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HISTORY: This Is Tirana Calling

This is a story from a time when it was possible to isolate a country from the outside world, when people wrote to pen pals for fun. In the 1970s … Continue reading

November 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

BOOKS: Grand Hotel Dajti

The famous setting of Ismail Kadare’s classic novel ‘The General Of The Dead Army’, Tirana’s Grand Hotel Dajti has many stories to tell. Sat between fir trees and the Dajti … Continue reading

October 8, 2014 · Leave a comment

ART: Vintage Albanian Photographs

The amazing website http://www.albanianphotography.net by Robert Elsie is bursting with amazing shots of Albania from 13 collections dating from 1873-1952.  It includes first hand accounts from the adventuring photographers including: … Continue reading

September 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

BOOKS: A Dervish In The Bazaar

A flash from the past – Tirana’s Bazaar in 1848.  A man tries to paint as a whirling dervish “Twirled about, and performed many curious antics, he frequently advanced to … Continue reading

August 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

ART: Rhythms Of Albanian Life – 1976

Niko Xhufka’s beautiful photo-book from Albania in 1976 is a rarity. In an interview here* he explains he took them on leave from his job at Zeri I Popullit. Due … Continue reading

August 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

BOOKS: Stalin and Dorian Grey

Shostakovich is playing. Stalin’s mother is showing us photos through a broken mirror. Stalin’s face is arresting and beautiful, far from the terrible face of later years. His face in … Continue reading

August 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

BOOKS: Tortoises And Edward Lear

Driving to the coast you see tiny Hermann tortoises everywhere, trusting their lives to their shells as they slowly hunt grasses and berries along the busy roads. It is an … Continue reading

August 1, 2014 · Leave a comment