In the Little Big World of Bats - interactive installation with Antonia Hubancheva

"In the Little Big World of Bats" - interactive installation with Antonia Hubancheva

at the National Museum of Natural History - BAS



authors: Antonia Hubancheva and Gergana Dimitrova

design and interactive objects: Elena Shopova

director: Gergana Dimitrova

tour guide: Antonia Hubancheva

video shooting, editing: Boryana Pandova

animation: Nikola Nalbantov

music: Pavel Terziyski, Vesselin Vesselinov-Eko 


>> part of the installation was open to visitors of the museum between 12 and 19 May

>> exhibition "In the Small Big World of Bats", 01 - 31 May, foyer, National Museum of Natural History-BAS

*Tours are recommended for 12+




Tour schedule: 

12 May // 4:00 p.m. 

13 May // 4:00 p.m.

15 May // 2:00 pm

15 May // 4:00 p.m. 

16 May // 3:00 p.m.

18 May // 4:00 p.m.

19 May // 11:30 a.m.  


photos: private archive Antonia Hubancheva

Did you know that there are so many species of bats around the world that they are a quarter of all mammal species? Their image is associated with the most bizarre superstitions, beliefs and myths. Bats scare people, in popular culture they are often the villains. In the last two years, attention on them has intensified due to suspicions that they are the source for the latest coronavirus, despite scientific evidence that shows otherwise.


In today's world, bats are under serious threat. Destruction of their habitat, hunting, climate change and other factors could lead to their extinction, which would lead to an ecological catastrophe.

More than a year ago, 36 Monkeys - Contemporary Alternative Art and Culture Organization first screened the documentary “What About Bats?”. This 30-minute story about the enormous importance of bats for the ecological balance of life on Earth was also an illustration of the interesting result from the meeting between a researcher-batologist, Antonia Hubancheva, and a theatre director, Gergana Dimitrova.


The continuation of this art and science combination took place from 12 to 19 May at the National Museum of Natural History. Gergana Dimitrova and Antonia Hubancheva further developed from the work in the film "What About Bats?" and transformed it into an interactive tour, whose guide was Antonia herself. We learned first-hand about her latest discoveries in the field of sensory ecology, how scientific research is actually conducted and how different sciences help each other. According to sensory ecology, if we look through the eyes of different animals, we will see the world completely differently. It's not just a matter of point of view, it's also a matter of sensory organs.

The installation "In the Little Big World of Bats" was a boutique invitation to the public to see the world in a completely new way, and it's quite literal. Various parts of the installation was located throughout the National Museum of Natural History at BAS in Sofia.

However, the audience was not just an observer, but also was a direct participant. The many objects placed at different locations in the museum was allow each participant to see and feel their surroundings through the senses of bats. They tried to hunt like them, to see like them and tried to create ultrasound in the frequency of bats. Each person of the audience had the opportunity to learn how much food he or she would have needed daily if they were a bat. Among the challenges was the task to distinguish scientific from non-scientific information. 



The 36 Monkeys team created a large-scale route between cognition and simulation in an active exhibition environment of interaction, deploying scientific facts as an essential source of understanding the world around us.

Part of the installation was open during the week of May 12-19 2022 and throughout the month of May, the museum presented an exhibition from the project on its first floor, as well as a screening of the film "What About Bats?"


The installation is avalable for touring. HERE you can find a detailed video recording.


This project is implemented with the financial support of the National Culture Fund.

In partnership with the National Museum of Natural History at BAS and Interculture Consult. 



pictures: Boryana Pandova