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Second Bulgarian Empire

The Second Bulgarian Empire was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed between 1185 and 1396. A successor to the First Bulgarian Empire, it reached the peak of its power under Tsars Kaloyan and Ivan Asen II before being conquered by the Ottomans in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, it was succeeded by the Principality and Kingdom of Bulgaria in 1878. Until 1256, the Second Bulgarian Empire was the dominant power in the Balkans, defeating the Byzantine Empire in several major battles. In 1205 Emperor Kaloyan defeated the newly established Latin Empire in the Battle of Adrianople, his nephew Ivan Asen II made Bulgaria a regional power again. During his reign, Bulgaria spread from the Adriatic to the economy flourished. In the late 13th century, the Empire declined under constant invasions by Mongols, Byzantines and Serbs, as well as internal unrest and revolts; the 14th century saw a temporary recovery and stability, but the peak of Balkan feudalism as central authorities lost power in many regions.

Bulgaria was divided into three parts on the eve of the Ottoman invasion. Despite strong Byzantine influence, Bulgarian artists and architects created their own distinctive style. In the 14th century, during the period known as the Second Golden Age of Bulgarian culture, literature and architecture flourished; the capital city Tarnovo, considered a "New Constantinople", became the country's main cultural hub and the centre of the Eastern Orthodox world for contemporary Bulgarians. After the Ottoman conquest, many Bulgarian clerics and scholars emigrated to Serbia, Wallachia and Russian principalities, where they introduced Bulgarian culture and hesychastic ideas; the name most used for the empire by contemporaries was Bulgaria, as the state called itself. During Kaloyan's reign, the state was sometimes known as being of both Vlachs. Pope Innocent III and other foreigners such as the Latin Emperor Henry mentioned the state as Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Empire in official letters. In modern historiography, the state is called the Second Bulgarian Empire, Second Bulgarian Tsardom, or the Second Bulgarian Kingdom to distinguish it from the First Bulgarian Empire.

An alternative name used in connection with the pre-mid 13th century period is the Empire of Vlachs and Bulgars. However, Arabic chronicles from the 13th century had used only the name of Wallachia instead of Bulgaria and gave the Arabic coordinates of Wallachia and specified that Walachia was named "al-Awalak" and the dwellers "ulaqut" or "ulagh" In 1018, when the Byzantine emperor Basil II conquered the First Bulgarian Empire, he ruled it cautiously; the existing tax system and the power of low-ranking nobility remained unchanged until his death in 1025. The autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate was subordinated to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople and downgraded to an archbishopric centred in Ohrid, while retaining its autonomy and dioceses. Basil appointed the Bulgarian John I Debranin as its first archbishop, but his successors were Byzantines; the Bulgarian aristocracy and tsar's relatives were given various Byzantine titles and transferred to the Asian parts of the Empire. Despite hardships, the Bulgarian language and culture survived.

Most of the newly conquered territories were included in the themes Bulgaria and Paristrion. As the Byzantine Empire declined under Basil's successors, invasions of Pechenegs and rising taxes contributed to increasing discontent, which resulted in several major uprisings in 1040–41, the 1070s, the 1080s; the initial centre of the resistance was the theme of Bulgaria, in what is now Macedonia, where the massive Uprising of Peter Delyan and the Uprising of Georgi Voiteh took place. Both were quelled with great difficulty by Byzantine authorities; these were followed by rebellions in Thrace. During the Comnenian Restoration and the temporary stabilisation of the Byzantine Empire in the first half of the 12th century, the Bulgarians were pacified and no major rebellions took place until in the century; the disastrous rule of the last Comnenian emperor Andronikos I worsened the situation of the Bulgarian peasantry and nobility. The first act of his successor Isaac II Angelos was to impose an extra tax to finance his wedding.

In 1185, two aristocrat brothers from Tarnovo and Asen, asked the emperor to enlist them into the army and grant them land, but Isaac II declined and slapped Asen across the face. Upon their return to Tarnovo, the brothers commissioned the construction of a church dedicated to Saint Demetrius of Salonica, they showed the populace a celebrated icon of the saint, whom they claimed had left Salonica to support the Bulgarian cause and called for a rebellion. That act had the desired effect on the religious population, who enthusiastically engaged in a rebellion against the Byzantines. Theodore, the elder brother, was crowned Emperor of Bulgaria under the name Peter IV, after the sainted Peter I. All of Bulgaria to the north of the Balkan Mountains—the region known as Moesia—immediately joined the rebels, who secured the assistance of the Cumans, a Turkic tribe inhabiting lands north of the Danube river; the Cumans soon became an important part of the Bulgarian army, playing a major role in the successes that followed.

