“Home is where the heart is – when you are far away, when you have to leave your home, when you have no home – then you must always keep the warmth inside. Because your home is wherever you are.”

Artist: Albena Tsoneva – Albena Limoni

Every person deserves to have a decent home and feel secure and free from fear of eviction. This is a fundamental human right, enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations.

“Our perceptions for what a home is are different, so I wanted to illustrate the feeling that would make more people connect with the illustration. Certainly, the home is the place where you can connect with your inner child and nurture it to feel protected, happy and satisfied. We inevitably think of games, and more specifically of “tag”. In this game, there was one way in which we managed to pause and defend ourselves – we would create a “house” with both hands, imitating a roof. It is interesting how the idea of personal privacy has penetrated children’s play, reflecting the essential value of having a home. And it is a pity that there are so many people in the world for whom the home is a place of fear and insecurity. Because the feeling that we are safe and secure must be with us wherever we live.”

Аrtist: Ilian Iliev

Every day millions of people live in fear of losing their home. 75% of people around the world lack proper documentation for their home or the land on which they live, and are in constant fear of eviction.

“I wanted to illustrate the feeling of coming home after a long and difficult journey and how it’s the best place for you. At the same time, this house is fleeting, as if it’s not yours, as if it’s just a dream.”

Аrtist: Borislava Karadzhova – Borislava Madeit

By regulating the right of access to land for housing, people will live without fear of eviction and will invest more in their families, communities and future.

“What touched me the most was the gender inequality and the challenges of owning a house if you are a woman. The main character in the illustration wears a T-shirt featuring words that are connected to her destiny and the meaning of her battle: home, safety, equality, future. I painted the silhouette of a city in the distance, as a place she is going to and where she will find all the things she believes in and pursues.”

Artist: Desi Baeva

The laws or customs in more than half of the world's countries restrict access to land ownership for women. Removing this restriction is key to eliminating extreme poverty.

“Every person is different, every nation is different and every home must be personal. At the same time, I wanted the house-shaped man to look like something bigger, like a mountain, like Earth even.”

Artist: Albena Tsoneva – Albena Limoni

More than half of the world's people live in urban areas. By 2050, the population of cities is expected to double by another 2.5 billion. Cities will continue to grow because people are looking for jobs, stability and the prospect of a better life. Whether urbanization will solve people’s problems in cities or increase them depends on us.

“I believe that the world today, more than ever, needs to unlock the qualities it has always carried: empathy, care, tenderness and creativity. For me, the home is an image of a woman embodying both the image of a mother and a friend. While creating this illustration, I feminized the image of the state and its institutions as an expression of hope.”

Artist: Daniela Yankova

Cities can be a source of both challenges and solutions. If it is well planned and managed, urbanization can serve as a powerful tool for global sustainable development.

“While thinking about the task, the question of the responsibility of the state rang most loudly in my head. Not providing enough housing under various programs and remaining idle when whole families live without electricity or running water is on the edge of playing a game of chance. When it comes to being homeless, or living in conditions that threaten our health, we should not rely on chance as a policy.”

Artist: Sevda Semer

People move to cities to find work. One in seven people around the world lives in illegally built and overcrowded urban areas with inadequate infrastructure.

“I illustrated the earth, whose clouds and rain we all share. I merged her image with the state that has closed these lands within borders; the political system that should protect the homeless among us, providing them with cozy housing and hope for development.”

Artist: Denitsa Boyadzhieva

We can act to stop evictions by making it easier to acquire land rights. We can renovate poor neighborhoods by guaranteeing decent living conditions for all. We can provide adequate, safe and affordable housing by pursuing sustainable housing policies.

“I thought about how sad it must be not to have something as simple as a home. Which you take for granted when you’ve always had a good life. And how you never realize as a child that the apartment across from yours does not even look like yours. And that the person living there does not have what you have.”

Аrtist: Borislava Karadzhova – Borislava Madeit

By 2030, the population living in slums is expected to double to 2 billion. Renovating slums means that everyone should have access to decent housing.

“It was difficult for me to come up with an idea that did not show the visual prejudices we hold about ghettos, the broken windows, and so on, but I still wanted to show something about the uncertainty, the hopelessness, the absurd situation of division. I came up with this image of a house as a cardboard box that can fall apart at the first gust of wind or heavy rain.”

