The Sofianer: Sofia in one cover, or in the footsteps of The New Yorker


Open invitation for artists and illustrators

Credo Bonum Foundation and Multi Kulti Collective announce an open invitation to artists and illustrators to offer their view of Sofia in the form of a cover of the imaginary magazine The Sofianer in the spirit of the legendary American magazine The New Yorker.

For The New Yorker magazine

The New Yorker is a weekly magazine of journalism, essays, cultural criticism, fiction, and poetry, founded in 1925. For nearly a century, it has reflected contemporary American politics and culture. It is considered an example of the highest standards in journalism, and is a prestigious media, on the pages of which poetic and prose texts are published, which determine the future literary classics. In addition to all this, the magazine is well known around the world for its classic visual layout, covers and cartoons.

The aesthetics of The New Yorker are timeless. Unlike most other magazines, The New Yorker does not rely on loud headlines. Its cover is a place for illustrations that are classic, but always relevant, sharp, funny, satirical, and emotional. Despite its global reach and cosmopolitan spirit, The New Yorker is primarily a New Yorker magazine, and as such it often puts New York at the center of its covers. The covers often highlight the city itself, from sentimental Manhattan landscapes to cartoons and jokes about New York snobbery.

About The Sofianer initiative

The magazine, with its urban spirit and classic vision, marks the beginning of a global movement in which cities around the world make their imaginary covers. This is how The Parisianer, The Tokyoiter, Le Montrealer, The Brusseler, The Milaneser или The Shanghairen appeared. They sparked the imagination of local artists and illustrators to present their city on the classic example of The New Yorker. The new covers are a love song for the cities - but not for the well-known symbols and tourist emblems, but for the authentic spirit of the city.

Sofia is now joining the global initiative by inviting illustrators and artists to portray their Sofia as the cover of the imaginary magazine The Sofianer.

For the competition

The competition is looking for illustrations that reflect the authentic and diverse face of Sofia and the lives of Sofia residents in all seasons of the year, in all parts of the city, from all points of view - from beautiful facades to ugly places, from the things we love to those that irritate us daily. The city is not just tourist and advertising images, so the jury of the competition will look for sincere, funny, ironic or highly critical answers to the question "What makes our city what it is?".

20 images will be selected, which will be presented in an open-air exhibition from 5 to 19 September 2022. The images will be presented on the project website, as well as will be used for communication on social networks and promo materials, but will not be used for commercial purposes. The right to such use will remain the right of artists.

The jury will also give 3 prizes of 300 BGN each. In addition, our partner metta will provide 3 floatation sessions to the 3 winners. 

Who can participate

The competition is open to artists, illustrators, cartoonists and graphic designers of all ages and nationalities who at some point in their lives have lived in Sofia and/or are related to the city. Participants from all social and cultural contexts and marginalized groups are welcome.

For participation

Each candidate can send up to 2 proposals for participation in the competition.

The images must meet the following technical requirements:   
   • Only .jpeg files up to 10 MB per image are sent (after announcing the results, the selected participants will have to send the images in high resolution).   
   • Images should be A4, vertically oriented and follow the classic cover design of The New Yorker.   
   • Applicants must include in their proposals the title The Sofianer attached to the application documents (download here in eps and pdf format). The finalists will have to add the rest of the mandatory details (date, number) after discussion with the organizers.   
   • Proposals should be sent to as attachments with a maximum size of 20 MB.   
   • The letter should be worded as follows:   
       ◦ Subject: [NAME OF THE CANDIDATE] - The Sofianer   
       ◦ In the text of the letter, candidates must present a short biography (up to 5 sentences), a link to a website / portfolio and a short description of the idea of ​​the illustration (optional).


The jury will be composed of:

   • Vessela Nozharova, curator, Credo Bonum Gallery   
   • Ljubo Georgiev, chairman of the Association for Urban Policies   
   • Valeri Giurov, owner, Gifted   
   • Adriyana Mihaylova, founder of #soSofia and Imp-Act Agency   
   • Studio Komplekt   
   • Malina Edreva, member of the city council, Sofia Municipality   
   • Bistra Ivanova, chairperson, Multi Kulti Collective    
   • Simeon Vassilev, project manager, Credo Bonum Foundation

The main criteria of the jury will be:   
   • Artistic value   
   • Compliance with the conditions of the competition and the aesthetic orientation   
   • Originality of the idea and authentic reflection of the spirit of Sofia   
   • Diversity of views and visions for Sofia

Deadline for applications: 10 July 2022.

The project is funded by Sofia Municipality, Culture Program and implemented with the support of the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank.