Spanish artist Luz Casal to give concert in Tirana

Spanish artist Luz Casal to give concert in Tirana

TIRANA, Sept. 11 – The Spanish Embassy in Albania shared on Tuesday the news of Luz Casal’s concert on Saturday, September 14, in Tirana’s amphitheatre by the artificial lake.  It’s Casal’s first time in Albania throughout her artistic career, a

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Chronicles and Fragments

Chronicles and Fragments

The novels of Ismail Kadare. By James Wood  Like Trieste or Lvov, the medieval city of Gjirokastër, in southern Albania, has passed its history beneath a sign perpetually rewritten, in different hands, but always with the same words: “Under New Management.”

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Japan State Minister for Environment visits Divjake National Park

Japan State Minister for Environment visits Divjake National Park

TIRANA, July 28 – On July 25 the State Minister for the Environment of Japan, as well as Secretary General of Japan-Albania Parliamentary Friendship Association, H.E. Mr. Minoru Kiuchi, visited the National Park of Divjake Karavasta. The purpose of this

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Folk Ensemble receives international assessments

Folk Ensemble receives international assessments

TIRANA, July 11- The National Theatre of Opera and Ballet (TOB) Archive and the National Folk Song and Dance Ensemble archive is rich in various material activities that have been developed over the years. Decades ago Albanian artists have received

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Ballerina Adela Mucollari performs in Rome competition

Ballerina Adela Mucollari performs in Rome competition

TIRANA, July 11- Adela Muçollari who is the first ballerina of the Opera and Ballet Theater, will represent Albania in the prestigious jury of “Premio Danza 2019” in Rome in its 17th edition this year. One of the most important

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Julius Caesar takes the theatre outdoors

Julius Caesar takes the theatre outdoors

TIRANA, July 11- Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar will premiere on July 13 at the National Theatre’s square. The play is directed by Croatian director Ivica Buljan and produced by the National Experimental Theater “Kujtim Spahivogli.” “Julius Caesar” is one of the

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Kosovo Embassy exhibits “Albanian Wildlife”

Kosovo Embassy exhibits “Albanian Wildlife”

TIRANA, July 11- About 20 photos taken by Albanian artists for the “Albanian Wildlife” exhibition are displayed in the outer premises of the Embassy of Kosovo in Tirana, which will remain open until July 12. The natural world of wild

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Blackbird

Blackbird

By Sonja Methoxha TIRANA, July 11- Last night at the National Experimental Theatre “Kujtim Spahivogli” was premiered a two-characters drama titled Blackbird, written by Scottish playwright David Harrower. The attention grabbing piece treats the sensitive and taboo subject of pedophilia.

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Dh240m infrastructure projects in Albania launched: ADFD

Dh240m infrastructure projects in Albania launched: ADFD

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has launched infrastructure projects in Albania valued at AED240 million (US$65 million). A delegation of the fund led by Adel Al Hosani, Director of Operations Department at ADFD, participated in the official inauguration of

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Visual Arts student exhibit their works

Visual Arts student exhibit their works

TIRANA July 2- Art students have exhibited at the Faculty of Visual Arts the works accomplished during this year. Various social issues and different political situations, such as environmental pollution, domestic violence, are tackled in handmade papers, graphics and modern

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 11 - The Spanish Embassy in Albania shared on Tuesday the news of Luz Casal's concert on Saturday, September 14, in Tirana’s amphitheatre by the artificial lake. 

It’s Casal’s first time in Albania throughout her artistic career, a concert which will be accompanied by Albanian singer Ardian Trebicka and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Tirana.

Casal began her career in Spain in the 1980s with an international presentation, thanks to her collaboration with Pedro Almodovar in the film "Tacones Lejanos". 

She has sold over 5 million CDs and has a number of international concerts and is known as one of the most popular solo singers in Spain. 

The concert, which will also feature surprises, with the presence of Ardian Trebicka, will be held at the newly-built amphitheater on Saturday, September 14, at 8:00 pm and tickets are on sale at the myticket.al portal.

The Spanish Embassy in Albania supports the institutional and logistical activities of the event. 

 
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                    [post_content] => The novels of Ismail Kadare.

By James Wood 

Like Trieste or Lvov, the medieval city of Gjirokastër, in southern Albania, has passed its history beneath a sign perpetually rewritten, in different hands, but always with the same words: “Under New Management.” It enters the historical record in 1336, as a Byzantine possession, but in 1418 was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. The Greeks occupied it in 1912, yet a year later it became part of the newly independent Albania. During the Second World War, it was taken by the Italians, taken back by the Greeks, and, finally, seized by the Germans: “At dusk the city, which through the centuries had appeared on maps as a possession of the Romans, the Normans, the Byzantines, the Turks, the Greeks and the Italians, now watched darkness fall as a part of the German empire. Utterly exhausted, dazed by the battle, it showed no sign of life.”