Artist: Sevda Semer

Poor housing conditions lead to the social and economic isolation of the residents in these neighborhoods and it is necessary for the state and municipalities to allocate resources to solve these problems.

“It was difficult for me to come up with an idea that did not show the visual prejudices we hold about ghettos, broken windows, etc., but I still wanted to show something about the uncertainty, the hopelessness, the absurd situation of division. I came up with this image of a house as a cardboard box that can fall apart at the first gust of wind or heavy rain.”

Artist: Sevda Semer

Urbanization requires the provision of adequate rights and technologies as stepping stones to improving the urban environment. Improving living conditions in slums means improving living conditions in informal settlements in a responsible way, providing access to basic sanitation, and decent housing in the short and long term.

“I was inspired by the desire of the people working on the project to create an illustration not focused solely on the problem – people living in extreme deprivation, in somber home lookalikes, in fear and hopelessness. And instead to be cheerful, like the smile that each of us can have. And to imagine these people where they have the human right to be – in the protected privacy of their own home.”

Artist: Denitsa Boyadzhieva

In Europe today, young people cannot afford to rent housing in big cities; the number of families who cannot afford heating and air conditioning is growing.

“By contrasting between outside and inside, the idea was to demonstrate the primordial peace, protection, quietness and order that the home brings, and that access to this should be a human right for everyone.”

Аrtist: Rozalina Burkova

The challenges created by the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic are another urgent reason to ensure that people have the right to decent housing to protect their health and that of their families.

“For me, what makes a building a home is not the roof and the four walls propping it up, but what happens in the space between them – be it peaceful sleep or a flight of imagination into a dreamy future.”

Аrtist: Teodor Georgiev

Today, people are forced to stay at home to protect themselves from COVID-19. So in the current pandemic, adequate housing is a matter of survival. The home is now more important than ever, and the European Union must play a role in this matter.

“Building a home is one of the most important, difficult, but also satisfying things in this world. It’s like planting and maintaining a garden – it takes time, effort and love, but at one point you are surrounded by abundant beauty and comfort.”

Аrtist: Borislava Karadzhova – Borislava Madeit

If well planned and managed, urbanization can serve as a powerful tool for global sustainable development. Buildings account for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of air pollution caused by CO2 emissions in the EU. Europe's goal is to achieve a 55% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030.

“Against the backdrop of everything that is wrong, I wanted to draw the potential and what’s possible – how things would look if everything was great. I started with the desire to portray the feeling of coziness and tranquility in the home – whether it would be planting flowers in the garden, the joyful expectation of a child you sent to get groceries, or a couple in slippers… ”

Artist: Elitsa Sarbinova

Urban population growth exceeds the rate at which cities can respond to housing needs. In 2019, in Bulgaria the percentage of young people aged 25 - 34 who live with their parents is nearly 50%.

“The house is like a tree. It protects, gives air, life. But you also have to take care of it and water it.”

Artist: Mila Lozanova

There are global policies for global issues related to urbanization. The new UN 2030 Agenda sets out 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

“I drew people whose bodies form a house. Thanks to being together and the support they provide each other, even in the most literal sense, they create, resist and manage to keep their home.”

Аrtist: Mihaela Karadzhova – Stalkersince1993

Europeans can contribute to action on housing and the right of access to land for the housing needs of people around the world.

“This is the home from whose roof you explore the stars; the home in whose garden you disappear for hours; the home whose air you fill with the scent of your cooking; the home behind whose curtains you share kisses; the home you often can’t have without the strong hands of a caring community.”

Artist: Denitsa Boyadzhieva

It depends on each and everyone of us to create a world where every person has a decent home. In 2019, more than 1.4 million Habitat for Humanity volunteers helped build, advocate and raise awareness for the global need for shelter.

“This is how I imagine a neighborhood – communicative and united. I think this unity helps build not only a home, but a better and rosier world.”

Аrtist: Mihaela Karadzhova – Stalkersince1993

By 2030, every 3 out of 5 people in the world will live in cities. Support Build Solid Ground, Habitat for Humanity's global advocacy campaign for access to housing and housing rights. www.buildsolidground.bg

Support Build Solid Ground, Habitat for Humanity’s global advocacy campaign for access to housing and housing rights.


This exhibition was created with the financial support of the European Union. Its content does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Union. Only Habitat Bulgaria is responsible for the opinions expressed in it and the information contained therein.