When Art Is the Only Administration Left

When Art Is the Only Administration Left

The front page of the cultural supplement of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera today features an enlargement of one of Prime Minister Edi Rama’s doodles, with which he also papered a wall at the current Venice Biennial, curated by COD board member Christine Macel. What is remarkable is that the doodle features Rama’s official […]

Mediterranea 18 Fails To Be Apolitical

Mediterranea 18 Fails To Be Apolitical

The last few days, Tirana and Durrës hosted the Mediterranea 18 Young Artists Biennale under the title “History + Conflict + Dream + Failure = HOME.” In spite of the title, which suggests at least some form of critical inspection or introspection (how else could we know we failed?), the concept of the Mediterranea Biennale, […]

Not All Restorations Are “à la Kumbaro”

Not All Restorations Are “à la Kumbaro”

In 2014, I finished the first and only survey of all lapidars (monuments) constructed all over Albania during the communist period, around 700 in total. The results of this project, the Albanian Lapidar Survey, were documented on a blog, video, and publication. Although the project was partially funded by the Ministry of Culture, the data […]

Fashion Revolution Week Includes Albanian Brand

Fashion Revolution Week Includes Albanian Brand

Fashion Revolution Week is a yearly week-long event from April 24 until April 30. It aims to raise global awareness on practices used in the fashion industry today, while being present in many counties in the world through various events. During this week, and throughout the year, one can find events happening in Italy, Poland, […]

Why Albanian Films are Big in China: Cultural Revolution Nostalgia

Films from Albania were a window on the world for millions of Chinese film-goers when the Balkan country was one of China’s few friends. Ironically, while Chinese today can watch them freely, Albania debates banning them.

Why Albanian Films are Big in China: Cultural Revolution Nostalgia

Nostalgia for the Cultural Revolution is manifested in China in various ways, from hoarding Mao memorabilia, singing “red songs”, to queuing for revolutionary operas. And then there are those who watch Albanian films online. During a period when China counted the Eastern European country’s Stalinist regime as a loyal ally against a backdrop of Western […]

The Condomisation of Memory

The Condomisation of Memory

This is the first time that I don’t have any desire to write about something that is of importance to the humanities. Nevertheless, because of a public debate on a private television station in Albania regarding Albanian cinema of the Communist era, I feel the responsibility to respond to the Albanian citizens and to state […]

Rama’s Failed Promises about the National Library

Rama’s Failed Promises about the National Library

A few days ago a fire broke out in the basement of the National Library in Tirana. Although the definitive extent of the damage remains unknown, it is certain that a part of the library’s books, mainly published after the 1990s, has been damaged by fire or water. Director of the National Library Persida Asllani declared […]

Fire in the National Library

Fire in the National Library

A fire has broken out in the basement of the National Library. Currently the fire brigade is working to bring the fire under control. It is unclear where precisely the fire broke out and whether the books and archives housed in the basement have been damaged. The library employees and visitors have been evacuated and are […]

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