Tirana running for ‘’European Capital City of Culture 2024’’

Tirana running for ‘’European Capital City of Culture 2024’’

TIRANA, Nov. 7- Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj has participated in the European Capital Cities of Culture conference, which was held in Florence from Nov. 7 until 9. The conference discusses the role of culture in society and economic development of

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Beloved Albanian films screened in Copenhagen

Beloved Albanian films screened in Copenhagen

TIRANA, Nov. 7- Xhanfise Keko is an Albanian director of 12 artistic films for children who operated during the communist regime from 1952-84, and holds the title of People’s Artist received in 1984. She is the first Albanian children’s film

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Marubi photographs to display in Milan

Marubi photographs to display in Milan

TIRANA, Nov. 8- A beloved figure for the Albanian culture is Pietro Marubi, claimed as the first photographer in our country, operating in Shkodra in the end of the 19th century. His legacy doesn’t consist in his own personally photographed

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Albanian astrophysicist publishes book about newest discoveries

Albanian astrophysicist publishes book about newest discoveries

TIRANA, Nov. 3- Renowned astrophysicist Mimoza Hafizi is publishing a novel titled ‘’Rose drop for us and Aliens’’ (Pike trendafili per ne dhe Alienet), which discusses the possibility of an alien civilization smiling at us. She uses the many discoveries

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France-based violin virtuoso performs in Tirana

France-based violin virtuoso performs in Tirana

TIRANA, Nov. 4- Artists Tedi Papavrami, a genius in violin, has returned in Albania to hold his first duet concert in our country. He played at the Cultural Center of Orthodox Cathedral of the capital with pianist Francois Frederic Guy.

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An Albanology department at Beijing University

An Albanology department at Beijing University

TIRANA, Nov. 5- Oct. 31 in China is known as the ‘’Albanology day in China’’. On behalf of this day, a conference was held at the Albanian Academy of Sciences in Tirana to celebrate the event, by promoting various literary

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States archive documents now available online

States archive documents now available online

TIRANA, Oct. 31- The official institutions are updating their websites and integrating their information and documents online. Such a step was recently undertaken by the General Directory of Archives, which has put all its documents online for scholars and researchers

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National History Museum to undergo reconstruction

National History Museum to undergo reconstruction

TIRANA, Oct. 31- While there is still the ongoing rattle about the National Theatre for more than two months, the National History Museum will be undergoing a deep reconstruction to its foundations as they have suffered degeneration through the years,

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Next to my Chimney- an installation by Sead Kazanxhiu

Next to my Chimney- an installation by Sead Kazanxhiu

TIRANA, Oct. 30- Zeta Gallery opened Sead Kazanxhiu’s exhibition ‘Next to my Chimney’ on Tuesday, Oct. 30, which will last until Nov. 12. The exhibition was a mixed media installation of pieces from the house Kazanxhiu grew up, which no

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The Interreligious Council of Albania receives human rights award

The Interreligious Council of Albania receives human rights award

TIRANA, Oct. 29- The annual ceremony of Polish Prize Sergio Vieira de Mello was held in Krakow Thursday, Oct. 25. The award is granted to individuals and non-governmental organizations for their activities for the peaceful coexistence and cooperation of societies,

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 7- Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj has participated in the European Capital Cities of Culture conference, which was held in Florence from Nov. 7 until 9. The conference discusses the role of culture in society and economic development of the cities, and was attended by local leaders, art experts and renowned representatives, etc. 

Until year 2022, the European Capital Cities of Culture are already pre-designed and awarded. The cities are as following: Leeuwarden-Friesland and Valletta for 2018, Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Matera (Italy) for 2019, Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland) for 2020, Timișoara (Romania), Elefsina (Greece) and Novi Sad (Serbia, candidate country) for 2021; and Kaunas (Lithuania) and Esch (Luxembourg) for 2022.

The title for the 2023 Capital City is ongoing in Hungary, and for the 2024 was recently opened in a call by Austria and Estonia, for which the conference was about. Veliaj put Tirana as a candidate for Europe’s Capital City of Europe 2024, considering all the major changes having happened to this capital recently, with the on-going artistic events, exhibitions, the Tirana International Film Festival, the sculptures and architectural rehabilitation, etc.. 

