Communist Political History and its Traces in the Albanian Landscape of the Time

Agron Mesi


My research probes into the phenomenon of territorial marking from the interaction between territory and man as a politically engaged social being rather than as an individual. In this case, the landscape itself assumes the features of relative changeable space where the history imprints are layered in time; imprints of the political and economic power. Albanian landscape during the 50 years of communist regime was designed ideologically and bears the seal of the political power of that time when, under the totalitarian mono-party leadership, anything built on the territory was intended to testify the successful path taken for prosperity. That path meant building a socialist and atheist country based on the struggle of classes, without private property and isolated from its neighbours and the “hostile” world. Due to this policy imposed on any
aspects of life, the territory could not be immune and bore the imprints of development, modernisation and emancipation. Under the State propaganda pressure, but also with the naive popular hope of building a country on collective labour and a future communist “paradise”, new automobile and railway paths were open, bridges and residential centres were constructed, the whole
country was electrified and industry developed. So, the interventions in the territory also bore ideology-based absurd distortions, with a frenzy of building concrete installations and bunkers across the entire territory, backed by an artificial graphic propaganda with pompous slogans of the cult of individual marking mountain slopes, with monuments and monoliths that turned into
pilgrimage sites to sanctify the fallen for the motherland. This policy had its initial successes, but lacking in perspective, it failed in the „90s as a phenomenon that swept the Eastern Europe.

Keywords: space, territory, design, interaction, seal, policy, economy,
propaganda, ideology, suspicion, failure, recontextualisation, revitalisation.

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