Category Albania

The Turkey and the Red Herring: Losing Albania

My last visit to Albania in December was tough. Arriving into Tirana on the night bus from Athens early on a Saturday morning I was asleep with Bob Dylan in my ears. I woke up as the bus was turning into the main square of the city. The first thing I saw was the mosaic […]

Sustainability in the City of Flux

This is a short paper that was delivered at the symposium ‘Sustainability in the City of Flux’ at Newcastle University in November 2014. The focus for the workshop was how the city can be ever changing, impermanent and in constant flux, whilst also being sustainable. The day before yesterday I was at a book launch […]

Learning from Bathore: “Give me your hand and I will teach you how to build”

  “What kind of house is this,” he said “Where I have come to roam?” “It’s not a house,” said Judas Priest “It’s not a house . . . it’s a home” The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest – Bob Dylan The research I am undertaking in Bathore, Albania is the first part […]

Bathore: The spider-web city

“The foundation of the city: a net which serves as passage and as support.”  Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities   An article on my research published in Saturday’s Mapo (an Albanian national newspaper) has been met with a few negative comments about my favourable insights into Bathore and its residents, as well as criticisms regarding my […]

The Promised Land

I have spent the last month in Albania for my research, and I will be here for another two months. I am only just beginning to get to know Bathore, and it is a multi-faceted place, but my first impressions are of a working, living community that is sitting on the edge between the formal […]

First Impressions of Bathore, Albania

Since arriving in Albania my research has centred on an informal settlement clinging onto the very outskirts of Tirana, the capital city. In actual fact the community is in the municipality of Kamza, a town that was founded upon the dairy industry during the communist period. The land where 2,000 cows once grazed has been […]

The Pyramid, Tirana: Do not forget me

The Pyramid  in Tirana, Albania, is a long loved building of mine, but it is now under threat. It was constructed in 1987 to celebrate Albania’s Communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, following his death. As an ancient symbol of immortality, The Pyramid was designed by Hoxha’s son-in-law, Klement Kolaneci and was to be a museum celebrating the dictator’s life. […]