‘’Albania has applied as a candidate for 2024, that is why we are using this excellent opportunity among the capital cities, to lobby our candidature. Thanks to the contribution to our friend, Dario Nardella, Florence Mayors, our twin town, I believe that Albania has good chances, taking into account it has the support of these towns in preparing its candidate for 2024,’’ said Veliaj.

He took a parallelism with the Olympic Games, World Cup and other activities which start preparations four to five years prior to the event taking place, so everything will be in order for its thrifting performance. This drawing means that Tirana will be taking the same measures so it will have the same opportunities as any other candidate capital in winning this award.

Veliaj said that with the support of the government an attention has been put to arts and culture by manifolding the budget to its disposal. He stressed that it doesn’t account only to art and theatre, but also to business, tourism, economic benefits. The European Commission will also be giving its support to this cause, and as we already have various theatres and museums in Tirana, more diverse events are yet to come alive. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 7- Xhanfise Keko is an Albanian director of 12 artistic films for children who operated during the communist regime from 1952-84, and holds the title of People’s Artist received in 1984. She is the first Albanian children’s film director and a pioneer in the genre for our country. She has also received international awards and recognition.

Her beloved films are still viewed with sentimentalism and laughter in Albanian television screens even nowadays. The elders to remind the simple times, and teach simple lessons to their successors. Right and wrong, compassion, friendship, originality, bravery, listening to your parents, etc., are some of the themes surrounding the plots. 

There are three films which are lately screened in Copenhagen. ‘Tomka and his friends’ and ‘Spoilt Mimoza’ were screened on Nov. 7, whereas ‘When a movie was directed’ will be screened on Nov. 9.

‘Tomka and his friends’ centers around Tomka, a small boy who likes to play football with his friends. The nazis however, enter the town and seize the field. Tomka and some elders start to organize actions against the military camp located in the field.

‘Spoilt Mimoza’ surrounds the life and attitude of a spoilt little girl who throws her friends out of her house, until she ends up alone and repentant playing with her inanimate dolls. 

‘When a film was directed’ tells the story of little Gent who is distressed because his parents are separated due to microburgoise standing his father holds against his mother. This is happening while he is acting in a children’s film that is being directed in his town.

Albanian films of this era are being restored to project in contemporary forms. More and more films are getting out of the national archives, and are getting more international attention to a country which had a strict censorship against art, and when artists had to prove themselves more than just creative in producing and exhibiting their work.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 8- A beloved figure for the Albanian culture is Pietro Marubi, claimed as the first photographer in our country, operating in Shkodra in the end of the 19th century. His legacy doesn’t consist in his own personally photographed pictures, but in the inheritance from his successors. 

Originally an Italian immigrant, Pietro Marubi arrived in Shkodra in 1850 due to political reasons, and founded the first photography business in Albania. The method he was using was with wet plates, collodions. He was assisted by two brothers, Rrok and Kel Kodheli, and after Marubi’s death in 1903, Kel took the business and adopted the last name too.

Kel Marubi started advancing the techniques in photography, by using special effects and learning to retouch the negatives. He also acquired more advanced cameras in order to take pictures outside his studio. 

This cultural inheritance is well-documented in the National Museum of Photography ‘Marubi’ in Shkodra. 170 pictures of its collection will be exhibited at Triennale in Milan from Nov. 16 until Dec. 9 2018, in a collaboration between ‘Marubi’ Museum, La Triennale and Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea (Museum of Contemporary Photography). 

Photography has made some pretty significant progress nowadays by integrating with technology and allowing everything to turn into a photographic objective. We are able to photograph everything, our meals, the sunsets, our outfits, the street, etc., at all times we find it fit and appropriate (or not) to our wills and desires. 

But a century ago when photography was being discovered and developed, the whole process of it was quite ceremonial. People would dress in their best clothing, would commit to various preparations, both psychological, for this new thing will reproduce their image into a small picture, but also appear in the proper emotional state. 

During the communist regime, photographs were made in special occasions, even though the technology was much more advanced than that of beginning 20th century. That is because it was expensive to produce pictures, and thus would only be taken on birthdays, weddings and other family celebrations of significance; during the national independence days, May 1st (laborers’ day), etc. 