The novelist Ismail Kadare was born in Gjirokastër in 1936, and those words are from the great novel that he drew out of his boyhood experiences of the war, “Chronicle in Stone,” which was published in Albanian in 1971 and in English in 1987. (This kind of lag between Kadare’s Albanian and English-language publications is not uncommon, partly because most of his work has been translated first into French and then turned into English, often by the distinguished scholar David Bellos, who is well known as a translator of Georges Perec.)  Despite the many horrors it describes, “Chronicle in Stone” is a joyful, often comic piece of work, in which the concentrated irony for which Kadare became famous—most notably in his later political parables and allegories of Communism, like “The Concert” and “The Successor”—is already visible. In this early novel, the irony has a more generous warmth. A young boy narrates the events, at once wide-eyed and sophisticated. War arrives, in the form of Italian bombing, British bombing, and, finally, the dark rondo whereby Greek and Italian occupiers arrive and depart from the stage like vicars in an English farce: “At ten in the morning on Thursday the Italians came back, marching in under freezing rain. They stayed only thirty hours. Six hours later the Greeks were back. The same thing happened all over again in the second week of November.” But Kadare is more interested in the kinds of stories that the town might have thrown up at any time in the past thousand years. Townspeople talk of spells, witches, ghosts, and legends. The young narrator discovers “Macbeth,” and reads it obsessively, seeing parallels between medieval Scotland and modern Gjirokastër. A group of old women discuss a neighbor’s son, who has started wearing spectacles, an occurrence that is treated superstitiously, as an omen of disaster. One of the women, Xhexho, says, “How I kept from bursting into tears, I’m sure I don’t know. He walked over to the cabinet, flipped through a few books, then went over to the window, stopped, and took off his glasses. . . . I reached out, picked up the glasses, and put them on. What can I tell you, my friends? My head was spinning. These glasses must be cursed. The world whirled like the circles of hell. Everything shook, rolled, and swayed as if possessed by the devil.” Her interlocutors all agree that a terrible fate has befallen the family of the bespectacled boy.

