for the rising Bulgarian far right to reconceptualize the interwar roots of Bulgarian nationalism. At its 15th anniversary Lukov March symbolizes much more than a mere manifestation of Bulgaria’s nationalism – it reveals the danger of leaving memory and historical battles in the hands of extreme nationalists who might themselves be pushed aside by the more politically adept national populists. On a larger scale, the research gives insights into the strategies that national populists utilize to construct revisionist historical narratives that ultimately call into question the crucial concepts of national self and identity as well as the memory and lessons from Europe’s violent 20th century.