There 500 thousand negatives that the ‘Marubi’ Museum holds, which depict standings, portraits, outfits, information regarding the time from when the pictures originate, the social status of the individuals, etc.. 170 pictures of Pietro and Gege Marubi, Kel Kodheli (Marubi), Pici, Jakova, Rraboshta and Nenshati were chosen from curator Zef Paci for the exhibition ‘’Marubi archive. The photographic ritual.’’ (L’archivio Marubi. Il rituale fotografico.).

‘’The exhibition is built around the confrontation of ritualistic structure and the practical one inside the the studio,’’ said Paci. 

Many photographs are a result of a long process. They depict unique gestures and objects. We find process, alchemy, special environment, attitude in them. They grasp an alienation of the individual in those pictures, in symbolization of the ritual of photoshooting. 

Paci said that there were the pictures themselves who led him to their selection and idea of the exhibition. The selection was made on some photographs that were labeled as useless, due to their topology, positions, or reflections that contradicted the values of the system. There is still unknown history, or biased history regarding our nation, and these pictures complement the image of what has happened. 

‘’We have a history with many ups and downs, and sometimes the written history is only a version of the real facts. It is a window to the past and if we combine them with additional facts, it might be useful to understand more,’’ said Paci.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 3- Renowned astrophysicist Mimoza Hafizi is publishing a novel titled ‘’Rose drop for us and Aliens’’ (Pike trendafili per ne dhe Alienet), which discusses the possibility of an alien civilization smiling at us. She uses the many discoveries made in the field of astrophysics to built her story around. 

There are about 400 thousand planets discovered up to this point and 30 of them are being closely inspected for possible alien inhabitation as they are thought to provide the necessary atmosphere for existence. Hafizi thus tries to portray in a creative way all the main discoveries of this millenium regarding new planets and galaxies.

The much sought celestial space from her and many others, brings itself through facts for the common people to freely experience the existence of other lives in this Universe. The very desire of the author was for readers who don’t know much about astrology to learn something. And Hafizi uses her knowledge to describe the galactic processes through a simple language so that everyone will understand, hoping the reader will see the sky with an embrace and enthusiasm. 

‘’My incentive was the desire to communicate humanity’s knowledge of the universe and planets outside our galactic system that might hold life, to people who aren’t professionals [in the field]. I communicate this emotion to my students, but this time I wanted to find a simple that anyone with a minimal education can understand what is happening, how humanity managed to permeate in billions light years away and search for life even in other galaxies,’’ said Hafizi in her book’s presentation at the Albanian Academy of Sciences in Tirana. 

‘’Rose drop’’ is a popular science fiction book according to critics. Hafizi explained that the title of the book is a stylized adjustment to the closest planet Earth has outside our solar system. Through real or imaginary events which happen in important research centers around the globe, this book seeks to connect the reader with the far-away small worlds explored during the this third millennium's eve. These are exoplanets, planets around other stars which behold the secret to extraterrestrial life. 

Using fictional characters that are familiar to the science environment, Hafizi explains the scientific theses and hypotheses through episodes, dialogues, meditations and fantasies at the edge of knowledge. Not only contemplative of extraterrestrial life, but also optimistic and celebratory of Earthlings’ intelligence, excellence, advanced technology, vigorous progress, strong characters and soft temperaments, which intertwine to space and Universe explorers. 

There is always the question of why are we exploring the vast spaces. Hafizi didn’t give a straight answer, but hopes the reader will be able to read through the lines and decide for themselves what is important to put a stress upon. Yet, in our unconsciousness there is always the fight for survival and expansion of our species. 

There is no known alien life so far. Only the curiosity to learn the unknown, to feed the odyssey within us all. Hafizi seeks to turn a light on the dark mysteries which govern the spaces, and a light to the perhaps dark spheres of the readers’ knowledge regarding the subject. 

‘’Did I make it? Only readers will tell. Anyhow, it is better to tire yourself lighting a candle rather than endlessly cursing the darkness,’’ said Hafizi. 

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 4- Artists Tedi Papavrami, a genius in violin, has returned in Albania to hold his first duet concert in our country. He played at the Cultural Center of Orthodox Cathedral of the capital with pianist Francois Frederic Guy. The two-hour long concert conducted by Vlorent Xhafaj brought four violin and piano sonatas from Beethoven.

‘’Beethoven is a composer that like many great musicians, is closely linked to nature. Quite often when we listen to his work we hear the impressions of nature and seasons,’’ said Papavrami prior to the concert, regarding the composer and the nature of the performance, the first of its own. 

The sonatas played were the first sonata, which Xhafaj holds it as a brilliant work and a classic virtuoso in a genre where Beethoven showed himself unachievable. The second played was the no.6 sonata, an original, complex piece regarding its thematics and structure. 

The third sonata played was no.4, which starts off abruptly and dramatically, a recognized feature of Beethoven’s style of composition. And the last piece performed was the ‘spring’ sonata, a prominent work from music fans and scholars, one of the global treasures of music history. 

‘’Sweet and softest melodies, until forgetfulness, like in a dream world,’’ said Xhafaj regarding the piece. 

These are all works excellent for a violin-piano collaboration, which both musicians managed to depict their talents into, and allow the audience to experience a 10-year long cooperation between the artists in worldwide scenes. They have published three CDs together on full violin and piano sonatas, and expressed their wishes to return to the Albanian scene with a second concert performing all ten Beethoven’s sonatas.  

Tedi Papavrami left Albania when he was 12 years old. He returned for the concert after being away for 35 years. He started playing the violin at the age of four and performed his first concert at the age of eight. He also performed in the first concert of Paganini’s works in Albania at the age of 11. Prof. Robert Papavrami, his father, who had a deep faith in his son’s talent, with the help of flutist Alain Marion managed to get him a scholarship at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique në Paris under the guidance of Pierre Amoyal. 

After the conservatory, Papavrami has performed in numerous concerts worldwide under the direction of renowned conductors, has won various awards and competitions, received a diploma at the Lausanne Conservatory, and late conducting further studying under the direction of Zino Francescatti and Viktoria Mullova. He has also appeared in a couple of films, and is a translator of Ismail Kadare’s books in French.

 
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 5- Oct. 31 in China is known as the ‘’Albanology day in China’’. On behalf of this day, a conference was held at the Albanian Academy of Sciences in Tirana to celebrate the event, by promoting various literary and academic Albanian books translated in Chinese. The conference also sought to appraise in gratitude the contribution of the Chinese in spreading the Albanian culture and teaching our language at the University of Beijing. 

The conference was attended by Chinese Ambassador to Albania H.E.Jiang Yu, Prof. Ke Jing, chief of Albanian Language Dpt. at the International Studies University of Beijing Prof.Chen Fengua, renowned Albanian academics Emil Lafe, Shaban Sinani, Floresha Dado, etc. Except promoting the collaboration between two nations and Chinese translations of the books, it was promised further cooperative projects. 

Among the books translated and published are a ‘’Chinese-Albanian and Albanian-Chinese Vocabulary’’ with a collection of 40 thousand words, a ‘’Short encyclopedia of Albanian history and cultural heritage,’’ translated works of Ismail Kadare and Dritero Agolli in Chinese, ‘’Albanian practical grammar’’ in two volumes, and ‘’Spoken Albanian’’ in two volumes.

Other works are currently being translated by the staff of the Albanian Language at the Beijing University. Ismail Kadare’s ‘’Accident’’ is being translated by Mimoza, as she is called in her Albanianized name. Then there is Shqiponja (eagle), who is working on an archival documented collection on Albanian-Chinese relations during the 1960s, and prof. Ke Jing, who is called Xhina, is currently translating Dritero Agolli’s ‘’Devil’s Arc.’’ 

‘’The department has won the composition of a great Albanian vocabulary project. The associates, such as prof. Zheng Enbo, have prepared and published an Albanian poetry anthology of 70 authors in two volumes,’’ said dr. prof. Shaban Sinani. 

The Albanian Language Dpt. at the Beijing University was established in 1961, and also serves as a university scientific unit, research center, and publishing and translating board. For two decades it had a great interest from Chinese students, then from the 1980-7 suffered a halt. After 1987 it was slowly rebuilding its reputation and functions, and today it graduates a group of Chinese students each four years in the field, studying the Albanian language, literature and culture. The department graduates BA, MA and PhD students, and it is the only Albanological center in the entire Asian continent. 

‘’The Albanian Language Dpt. in Beijing exists since 1961 with an incredible contribution in teaching the Albanian language and preparing diplomats, journalists, and specialist of various fields within the Albanian language,’’ said Floresha Dado. 

This department has now turned into an Albanological center which seeks to conduct scientific research. The research wants to surround both linguistic and traditional cultures of the two countries, in terms of history, culture, literature, linguistics, politics, religion, etc. The doctoral college, for instance, focuses on primary Albanologic and Chinese-Albanian issues. Yet, as the interest nowadays is smaller, with about 10 Chinese students studying in the field, the contribution, however generous, is also modest. 

‘’We are making a very modest contribution to strengthen the Chinese-Albanian relations from the perspective of cultural exchange and to deepen the academic works, because the academic works can’t move forward on their own without serving the actual purposes, because with China in ‘60s-’70s the relations has been in such a way that the older generation knows China, however not the youth, and so the young Chinese know very little of Albania and we are going to get them acquainted with this nation, its culture and history,’’ said prof. Ke Jing. 

 
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                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-11-02 11:11:47
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 31- The official institutions are updating their websites and integrating their information and documents online. Such a step was recently undertaken by the General Directory of Archives, which has put all its documents online for scholars and researchers to use, when they can’t physically acquire them. They can order them online, pay the fee to the directory, and get access in one up to five days.

This project was under the care of the Directory, deputy Prime Minister, Senida Mesi, in collaboration with the National Agency of Information Society. This online module is the first in Balkans, and follows international practices. The innovation was presented by students of History and Philology Faculty of Tirana University in an activity with Faculty researchers, professors, the Archives general director, Ardit Bido, and other intellectuals of the field. 

‘’This is one of the meridians of the digitalization strategy that we’ve been working on for two years now. The fact that similar modules are only found in developed countries and in none from the region, it puts us as vanguard for Balkans to serve faster and better to the Albanian and foreign researchers, giving a burst to the development of scientific research in our country,’’ said Bido, while also trialing the platform with the first online sale made by himself in the activity. 

Mesi on the other hand stressed that the Albanian government has as a priority the fast service offered to citizens. This platform is beneficial as the interested reader can access the information at any time even, regardless of the open hours the institution has. Similar projects for online integration seem to be following as well.
                    [post_title] => States archive documents now available online
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                    [ID] => 139125
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-11-02 11:09:18
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-02 10:09:18
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 31- While there is still the ongoing rattle about the National Theatre for more than two months, the National History Museum will be undergoing a deep reconstruction to its foundations as they have suffered degeneration through the years, but also will rehabilitate its sight to make it more attractive. 

This comes after an announcement the Minister of Culture Mirela Kumbaro made herself. She said that it is important to rehabilitate the institution to meet the generation of 21st century, as the Museum was built in 1981 and holds a communistic facade and ideology. She wants the museum to speak to Albania’s history and people, to make it more engaging through a contemporary concept. 

She wrote the building hasn’t had any investments since its construction, and thus has degenerated over the years due to cheap amortization. As being an institution of high importance, and following perhaps the tragedy that happened to the National Museum of Brazil that suffered a fire and thus losing around 20 million artefacts, it would be smart to invest in our museum. 

‘’Physical reconstruction project to a building overly amortized, tired, which has never had any structural investment, which today lacks all necessary conditions proper for a public cultural institution; a preserving of the cultural heritage, the funds and collections, and the modernization of the museal life,’’ wrote Kumbaro in a post via Facebook.

It is implied thus a more dynamic museum to fit the reconstruction of the Skanderbeg Square. at which the building stands, and as the square has high movement of citizens, the institution wants to explore the possibilities of attracting them to its frontiers.

The project presents itself as an inviting and transparent entrance, digital screens, reception, souvenir shops, coffee-bar, wardrobe, interactive digital forms. This however, it’s only a concept presented by architect Olsi Eftimiu, who has also worked on the projects of ArTurbina, National Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and is thought to be participating in this other national object reconstruction. 

