Iliyana Nedkova (Born 1968, Sofia. Since 1994, London, Liverpool and Edinburgh) is a curator, writer and producer with over 30 years of professional experience which started at Open Society Foundations Network led by the financier and philanthropist George Soros. Ever since, Iliyana has pioneered, managed and produced over 200 curatorial projects and initiatives on behalf of cultural organisations based in Europe, UK and USA.
Her current positions include associate curatorships at AM Contemporary, Basel; CONJUNCTION public art curatorial collective; Colony of Artists, Edinburgh; Cutting Edge Theatre, Edinburgh; Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh; Bulgarian Cultural and Educational Centre Scotland and criss-crossings collective.
Recently, Iliyana held associate curatorships at P21 Gallery, London; Peace & Justice Scotland; Friends of Pskov, Perth; Horsecross Arts, Perth; Citymoves Dance Agency, Aberdeen; Screen.dance Festival Scotland; Moray House School of Education and Sport, the University of Edinburgh; Stills Centre for Photography, Edinburgh; ARC Projects, Edinburgh and Sofia; New Media Scotland, Edinburgh; Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool; Soros Centre for the Arts, Sofia; and Video Data Bank, Chicago and New York.
Currently, Iliyana is a board member of Colony of Artists (since 2014). She has also served as the Honorary Cultural Attache at the Consulate of the Republic of Bulgaria in Scotland (2003-5), a committee member of Friends of Pskov (2017-2022) and a Vice-Convenor of Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland (2021-2022).
Iliyana is a regular contributor of talks, papers and critical writing to conferences, books, blogs and independent periodical publications including Edgework, MAP, n.paradoxa, Read More, a-n and Ubiquity.
Her curatorial projects and critical writing explore the relationship between public art, activism and creative practices; visual and performing arts; contemporary art and new media art. Her research interests include artist’s moving image culture, literature in translation and archival museum practices.
The works of women artists including Madelon Hooykaas, Katherina Radeva, Erica Jong, Maria Kassimova-Moisset, Nan Shepherd, Albena Mihaylova-Bendji, Margaret Morris, Diana Savova, Nina Czegledy, Yana Aleksandrova, Mare Tralla, Marlene Millar, Alla Georgieva, Janis Hart and Federica Marangoni have also been the focus of her curatorial practice.
Iliyana holds a MPhil in Curating Contemporary Art from Liverpool John Moores University and a MLitt in English and American Studies, as well as in History and Theory of Culture from the University of Sofia. In 2020 she was awarded scholarship to undertake the year-long course Commissioning and Curating Contemporary Public Art at the University of Gothenburg in partnership with Public Art Agency Sweden and the University of Arts Helsinki.
Iliyana undertook two curatorial residencies 2021/22 at the Guesthouse Project, Cork and Studio Alight, Gothenburg as part of CONJUNCTION collective following a scholarship to attend UNIDEE Residency programme 2021 Groundwork for Embedded Arts Practice also as part of CONJUNCTION at Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella.
Recent awards, grants and bursaries include British Centre for Literary Translation Summer School led by Anton Hur; Creative Scotland: Sustaining Creative Development Fund for Individuals; CapitaLiterature Programme led by Sarah Coolidge, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, New York; Reboot & Regroup Programme by Arts, Fundraising & Philanthropy and Cause4 at the University of Leeds; Our Edinburgh Programme led by Sara McHaffie and Sarmed Mirza, AMINA The Muslim Women’s Resource Centre, Glasgow; Here to Stay Programme as part of #AllOfUs Care Campaign for Black, Asian, ethnically diverse and migrant cultural sector; PEN World Translation Day Programme, English PEN, London; Poetry, Grief and Healing Programme led by Yvonne Reddick, University of Central Lancashire, Preston and TEND to Wellbeing led by Lou Platt, Two Destination Language.