Albania is a country in the middle of the Balkans that is considered somewhat of a ”white dot” on the European map. It has been isolated for four decades. After the communist period and the riots of the 1990s of economic collapse and armed insurgency in 1997, Albania is still a country in transition as it is undergoing this shift and trying to find its identity in a European context. For centuries, Albanians have lived scattered throughout the region now considered the Western Balkans. The ”Factory of Memories” project is dedicated to analyzing this Albanian collective memory in a cinematic and artistic way and aims to organize a cross-border short film competition. It is clearly aimed at young filmmakers,originating from Albania and its neighboring regions in Kosovo and Macedonia. An interesting and provocative element of the dialogue will be the comparison of how diverse historical experiences created commonalities, as well as different perceptions of Albanian collective memories and how these are currently being processed in relevant social contexts.
Summary of project objectives: Following the distribution of the call for participants, the artists will be selected to participate in three expert-led work on collective remembrance, as well as filmmaking practices. Each participant will then produce his / her short film and submit it to the competition. All compiled films will be presented at the short film festival during the summer of 2014 – taking place at the cultural center ”Tirana Ekspres” in Tirana, Albania. A jury of five experts will select the three winning films according to the set criteria. After that, a DVD with all the contributions will be produced to be sent on a tour across the border – across the region.
The aim of the Project is to mobilize and engage emerging artists together with the public. By inviting artists to portray the past, the ”Factory of Memories” aspires to confront Albanians with their past. In this way the project will create bridges of communication between different perspectives to help develop a complete and inclusive collective memory.
The ”Factory of Memories” will create space for different artistic interpretations, independent and dialogue, creating benefits for the participating artists. In addition to promoting these artists, the initiative aims to contribute to the exchange of ideas, as well as to the establishment of cooperation and partnership between the various cultural institutionsinvolved – and ultimately an annual implementation of the Project.