Throughout the novel, these and other neighbors and relatives comment on ordinary events, and this forms a stubborn resistance to the novelty of the occupation. As a mark of how beautifully Kadare blends this atmosphere of the city’s traditional antiquity with the rapidity of wartime development, consider something this same woman, Xhexho, says, when she hears an air-raid siren for the first time: “Now we have a mourner who will wail for us all.” And yet, in an emphasis characteristic of Kadare’s wit, the memory of the past is regularly burlesqued, too:
I had heard that the First Crusade had passed this way a thousand years before. Old Xixo Gavo, they said, had related this in his chronicle. The crusaders had marched down the road in an endless stream, brandishing their arms and crosses and ceaselessly asking, “Where is the Holy Sepulchre?” They had pressed on south in search of that tomb without stopping in the city, fading away in the same direction the military convoys were now taking.
  There is something Monty Python-ish about the Crusaders, miles off course, demanding to see the Holy Sepulchre; and the link to the hopelessness of the modern soldiers is deftly made. The city stands stonily against the new invaders, as it always has: that is Kadare’s own “chronicle in stone.”   As the novel’s co-translator, David Bellos, points out in his introduction, this early book contains many of the elements and motifs that Kadare would work and rework in later fiction. Kadare uses the conventions of realistic storytelling, while feeling free to depart from conventionality whenever necessary; he likes to make use of the premodern liberties of Balkan legend, and deals straightforwardly and practically with such incursions into the texts as ghosts, fables, the living presence of the dead, magical occurrences, and the like. (In this, he sometimes resembles the late José Saramago, another postmodern traditionalist.) The books are formally playful, and often try out different styles of narration so as to find multiple paths to the same material. For instance, “Chronicle in Stone” is frequently interrupted by brief, abbreviated sections, entitled “Fragment of a Chronicle,” which read like newspaper reports, or diaries. In one of these, the author’s family name is fleetingly encountered: “Those killed in the latest bombing include: L.Tashi, L. Kadare. . . .”   Another name found in the novel has even greater resonance than Kadare’s. One day, a notice is posted on a ruined house: “Wanted: the dangerous Communist Enver Hoxha. Aged about 30.” Enver Hoxha, the Communist leader who kept a ruthless and paranoid grip on Albania for forty years, until his death, in 1985, was also born in Gjirokastër, in 1908. The novel does not mention Hoxha again, but his shadow, and the shadow of the regime that he built after the war, darkens the last eighty pages of the book. In one scene, some of the townspeople are deported by the Italians. As a crowd watches, a passerby asks what they have done. Someone else replies, “They spoke against.” “What does that mean? Against what?” the passerby asks. “I’m telling you, they spoke against.” The suppressed referent—“Against what?”—is garish in its silence, and Kadare became a master analyst of this sinister logic of lunacy, in its Communist totalitarian form. Later, Communist partisans start rounding people up. One of them shoots a girl by mistake, and is sentenced to death by fellow-partisans for “the misuse of revolutionary violence.” Just before he is executed, he raises his arm and cries, “Long live Communism!” Though “Chronicle in Stone” ends with the German occupation of the city, it gapes, forebodingly, at the postwar Albanian world.   At the end of the war, though, the nine-year-old Ismail Kadare and the thirty-six-year-old Hoxha were approaching each other like two dark dots on a snowy landscape, still miles apart but steadily converging on the same frozen lake. “Chronicle in Stone” represents an act of political resistance, of the cunning, subtle kind that allowed Kadare to survive Hoxha’s regime, even as some of his books were banned. “The Palace of Dreams,” published in 1981, and more obviously antagonistic, is one of those censored novels. (Although, in an absurdist twist, the book was banned two weeks after its publication, by which time it had sold out.) Like many of Kadare’s books, it is set in an imprecise past shaded by myth, but lit by the glare of totalitarian thought control. The Palace of Dreams is the most important government ministry in the Ottoman Empire, where bureaucrats sift and decode the dreams of the empire’s citizens, all of them working to find the Master Dreams that will help the Sultan in his rule. The novel’s hero, who comes from a prominent political family, rises through the ranks of the ministry; yet he cannot save his own family from political persecution—indeed, he unwittingly precipitates it. Enver Hoxha’s censors must have known at once that this surreal dystopia vividly conjured up, in carefully deflected form, the secret-police apparatus of modern Albania.   The suppression of “The Palace of Dreams” seems to have pushed Kadare beyond the boundaries of suggestion, allegory, implication, and indirection. Certainly, the novella “Agamemnon’s Daughter,” which Kadare wrote in the mid-nineteen-eighties, around the time of Hoxha’s death, is laceratingly direct. It is perhaps his greatest book, and, along with its sequel, “The Successor” (2003), surely one of the most devastating accounts ever written of the mental and spiritual contamination wreaked on the individual by the totalitarian state. Kadare’s French publisher, Claude Durand, has told of how Kadare smuggled some of his writings out of Albania, in 1986, and handed them to Durand, camouflaging them by changing Albanian names and places to German and Austrian ones, and attributing the writing to the West German novelist Siegfried Lenz. Durand collected the rest of this work, on two trips to Tirana, and the manuscripts were deposited in a safe at a Paris bank. As unaware as anyone else that Albanian Communism had only five years left to run, Kadare envisaged this deposit as a sort of insurance policy. In the event of his death, by natural or unnatural causes, the publication of these works would make it “harder,” in Durand’s words, “for the Communist propaganda machine to bend Kadare’s work and posthumous image to its own ends.”
That is a considerable understatement. I’m not sure that any regime could bend “Agamemnon’s Daughter” to its own ends. This is a terrifying work, relentless in its critique. It is set in Tirana in the early nineteen-eighties, during the May Day Parade. The narrator is a young man who works in television, and has unexpectedly been invited to attend the festivities from inside the Party grandstand. The formal invitation is unexpected because the narrator is a passionate liberal, strongly (though privately) opposed to the regime, and because he has recently survived a purge at his television station, resulting in the relegation of two colleagues. On the day of the parade, he cannot stop thinking about his lover, Suzana, who has broken off their relationship because her father is about to be chosen as the supreme leader’s designated successor and has asked his daughter not to jeopardize his career by consorting with an unsuitable man. Chillingly, she tells her lover that when her father explained the situation to her she “saw his point of view.” The novella confines itself to the day of the parade, and is essentially a portfolio of sketches of human ruination—a brief Inferno, in which victims of the regime are serially encountered by our narrator as he walks to the stands and takes his seat. There is the neighbor who watches him from his balcony, “looking as sickly as ever. . . . He was reputed to have laughed out loud on the day Stalin died, which brought his career as a brilliant young scientist to a shuddering halt.” There is Leka B., a theatre director who displeased the authorities and was transferred to the provinces, to run amateur