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Talk, Live Performance, Film/Video Screening, Seminar / Conference

Albanians in Greece: Migration, Memory and Art

17 Feb 2024 2-6pm

The Hellenic Centre
London W1U 5AS

Overview

Academic experts on the sociolinguistics of migration Rexhina Ndoci (Ohio State University) and Petros Karatsareas (University of Westminster) host a panel on the experiences of Albanian migrants in Greece and how these are represented in archival work, artistic creation, and scholarly research.  

Ilirida Musaraj, From Scratch: Creating an Archive of Albanian Migration in Greece 

This presentation will focus on the creation of the Archive of Albanian Migration as part of the Contemporary Social History Archives (ASKI), a living archive that seeks to document a contemporary social phenomenon. Ilirida Musaraj will talk about the creation of the archive and the challenges, opportunities and dilemmas the curating team has faced thus far. 

Fjorida Cenaj, Arra performance 

“Arra” (walnuts) is a performance based on the immigration issue, particularly faced by the second generation of Albanian immigrants, many of whom were raised and born in Greece, facing a certain level of identity crisis. Fjorida Cenaj, inspired by her personal experiences, has created a timely performance, reproducing an image of the Albanian homely familiarity that travels through space and time. With tools from her home, a hammer and a chopping board, she cracks Albanian walnuts. She uses the leverage and sound of the shell’s cracking as a means of recalling collective memory. 

Artist’s note: 

These walnuts are called Albanian, not because they were planted or originated from Albania, but because they were collected and ‘travelled’ across regions to meet the consumption needs of modern history. 

Dimitris Gotsis, Pendulus (2022) short film screening 

Arbi, 24, was born in Albania but grew up in Athens, Greece. On the night of the Serbia-Albania football match, Arbi visits a neighbourhood cafe frequented by Albanians. After the events of that night, Arbi will have to decide whether to attend the wedding of his relatives, whether to claim the girl he likes or whether he is Albanian or Greek. 

The panel will invite the audience to an open discussion on the intersection of migration, memory, and art. 

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