Since 2006, photographer Petya Shalamanova has been photographing Bulgarian immigrants who now reside in the United States, specifically in the Chicago area where the Bulgarian immigrant population is over 30,000. Shalamanova captures individuals in all walks of life and in varying professions. Each individual is working towards the American dream that they left Bulgaria for. While trying to embrace their new home, they are also trying to find their place within it while also trying to hold on to the Bulgarian traditions that they love. The series, titled “We Are Here”, shows the struggle to form a sense of community in a new country and how those communities help to unite a people trying to create a new life.

Text by Canbra Hodsdon