However, both Kumbaro and Institute of Cultural Monuments director Arta Dollani said there is no definitive project, as both the Culture Ministry and Museum are working with 20 experts examining the building, and then a decision will be made on the best project that will depict the vision of the institution.

This vision seeks to extinguish the interpretations and ideologies, and present the artefacts exclusively through the historical facts they hold. A contemporary, educative museum to show and teach everyone of Albania’s history, uncovered. 

‘’The museum will have a different presentation with digital platforms, a staff that preliminary explains what you’ll be visiting, what you might be interested upon, so it will have a diversified museal program. This project’s cost will be 13 million euros. The way of itnervation will be through phases so there will never be a full closing of the museum, so there is a continuation of exhibitions and educative part,’’ said Dollani. 

 
                    [post_title] => National History Museum to undergo reconstruction
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                    [ID] => 139122
                    [post_author] => 29
                    [post_date] => 2018-11-02 11:07:43
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-02 10:07:43
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Oct. 30- Zeta Gallery opened Sead Kazanxhiu’s exhibition ‘Next to my Chimney’ on Tuesday, Oct. 30, which will last until Nov. 12. The exhibition was a mixed media installation of pieces from the house Kazanxhiu grew up, which no longer exists as it was demolished in 2015 to make room for building a new one.  

This exhibition comes as in an invitation for the viewers to experience the ancestral spirits of the house through some lessons of difference, more particularly linked with the philosophies of life and death ushered by the Romani community. ‘Next to my Chimney’ because these philosophies, stories and knowledge are accumulated through the generations and retold to successors in a warm gathering around the fireplace. 

Kazanxhiu wants to bring the feeling of his own house and family by presenting building around the guest-room (oda e miqve). The guest-room is linked to a long tradition of Albanian families in general, where the guest room is the embodiment of the Albanian hospitality, the warmest, noisiest room in the house with distinguished ornaments and rich decoration. He builds the installation around this particular item, the white chimney, with saved pieces from the original house. 

Carefully selected and recomposed items on display elevate viewers into an immaterial, spiritual state of mind, imbued with the loving energy of Kazanxhiu’s deceased grandparents. He addresses their presence-in-absence through fragments of the material world from where he was born and raised. 

The fireplace of the guest room in Kazanxhiu’s house aka the exhibition atmosphere, challenges the people to rethink the ideas of living together, the concept of hospitality, and the forms and effects of human displacement. He puts this installation as a public platform for thought made out of private items, which seeks to bring and redeem the still-existing racial differences amongst the communities and the stereotypes that prevail against the Romani people. This is a dark side of the emerging European democracy.

‘’Let your body’s silhouette ritually ‘break’ the wall of Sead Kazanxhiu’s guest room and reconnect without divide with the common spirit of our ancestors. Or simply greet his house while positioning yourself in front of its door, instead of taking forced evictions for granted and remaining visually impaired about the ever-growing racial policies of power, being, of knowing,’’ said curator of the exhibition Marko Stamenkovic. 

Sead Kazanxhiu is a Roma ethnic visual artist from Albania. After finishing his bachelor’s in painting, he worked primarily in his medium for a few years, and then started to explore and inhibit sculpture, installation, video and public space interventions. He has launched eight personal exhibitions since 2012 and has participated in group ones too. One such group expose was the ‘’Reconceptualizing Roma Resistance’’ in summer 2016 at the Goethe Institute in Prague in the framework of Roma Festival Khamoro. 

 
                    [post_title] => Next to my Chimney- an installation by Sead Kazanxhiu
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                    [post_date] => 2018-11-02 11:05:55
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-02 10:05:55
                    [post_content] => religTIRANA, Oct. 29- The annual ceremony of Polish Prize Sergio Vieira de Mello was held in Krakow Thursday, Oct. 25. The award is granted to individuals and non-governmental organizations for their activities for the peaceful coexistence and cooperation of societies, religions and cultures. 

The non-governmental award for the year of 2018 was given to the Interreligious Council of Albania. 

Our country has a long history of religious harmony between the various communities and its people. Citizens aren’t differentiated or discriminated for their religions as it is something deeply personal for them. Albania has been praised for its peaceful interactions between the religious communities and lately has been gaining more recognition. 