productions. He tells the narrator that he had put on a play that turned out to have “no less than thirty-two ideological errors!” The narrator’s comment is withering: “It was as if he were delighted with the whole business and held it in secret admiration.” There is G.Z., a former colleague, who has survived a purge, though no one knows quite how: “His whole personality and history corresponded in sum to what in relatively polite language is called a pile of shit.” He is likened to the Bald Man in an Albanian folktale, who is rescued from Hell by an eagle—“but on one condition. Throughout the flight, the raptor would need to consume raw meat.” Eventually, since the journey takes several days, the Bald Man has to offer his own flesh to feed the bird, and by the time he makes it to the upper world he is little more than a bag of bones. At the center of “Agamemnon’s Daughter” is an icy reinterpretation of the Iphigenia story. The narrator reflects on Euripides’ play, and on Iphigenia’s apparently willing self-sacrifice, in order to help her father’s military ambitions. He turns the Greek tale around in his mind, and blends it with the remembered pain of Suzana’s departure. Hadn’t Stalin, he thinks, sacrificed his son Yakov, so that he could claim that he was sharing in the common lot of the Russian soldier? But what if the story of Agamemnon is really the story of Comrade Agamemnon—the first great account of absolute political tyranny? What if Agamemnon, in “a tyrant’s cynical ploy,” had merely used his daughter to legitimate warfare? Surely Yakov, “may he rest in peace, had not been sacrificed so as to suffer the same fate as any other Russian soldier, as the dictator had claimed, but to give Stalin the right to demand the life of anyone else.” The narrator realizes, as he watches Suzana’s father standing next to the Supreme Guide on the grandstand, that the Supreme Guide must have asked his deputy to initiate his daughter’s sacrifice. “Agamemnon’s Daughter” ends with this dark, spare, aphoristically alert declamation: “Nothing now stands in the way of the final shrivelling of our lives.” Kadare is inevitably likened to Orwell and Kundera, but he is a far deeper ironist than the first, and a better storyteller than the second. He is a compellingly ironic storyteller because he so brilliantly summons details that explode with symbolic reality. No one who has read “The Successor” (2003) can forget the moment when the Hoxha figure, called simply the Guide, visits the newly renovated home of his designated successor. The Successor’s wife offers to show the Guide around, despite the anxiety felt by others that the lavishness of the renovation may have been a huge political blunder. The Guide stops to examine a new living-room light switch, a dimmer that is the first of its kind in the country:
Silence had fallen all around, but when he managed to turn on the light and make it brighter, he laughed out loud. He turned the switch further, until the light was at maximum strength, then laughed again, ha-ha-ha, as if he’d just found a toy that pleased him. Everyone laughed with him, and the game went on until he began to turn the dimmer down. As the brightness dwindled, little by little everything began to freeze, to go lifeless, until all the many lamps in the room went dark.
In its concentrated ferocity, this has the feel of something very ancient: we might be reading Tacitus on Tiberius.
Alas, there is nothing of quite that high order in Kadare’s most recent novel, “The Accident,” translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson (Grove; $24). The new book is spare and often powerful, but it is a bit too spare, so that the ribs of allegory show through, in painful obviousness. Many of Kadare’s familiar procedures and themes are in evidence, beginning with the positing of an enigma that needs decoding. One morning in Vienna, sometime not long after the end of the war in Kosovo, a young Albanian couple are killed in a car accident. The taxi that had been taking them from their hotel to the airport suddenly veers off the Autobahn and crashes. The taxi-driver survives, but he can give no reasonable account of why he left the road, except to say that he had been looking in his rearview mirror at the couple, who had been “trying to kiss,” when a bright light distracted him. The accident is suspicious enough to attract various investigators, not least the intelligence services of Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania. The dead man, known as Besfort Y., appears to have been an Albanian diplomat, working at the Council of Europe, and may have been involved in nato’s decision to bomb Serbia. Perhaps the woman who died in the car, who was Besfort’s girlfriend, and is known in the reports as Rovena St., knew too much, and Besfort tried to kill her, in a botched plan. But why did Besfort refer to Rovena as “a call girl”? A few months before the accident, he had taken her to an Albanian motel and she had been “frightened for her life.” So a friend of hers tells investigators. Rovena, says the friend, “knew the most appalling things. . . . She knew the precise hour when Yugoslavia would be bombed, days in advance.” The security services give up, in the face of the usual Balkan incomprehensibility, and a mysterious, nameless “researcher” takes over. This authorial stand-in, who works “without funds or resources or powers of constraint,” decides to reconstruct the last forty weeks of the couple’s lives, using diaries, letters, phone calls, and the testimonies of friends:
Everywhere in the world events flow noisily on the surface, while their deep currents pull silently, but nowhere is this contrast so striking as in the Balkans. Gales sweep the mountains, lashing the tall firs and mighty oaks, and the whole peninsula appears demented.
Kadare feeds off this Balkan incomprehensibility: he likes to tease it and tease at it, while simultaneously making fun of people who talk about “Balkan incomprehensibility.” He is deeply interested in misreading, yet his prose has a classical clarity, so that much of his power as a storyteller has to do with his ability to provide an extraordinarily lucid analysis of incomprehensibility. This analysis moves between the comic and the tragic, and never finally settles in one mode. (His amiable and funny novel “The File on H.” reads like an Albanian Evelyn Waugh.) In both the new novel and “The Successor,” we begin with an apparent accident—in the earlier novel, the country’s designated successor has been found in his bedroom, shot dead—that allows Kadare to work through rival explanations. (“The Successor” is based on the “mysterious” death, reported as suicide, of the Albanian Prime Minister, Mehmet Shehu, in 1981. He had been Hoxha’s closest political ally for decades, but after his death he was denounced as a traitor and an enemy of the people, and his family arrested and imprisoned.) The question that haunts both novels is: When did it begin? When, in other words, did “the accident” become inevitable? When did the tide first turn against the Successor? Was it when the Guide failed to come to the Successor’s birthday party, for instance? The blackly surreal answer is, of course, that it has always begun; the tide was turning against the Successor even as he rose through the Party ranks. Likewise, in “The Accident,” one can see that Besfort and Rovena were always doomed, and that the reason, as in “The Successor,” is murkily ideological. The nameless “researcher” discovers that Besfort and Rovena have been together for twelve years. Rovena was a student when she met Besfort, who was older than she, and had come to the university at Tirana to teach international law. From the start, the relationship appears to have been electrically erotic, with Besfort as the seducer and the dominant partner. The novel hints at very rough sex. They agree to part, but soon reunite. The couple meet in various European cities and expensive hotels, exercising a freedom that was unthinkable before the collapse of Communism, their itinerary largely determined