My first day in Tirana was fascinating. We were lucky enough to spend the morning with Iris Elezi, of the Albanian Cinema Project, who introduced us to Maks Velo, an artist who was punished and imprisoned for his work during the communist dictatorship. We were so fortunate to gain amazing insight into this country's history through Maks and Iris. The people we have met so far and very genuine and serious-mannered folk. There are still remnants of communism all around (including this pyramid, below), but the city is also searching for its new identity as a free market.
Albania was the first country to be declared an atheist state (under the dictatorship) but since the collapse in 1991, Christian and Muslim practices have returned.
We also spent time with the folks at Tirana Express and a cultural critic here. Tomorrow, we rent a car and head North to Shkodër for a few days.
Great news: food and drink is CHEAP!
Filming for Humanity.