The interreligious council of our country was created in Oct. 22, 2009, under the auspices of then president, Bamir Topi. The founders of the council are HE Rrok Mirdita, Chairman of the Conference of Bishops of Albania and HE Haxhi Dede Reshat Bardhi, Leader of the World Bektashi Union. 

With a long received support from the European Committee of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, it was finally made possible that a council with representatives from all present religions in Albania to be established. This is the first Interreligious Council that Albania has, and it was more than necessary to set this example of friendship and brotherhood in more official terms through its setting. 

On behalf of the Interreligious Council of Albania, the Polish Sérgio Vieira de Mello is received by Archbishop George Anthony Frendo, HE Bishop Andon Merdani, Pastor Dr. Ylli H. Doçi and President of the Council, HE Skender Bruçaj.

‘’Today I am honored to present the award in the category of ‘organization’ for ‘Interreligious Albanian Confessional Community’ for representing with its attitude the practical dimension of interreligious dialogue. Albania is now an example of a country where harmonious cooperation between various religious communities is developed, of which there are five in Albania: Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Bectanite,’’ were the laudation words spoken for the Laureate. 

The host went to say that the cooperation of Community leaders is particularly important, as wars and religious conflicts has recently happened in the Balkans. 

‘’This cooperation is a model that can be used as a model of coexistence for neighboring communities in  various regions of the world troubled by ethnic and religious conflicts.’’

Sergio Vieira de Mello was a well-appraised Brazilian UN diplomat for human rights for more than 34 years, appointed as High Commissioner for Human Rights on behalf of the UN in 2002. He earned a respect for establishing humanitarian and political peacemaking programs for the organization, and has worked in countries with human rights crisis, such as Bangladesh, Sudan, Cyprus, Mozambique, Peru, Cambodia, Lebanon, Kosovo. In 2003, less than a year after his appointed position he was serving in Iraq, where he was killed in a bombing together with 22 colleagues. 

 
                    [post_title] => The Interreligious Council of Albania receives human rights award 
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            [post_date] => 2018-11-09 11:24:58
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            [post_content] => TIRANA, Nov. 7- Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj has participated in the European Capital Cities of Culture conference, which was held in Florence from Nov. 7 until 9. The conference discusses the role of culture in society and economic development of the cities, and was attended by local leaders, art experts and renowned representatives, etc. 

Until year 2022, the European Capital Cities of Culture are already pre-designed and awarded. The cities are as following: Leeuwarden-Friesland and Valletta for 2018, Plovdiv (Bulgaria) and Matera (Italy) for 2019, Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland) for 2020, Timișoara (Romania), Elefsina (Greece) and Novi Sad (Serbia, candidate country) for 2021; and Kaunas (Lithuania) and Esch (Luxembourg) for 2022.

The title for the 2023 Capital City is ongoing in Hungary, and for the 2024 was recently opened in a call by Austria and Estonia, for which the conference was about. Veliaj put Tirana as a candidate for Europe’s Capital City of Europe 2024, considering all the major changes having happened to this capital recently, with the on-going artistic events, exhibitions, the Tirana International Film Festival, the sculptures and architectural rehabilitation, etc.. 

‘’Albania has applied as a candidate for 2024, that is why we are using this excellent opportunity among the capital cities, to lobby our candidature. Thanks to the contribution to our friend, Dario Nardella, Florence Mayors, our twin town, I believe that Albania has good chances, taking into account it has the support of these towns in preparing its candidate for 2024,’’ said Veliaj.

He took a parallelism with the Olympic Games, World Cup and other activities which start preparations four to five years prior to the event taking place, so everything will be in order for its thrifting performance. This drawing means that Tirana will be taking the same measures so it will have the same opportunities as any other candidate capital in winning this award.

Veliaj said that with the support of the government an attention has been put to arts and culture by manifolding the budget to its disposal. He stressed that it doesn’t account only to art and theatre, but also to business, tourism, economic benefits. The European Commission will also be giving its support to this cause, and as we already have various theatres and museums in Tirana, more diverse events are yet to come alive. 

 
            [post_title] => Tirana running for ‘’European Capital City of Culture 2024’’
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