by Besfort’s diplomatic travel (where “diplomat” probably also means “spy”). But in Graz, for the first time, Rovena feels that Besfort is suffocating her, a feeling that will mount as the relationship progresses. “You’re preventing me from living,” she tells him, and elsewhere she complains that “he has me in chains . . . he is the prince and I am only a slave,” that “he wanted her entirely for himself, like every tyrant.” To these charges, he replies, “You took this yoke up yourself, and now you blame me?” He had been her liberator, Kadare writes, “but this is not the first time in history that a liberator had been taken for a tyrant, just as many a tyrant had been taken for a liberator.” Partly as a game, and partly as an admission of the terminality of their relationship, the couple begin speaking of themselves as client and call girl. Besfort considers killing her. “The Accident” is a difficult novel. It has a very interrupted form, continually looping back on itself, so that dates and place names seem almost scrambled and the reader must work a kind of hermeneutic espionage on the text. Unlike “Agamemnon’s Daughter” and “The Successor,” the analysis of incomprehensibility here seems quite opaque. Yet, at the same time, the symbolic pressure is a little too transparent. One gathers that Kadare is presenting a kind of allegory about the lures and imprisonments of the new post-Communist tyranny, liberty, and he has Besfort bang home this decoding: “Until yesterday,” he tells Rovena, “you were complaining that it was my fault that you aren’t free. And now you say you have too much freedom. But somehow it’s always my fault.” Besfort is the new liberty that Rovena cannot do without, and to which she is willing to be enslaved, and this freedom is dangerous and frequently squalid. “The Accident” thus offers an interesting reply to the question with which Kadare closes “Agamemnon’s Daughter.” At the end of that novella, the young narrator thinks of the Communist slogan “Let us revolutionize everything,” and asks, rhetorically, “How the hell can you revolutionize a woman’s sex? That’s where you’d have to start if you were going to tackle the basics—you had to start with the source of life. You would have to correct its appearance, the black triangle above it, and the glistening line of the labia.” He means that totalitarianism will always be thwarted by some non-ideological privacy, or surplus, beyond its reach. Kundera has repeatedly explored the same question, with regard to a libidinous erotics of resistance. Yet “The Accident” grimly suggests that it is indeed possible to “revolutionize” a woman’s sex, and that capitalism may be able to do this more easily than Communism. After all, the point about Besfort and Rovena is that their relationship is thoroughly contaminated by ideology and politics; their very postures of submission and domination are overdetermined. In a long speech that is surely at the emotional and ideological heart of the book, Besfort tells Rovena, who was only thirteen at the end of the dictatorship, about the kind of madness that prevailed under Hoxha. He describes a world of crazy inversion, reminiscent of Dostoyevsky’s universe, in which citizens willingly pretended to be conspirators, in order to confess their love for the leader while being simultaneously punished for crimes they had not committed. Each plotter, says Besfort, turned out to be more abject than the last:
The conspirators’ letters from prison became more and more ingratiating. Some requested Albanian dictionaries, because they were stuck for words to express their adoration of the leader. Others complained of not being tortured properly. The protocols sent back from firing squads on the barren sandbank by the river told the same story: their victims shouted, “Long live our leader!,” and as they conveyed their last wishes some felt such a burden of guilt that they asked to be killed not by the usual weapons but by anti-tank guns or flamethrowers. Others asked to be bombarded from the air, so that no trace of them would remain. . . . Nobody could distinguish truth from fiction in these reports, just as it was impossible to discern what the purpose of the conspirators, or even the leader himself, might be. Sometimes the leader’s mind was easier to read. He had enslaved the entire nation, and now the adoration of the conspirators would crown his triumph. Some people guessed that he was sated with the love of his loyal followers, and that he now wanted something new and apparently impossible—the love of traitors.
We are back in the world of Leka B., who was oddly proud of his thirty-two ideological errors, and of the partisan in “A Chronicle of Stone” who dies shouting, “Long live Communism!” Kadare also subtly suggests that this dense, overwrought speech might itself be evidence that Besfort is a victim of the totalitarianism that he so despises—that he cannot escape its deformations, its legacies, the memory of its hysteria. But a melancholy thought also casts its shadow. Might this be true of Kadare, too? It is poignant that the most powerful section in the novel returns to old ground and old obsessions, and it is poignant, too, that this allegory of the tyranny of liberty is less effective, as a novel, than Kadare’s earlier allegories of the tyranny of tyranny. Back when he worked within and against totalitarianism, he had the advantage of being sustained by the great subject of the Hoxha regime, like a man sitting on a huge statue. Perhaps it is in the nature of freedom—still, after all, a transitional event in the history of postwar Albania—that a novelist even of Kadare’s great powers will seem, when trying to allegorize it, to stab at clouds. Kadare would not be the only novelist who has found, with the collapse of Communism, that his world has disappeared, however much he longed for the destruction of that world. These are early days yet. ♦ This article appeared on the print edition of the New Yorker. 
[post_title] => Chronicles and Fragments [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chronicles-and-fragments [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-13 16:33:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-13 14:33:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142889 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142830 [post_author] => 281 [post_date] => 2019-08-01 17:26:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-01 15:26:27 [post_content] => TIRANA, July 28 - On July 25 the State Minister for the Environment of Japan, as well as Secretary General of Japan-Albania Parliamentary Friendship Association, H.E. Mr. Minoru Kiuchi, visited the National Park of Divjake Karavasta. The purpose of this visit was meeting with the officials of Albanian Government and sharing views on the development agenda in Albania, as well as visiting the project site of DKNP, where Japan has provided technical assistance for development. On this visit, Minister Kiuchi met with the Minister of Tourism and Environment Blendi Klosi as well as high officials of the administration of Protected Areas in Albania, with whom he discussed about the current situation of environment in the country and potential future projects of Japan in Albania.  During this visit, the delegation headed by Minister Kiuchi visited the  Office of Regional Administration of Protected Areas, as well as Observation Tower of Divjaka Karavasta National Park. From April 2012 to September 2014,  the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) implemented in Divjake Karavasta National Park, the “Project for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Divjake Karavasta National Park with Participation of Local Governments and Stakeholders”. The project has established a system for conservation and sustainable use of the Divjake Karavasta National Park based on the management plan, together with the active participation of local governments and stakeholders. As a part of project activities, Japanese side has dispatched experts, provided machinery, equipment and other materials necessary for the implementation of the project, and organized technical training in Japan for enhancing the capacities of the Albanian personnel related to it.   [post_title] => Japan State Minister for Environment visits Divjake National Park [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => japan-state-minister-for-environment-visits-divjake-national-park [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-01 17:26:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-01 15:26:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142830 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142661 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-07-12 13:25:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:25:04 [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11- The National Theatre of Opera and Ballet (TOB) Archive and the National Folk Song and Dance Ensemble archive is rich in various material activities that have been developed over the years. Decades ago Albanian artists have received many appraisals in foreign stages as well. From the archives the institution brings this time attention to the work that has been done in the years before the Ensemble Folk Songs and Dance. The TOB has published photos from the tournament held in China and Korea in 1974. The theatre writes among other things that the great variety of our folklore as well as folk costumes continue to attract the foreign spectators also today. “We extracted from the history of the activities of the Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances these photos from the tournament developed in China and Korea in the summer of 1974. The songs and dances interpreted by our artists were rated as a fresh and colorful flower bouquet. The great diversity of songs, dances, costumes and rich ensemble repertoire continues to attract the foreign spectators continuously,” the Theatre of Opera and Ballet wrote. The Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dance or the State Ensemble was created in 1957 as a professional ensemble. It consists of singers, orchestras, the dance crew, and choirs. Its purpose is to elaborate, develop and disseminate Albania's folkloric treasury. This includes great folk vocal, instrumental, choreographic and costumography riches ranging from area to area, creating a colorful motif. Albanian folklore is famous for its originality, antiquity and variety of artistic genres. Many ethnographic areas have their differences in songs, dances, costumes, rites and customs. The ensemble’s support to this resource and the various expeditions developed in all areas have made it not only the pride of Albanian traditional culture but also to impress its research and folklore values ​​from around the world. For decades, the ensemble has become a laboratory for processing and interpreting high artistic demands of the great folkloric resource treasury, enabling its transmission through generations.   [post_title] => Folk Ensemble receives international assessments [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => folk-ensemble-receives-international-assessments [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-12 13:25:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:25:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142661 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142658 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-07-12 13:23:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:23:35 [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11- Adela Muçollari who is the first ballerina of the Opera and Ballet Theater, will represent Albania in the prestigious jury of “Premio Danza 2019” in Rome in its 17th edition this year. One of the most important Italian Academies, the National Academy of Dance, is conducting an annual event where ballet dancers from all over the world can unfold their talents by being assessed by a highly skilled and professional jury. Thus, Tirana's first ballerina is next to maestros from the most prestigious Academies in Seoul, South Korea, Beijing in China, as well as the prestigious Pina Bausch Theater from Germany, to choose the young talents to be the next names of classic and contemporary ballet. Albanian artists of our ballet and opera have created a dignified place in the world art scene, highly appraising the Albanian opera and ballet school. Our singers such as Ermonela Jaho, Saimir Pirgu, Kastriot Tusha, dancers Eno Peci, Anbeta Toromani, Klaidi Kadiu, Eris Nezha, and others, are extolling the name of Albanian artists around the world. The selection of our ballerina Mucollari in this prestigious jury and her participation in Rome these days puts our small country's art on the pedestal it deserves.   [post_title] => Ballerina Adela Mucollari performs in Rome competition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ballerina-adela-mucollari-performs-in-rome-competition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-12 13:23:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:23:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142658 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142655 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-07-12 13:22:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:22:28 [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11- Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar will premiere on July 13 at the National Theatre’s square. The play is directed by Croatian director Ivica Buljan and produced by the National Experimental Theater “Kujtim Spahivogli.” “Julius Caesar” is one of the few dramatic works of Shakespeare based on real events from Roman history and including Koriolanus, Antoni and Cleopatra. Though the work is titled “Julius Caesar,” Brutus speaks in more than four times as many lines as the main character and the central psychological drama of the piece focuses on Brutus's battle between the conflicting demands of honor, patriotism and friendship. According to the director, this section is contemporary not only for Albania but also in the world. This play is the first political thriller appropriate for any time, as it talks about corruption, smuggling, killing. The theatrical performance is in four parts, the first in the swimming pool, the second in the park between the National Theater and Experimental Theater, the third part which corresponds to Caesar’s murder will be performed at the Ministry of Interior, and final act at the premises where the theater protests have happened. Ivica Buljan with his theater activity is considered one of the greatest directors in the world, according to the New York Times. For this work in particular, he said that he intended to execute the play not on a stage but outside the theater. “A classical performance, but for the audience will be a contemporary work, it will be performed in four different places and communicate directly with the audience,” the director asserted. This performance will be interpreted from actors Romir Zalla, Alfred Trebicka, Vin Bejleri, Amos Muji Zaharia, Gentian Zenelaj, Ermira Hysaj, Ilirda Bejleri, Adriana Tolka, Klejdi Metaj, Mateo Dervishaj, Endri Çela, Engjëll Hoxha, Enea Nika, and Anxhelo Shkreli.  Director Ivica Buljan studied political science in Zagreb, and initially worked as a regular writer and theatre critic for the daily newspaper “Slobodna Dalmacija” published in Split, Croatia. In his professional writings, Buljan also collaborated with the international theatrical magazines “Primer Acto” (Madrid), “Ubu” (Paris, London), “Mask” (Ljubljana), etc.. He initially started working with the theater scene as a theatre and several international theater festivals administrator. His shows have attended in more than 30 different countries. Drawing on Antonin Artaud's creative philosophy, his theater focuses on the actor's protagonism and preserves classical theater lines. Buljan has directed the Croatian National Theater in Split during 1998-2002. In 1999, during his lead the Croatian National Theater joined the European Theater Convention. Buljan is also co-founder and artistic director of Mini Theater in Ljubljana, and founder and director of the New Theater in Zagreb.   [post_title] => Julius Caesar takes the theatre outdoors [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => julius-caesar-takes-the-theatre-outdoors [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-12 13:22:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:22:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142655 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142649 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-07-12 13:20:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:20:43 [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11- About 20 photos taken by Albanian artists for the “Albanian Wildlife” exhibition are displayed in the outer premises of the Embassy of Kosovo in Tirana, which will remain open until July 12. The natural world of wild animals and birds comes documented from photographers such as Besnik Jakupi, Arian Mavriqi, Lulzim Demaj, Ridvan Sokoli, etc., who demand a greater attention to this treasure that our country carries. Kosovo's ambassador Sylë Ukshini, while talking about the importance of this exhibition, added that our society needs to be more sensitive towards this treasure so the animals won’t go extinct in the future. “When I contacted the Wildlife executives, with Arian Mavriqi, who talked to me about the idea of ​​this exhibition, which seemed to me very interesting because we do not only have little information, but we are used to always talk about war and other situations,” said Ambassador Ukshini. They decided to expose these photos at the embassy, ​​because the idea of ​​the organizers was that the exhibition should be in nature. These pictures are enough to make one realize how rich the Albanian fauna is. They proposed that the curricula of Kosovo and Albania have such illustrative material from our country. The exhibition aims to artistically transmit the message of awareness to all Albanians, inside and outside the Albanian territories, thus increasing the love for the planet we live on. Ukshini also added that nature has built its own balances. He said that flora and fauna can not live without each other because of this kind of balance. Thus, he urged everyone to be very careful and  invest in this direction. The Ambassador said that life is not just politics day in day out, because there are also beautiful things to be enjoyed beyond it. He nevertheless commented on the political situation that Albania is currently in, as the event also coincided with the latest demonstration.  “To tell you the truth, you in Albania do demonstrations very often. When we decided on the date we did not know about it. But in spite of this,it has also given a taste to the exhibition,” Ukshini said, adding that diplomatic representatives of other brotherly countries should not have to comment on the domestic political situation because it is the citizens who have their destiny in their hands. He expressed the desire for Albania to be calm, to have progress and to step up its negotiations for EU membership as soon as possible. “A powerful Albania is an advantage for Kosovo. A viable Kosovo is also an advantage for Albania,” the ambassador said, adding that protesting is a democratic right. He congratulated the fact that the protests were calm and that there was no clash of violence between law enforcement. Yet, he stressed again that Albanian domestic issues do not belong to the representatives of other countries, thus they should hold back their thoughts about where Albania should head and do.  66270528_643570559505964_8248740723558449152_n 66366438_508860542987571_8328886058842324992_n [post_title] => Kosovo Embassy exhibits “Albanian Wildlife” [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => kosovo-embassy-exhibits-albanian-wildlife [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-12 13:20:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:20:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142649 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142645 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-07-12 13:18:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:18:35 [post_content] => By Sonja Methoxha TIRANA, July 11- Last night at the National Experimental Theatre “Kujtim Spahivogli” was premiered a two-characters drama titled Blackbird, written by Scottish playwright David Harrower. The attention grabbing piece treats the sensitive and taboo subject of pedophilia. Peter, previously named Ray and masterfully performed by Alfred Trebicka, had a relationship with a 12 year old girl for over three months when he was 41 years old, with whom he also sexually abused. Fifteen years later the girl, Una, geniously acted by Laura Nezha, finds him to confront him in order to settle her psychological disputes. The drama focuses on their discussion, walks on the past, descriptions of scenes from their relationship, and detailed aftermath experiences after their first sexual intercourse. The girl’s parents find out and Ray gets convicted to prison.  Una goes through a handful of public shaming and psychologists who were trying to help her lead a normal life after this trauma. She nevertheless admits on stage that she hated her life in the past fifteen years. Although psychologists told Una that Ray albeit Peter sexually abused with her, she still fondly remembered their days together and thus was still dubious whether hers was just another case of pedophilia. However, she is also aggravated with the fact that she is still hung back to that moment and unable to move on, while Ray is moving on normally with his life and seems to have forgotten all about it. Thus she searches for Ray to find out. After long, awkward confrontation and debates, Ray assures her that she has been the only 12 year old he has ever dealt with and that he loved her, as she was “more grown that myself, you knew more about love than me or the woman I was dating [then].”  Una explains her experience with the doctors and everyone she faced on detail. She explained her psychological traumas and inability to cope with this betrayal from her silly love of a 12 year-old, reasoning how pathetic and utterly wrong it was that Ray went along with it but didn’t call on her parents once Una started sending him love letters. But Ray also starts to describe his emotions for her, how he loved her, how he saw how Una’s parents left her alone with herself, he described their games, and his perspective about the night of their first intercourse, on which everything was found out and finished.  Thus the play tries to explore a multitude of viewpoints to this difficult conversation. Director to this play Kico Londo said this play has a sexual and psychological tension which seeks to arise a debate beyond the black-and-white law that defines victim and abuser (although there is abuse). But “it is a profound autopsy of the entire society, family, the father and mother, the woman, the courts, psychologists, cops, neighbours,” as Londo said in an interview. What he wants to encourage is dialogue, as the play itself and its characters seek answers from dialogue, because Londo himself deems the Albanian society as a society which doesn’t dialogue.  Nevertheless, even though for a moment people might be fooled into thinking that Ray might have really loved Una for a moment, he lied to her that he has been with an older woman for seven years, because in the end he is visited by a child of 12 or 13 with whom he is allegedly in a relationship. Una in that moment sees Ray’s lying face, and he also ragedly asks her to leave as he is done with her. Thus is Ray just an abusive sexual perpetrator, or a mentally ill person who cannot see through his wrong actions, which aren’t only lawfully flawed, but also morally deformed?  