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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

FILM: Marubi Kinostudio

The former film studio of Albania is now a film school and art-house cinema. Set in a beautiful garden with indoor and outdoor screens it hosts poetry evenings, concerts, performances, … Continue reading

September 1, 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: The ‘Miss Mountain’ Festival

In her book ‘High Albania’ Victorian adventurer and author Edith Durham wrote of the ‘Accursed Mountains’ in the North. She said that they were: “in such majestic isolation, it is … 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

ART: Communist Lapidari – Can You Forget Your Past?

The monumental Lapidari of the Communist period (1945-1991) are silent symbols of a hated past. Executed in Brutalist concrete they praise the “heroes of the nation.” Their real function was … Continue reading

August 1, 2014 · Leave a comment