As soon as the rebellion broke out, Peter IV attempted to s

Ayman Baalbaki

Ayman Baalbaki is a Lebanese painter. He studied at the Lebanese University and at the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris, his large-scale expressionist portraits of fighters made him one of the most popular young Arab artists. Born the year the civil war started in Lebanon, Ayman Baalbaki draws most of his inspiration from these events, his paintings depict destroyed buildings, sometimes occupied by refugees who were forced to leave their homes during the combats. After the 2006 Lebanon War he drew series of scattered structures related to the demolitions consecutive to the bombings of Beirut's southern suburbs. Ayman Baalbaki's most popular series depict warriors bearing casks; these portraits of anonymous figures became a symbol of the endless conflicts in the Middle East. These paintings have been exhibited worldwide, including the 2011 Venice Biennale. In 2012, Baalbaki participated in Hoods for Heritage, a project consisting of 16 Porsche 911 hoods transformed into art works by artists and designer and auctioned on benefit of the Beirut National Museum.

Although better known as a painter, Ayman Baalbaki produced notable installation works. While at École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs, he presented Les Frigos a container enclosing a luggage. Nomadism is a recurrent theme in his work and will appear in more recent works such as Destination X, featured in Arabicity an exhibition curated by Rose Issa in Liverpool’s Bluecoat and Beirut’s Beirut Exhibition Center. Destination X is an old Mercedes Benz red car, reminding Lebanon’s antique taxis service, loaded with a mountain of luggage as a symbol of the upheaval caused by the war. Ayman Baalbaki, represented by Saleh Barakat's Agial Art Gallery in Beirut has witnessed growing success in auction sales: In March 2009, a Abel was presented at an Auction Doha with an estimate of US$20,000–30,000 and was sold for $60,000. In October 2009, an untitled painting was proposed Dubai for US$15,000–20,000 and was sold for $74,500. In April 2011, Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom was proposed in Dubai, for US$50,000–70,000 and was hammered for $206,500.

In April 2013, a new record was set. In March 2014, A large painting entitled "Babel" was presented at Christies with an estimation of $150,000–200,000. Empreintes, organized by Maraya Gallery and Lebanese Ministry of Culture and Higher Education, Lebanon, 1996 Cm ³, CIUP, France, 2003 Jeux de la francophonie 2005 Silver Medal, Niger Ayman Baalbaki, Transfiguration Apocalyptique, Agial Art Gallery 2008 Can one man save the, Georges Rabbath and Nayla Tamraz, Alarm Editions 2009 Beirut and Again and Again, edited by Rose Issa, Beyond Art Productions, 2012 Transfiguration Apocalyptique, Agial Art Gallery, Beirut 2008 Ceci n'est pas la Suisse, Rose Issa Projects, London, 2009 Beirut Again and Again, Rose Issa Projects, London, 2011 Blowback, Saleh Barakat Gallery, Beirut, 2016 Contemporary Art Encounter: Imagining the Book, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, 2002. CM3, Cité Internationale Universitaire, Paris, 2003 Thirty: Ayman Baalbaki and Sheelagh Colcough, Studio 4-11, Belfast, 2005 Bos Iaf, Sabanci University, Kasa Art Gallery, Istanbul 2008 Rafia Gallery, Damascus, 2009 Arabicity, Bluecoat Arts Center and Beirut Exhibition Center, 2010 Nujoom: Constellations of Arab art, The Farjam Collection at Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai, 2010 The Future of a Promise, 54th Venice Biennale, 2012 Traits d’Union – Paris et l’art contemporain arabe, Villa Emerige, Paris, 2011 Art is the answer!

Contemporary Lebanese artists and designers, Villa Empain, Brussels, 2012 Across Boundaries. Focus on Lebanese Photography, curated by Tarek Nahas, Beirut Art Fair 2018 • Website of Ayman Baalbaki • Ayman Baalbaki Profile

Hede, Sweden

Hede is a locality situated in Härjedalen Municipality, Jämtland County, Sweden with 741 inhabitants in 2010. The river Ljusnan runs through the village; the forest around Hede have supported a number of sawmills and paper mills. Sonfjället National Park is located a short distance from the village. Hede is the parish of Hede in Diocese of Härnösand; the first wooden church was built in 1613. The present stone church was built in neo-Gothic style in 1890; the church has whitewashed walls and is covered by manor roofing, clad with wood shavings. South of the church is a freestanding, wooden onion dome bell tower built in 1751; the altarpiece was painted by Pehr Sundin. The pulpit was carved by Jöns Ljungberg