On the road, Tirana, Albania.

Crossing Albania, stop at Tirana and visit of the capital city.
After 50 years of communist regime the transition to capitalism as been suddent for the albanian population and the country is still in economic and urban transformation.  Towns are full of street sellers doing business with whatever could be sell or offer services like: car-wash, shoeshiner, public scales…


Symptomatic of this way of doing business, one world is omnipresent on the walls of the country: “shitet”. Directly sprayed on buildings, houses, roadside it takes part of the visual landscape of Albania. This world written hastily without any specific layout means “for sale” in Albanian. There is a need to communicate quickly and effectively with its own medium.




Memories of the old regime of Envers Hodja are still visible in the big towns of the country such as Skodra or Tirana. The city center and most of the old districts and buildings are destroy step by step in order to give rise to new buildings.


There are not really any historic neighbor-hood in Tirana, the old sovietic barres set up by a deliberate policy are the largest part of the oldest building of the town. Also remains the impressive soviet buildings who survived the chaotic urbain mutation of this last 20 years such as the national opera or the palace of culture on the Skanderberg square.


Another building survived, it’s the Envers Hodja’s mausoleum. This pyramid built by his daughter Pran­ve­ra Hox­ha used to host a glorifying museum for the former leader. Following the fall of the communist regime in 1991, this building knew several changed, he used to be a conference center, cultural space, nightclub, cell crisis by NATO during the Kosovo war and today he is occupy by an albanian tv channel: “Top Channel”.


Due to its controversial nature, its characteristic shape and its strategic location this building is a symbol for the people of Tirana and he is often used as a gathering or demonstration place.


The pyramid for the opening in 1988:





Maked up for the visit of the president George W. Bush.




During the demonstration in 2011.


Following the fall of the communist regime demolition was planned by the Albanian government seeks to erase the specter of the former dictatorial regime. At present, the existence of the latter is challenged by the government who turned a deaf ear to public opinion favorable to its preservation. The location being sought to install another temple politics: the new Albanian parliament.


- – - 10/19/2013 – - -


After an attempt to put on sale the pyramid during the night of saturday 19 october, reaction was immediate: the next morning the writting was roughly masked with white latex paint by the authorities of the monument.


More info on the subject:


Ti­ra­na’s py­ra­mid threa­te­ned by de­mo­li­tion
Al­ba­nia ac­ti­vists la­ment de­mo­li­tion of Hox­ha Py­ra­mid
Ko­so­vo in­tel­lec­tuals op­pose Py­ra­mid de­mo­li­tion


You can have a look on the “Albanian research group”:



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