Dessy Gavrilova, 49, is Vienna-based Bulgarian cultural consultant, curator, cultural entrepreneur and drama writer. In Sofia, Gavrilova co-founded and directed The Red House, a socio-cultural centre, which presents innovative and socially engaged art, produces debates, public talks and lectures on relevant socio-political and cultural topics.
In Vienna, she founded the European Network of Houses for Debate – Time to Talk (TTT)- with more than 20 members: centres for culture that promote public debate; develop culture of civic argumentation and aim to inspire dialogue and understanding. TTT members operate from Moscow and Kiev to Istanbul, Sofia, Bratislava, Warsaw, Brussels, Amsterdam, London, Barcelona, Berlin, etc.
In 2016, Gavrilova initiated and co-founded the Vienna Humanities Festival, an annual event that has already become emblematic. During one weekend, the festival features hundreds of debates with leading international thinkers.
Gavrilova has advised numerous international and national institutions, like the European Commission, The Council of Europe, Open Society Foundation, Vienna Museum, Wiener Festwochen, and many others.
In 2011, she was listed as one of the 100 most influential women in Bulgaria.
Gavrilova studied Theatre Studies at the Sofia Theatre and Film Academy and Script writing at the Moscow Film Academy. She holds an MA in Public Policy from the Central European University in Budapest and she conducted a major research study at Oxford University.