66401817_2410770285854932_7553550797267533824_o [post_title] => Blackbird [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => blackbird [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-12 13:18:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:18:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142645 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142545 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-07-05 13:52:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-05 11:52:32 [post_content] => Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, ADFD, has launched infrastructure projects in Albania valued at AED240 million (US$65 million). A delegation of the fund led by Adel Al Hosani, Director of Operations Department at ADFD, participated in the official inauguration of the final phase of ADFD funded projects in capital Tirana, the Tirana Northern Boulevard and Tirana River Rehabilitation projects. Also present on the occasion were Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana, Mohamed Mir Abdullah Yousef Al Raisi, UAE Ambassador to Greece and Non-Resident Ambassador to Albania, and several senior Albanian officials. Aiming to revitalise the tourism and commercial sectors, the Tirana projects will continue to contribute to attracting investment opportunities to the Albanian capital. Spanning a total area of about 885 hectares, works included constructing a 2.4 kilometre-long boulevard ranging in width from 40 to 70 metres. Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said, "The Fund’s participation in the opening of these important strategic projects demonstrates the excellent bilateral relations that exist between the UAE and Albania, and our shared determination to strengthen synergies in various areas for the benefit of the people of our two nations. "ADFD has contributed to the Northern Boulevard and Tirana River Rehabilitation projects in Tirana through allocating US$65 million in concessionary loans to support the Albanian economy and develop the infrastructure of Tirana. We are encouraged to witness that our contribution has played a crucial role in boosting business and tourism in Tirana, while also improving the overall business environment and creating new job opportunities for its residents." He added, "In financing key developmental projects that support diverse vital sectors, we aim to ultimately benefit Albanian citizens through driving sustainable economic development. These projects are well aligned with ADFD’s objectives of helping the international community achieve sustainable growth in developing countries." For his part, Erion Veliaj noted ADFD’s global development endeavours and achievements in financing projects that support socio-economic development in developing countries. Furthermore, he praised the bilateral relations between the two countries and ADFD’s strategic partnership in supporting the realisation of key development projects in Albania. In 2013, ADFD allocated an AED103 million concessionary loan for the Tirana River Rehabilitation project to revitalise the bed of the Tirana River, its banks and the surrounding areas. In the same year, the Fund extended an AED137 million concessionary loan to finance the Tirana Northern Boulevard project. Works included a two-storey underground car park with 400 parking spaces, equipped with an electric vehicle charging station. The project focused on developing the infrastructure surrounding Tirana’s Northern Boulevard with the aim of attracting investments, tourists and trade. Since 2011, the ADFD has provided loans and grants amounting to AED424 million to the government to Albania, allocated to financing three vital projects in key economic sectors.  
(Courtesy of Emirates 24/7)
[post_title] => Dh240m infrastructure projects in Albania launched: ADFD [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dh240m-infrastructure-projects-in-albania-launched-adfd [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-05 13:52:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-05 11:52:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142545 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 142541 [post_author] => 338 [post_date] => 2019-07-05 13:50:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-05 11:50:32 [post_content] => TIRANA July 2- Art students have exhibited at the Faculty of Visual Arts the works accomplished during this year. Various social issues and different political situations, such as environmental pollution, domestic violence, are tackled in handmade papers, graphics and modern installations. Dean Visual Arts Faculty, Ardian Isufi, recounted that these are the concepts of young artists, which are handled in a contemporary way. “It is a year-end conclusion that comes through concrete student work. We have exposed their work on handmade papers, how it turns from an artistic concept through press and collage, into a contemporary concept. We give some topics and students develop experiences, concepts and attitudes. There are many stories that come from life and events that they live every day. There are jobs that deal with the rights and freedoms of the individual or even the situation that our politicians pass, and they return from local to universal,” Isufi said. Two students graduating in Graphic Design were inspired by Migjeni's short story “Luli i Vocerr,” and thus made a short animated movie 3 minutes long based on it. “Originally, we wanted to be based on an Albanian story. Only in the end we decided to treat Migjeni's ‘Luli i Vocerr’ as a typical Albanian character. But we have made this animated film having the reading in mind,” one of the students said. The works of Graphic Designers will continue to stay exhibited at the Faculty of Visual Arts.  [post_title] => Visual Arts student exhibit their works [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => visual-arts-student-exhibit-their-works [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-05 13:50:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-05 11:50:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=142541 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 143051 [post_author] => 281 [post_date] => 2019-09-11 09:25:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-11 07:25:57 [post_content] => TIRANA, Sept. 11 - The Spanish Embassy in Albania shared on Tuesday the news of Luz Casal's concert on Saturday, September 14, in Tirana’s amphitheatre by the artificial lake.  It’s Casal’s first time in Albania throughout her artistic career, a concert which will be accompanied by Albanian singer Ardian Trebicka and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Tirana. Casal began her career in Spain in the 1980s with an international presentation, thanks to her collaboration with Pedro Almodovar in the film "Tacones Lejanos".  She has sold over 5 million CDs and has a number of international concerts and is known as one of the most popular solo singers in Spain.  The concert, which will also feature surprises, with the presence of Ardian Trebicka, will be held at the newly-built amphitheater on Saturday, September 14, at 8:00 pm and tickets are on sale at the myticket.al portal. The Spanish Embassy in Albania supports the institutional and logistical activities of the event.    [post_title] => Spanish artist Luz Casal to give concert in Tirana [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => spanish-artist-luz-casal-to-give-concert-in-tirana [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-09-11 09:25:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-09-11 07:25:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.tiranatimes.com/?p=143051 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object] => stdClass Object ( [term_id] => 31 [name] => Culture [slug] => culture [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 31 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 3126 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 31 [category_count] => 3126 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Culture [category_nicename] => culture [category_parent] => 0 ) [queried_object_id] => 31 [post__not_in] => Array ( ) )

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