These photographs are embedded on the political challenge that democratic institutions and society are currently facing in coming to terms with the inconvenient and uncomfortable communist past in contemporary Albania.
It is a night journey through Albanian abandoned communist sites: these places once were symbols of the totalitarian regime and today are instead the emblem of the challenge Albania is facing in dealing with its own past. The majority of these old sites are not used anymore since they have lost their original function. Even if they are still State property they remain de-facto ownerless. Their exact number is unknown and it is difficult to find information about their authors, their original plans, their history etc. If gathered together they cover all aspect of social and political life during that period: industries, military constructions, railway system, airport, mines, prisons, labor camps, radio stations, statues, monuments and mausoleums, houses for the “nomenklatura”, leisure places among others.
In Albania the communist past is largely ignored. But it still exists in people’s memories and minds, through fears and injustices gone unpunished. This past is only omitted, removed from the daylight, the light of consciousness. Sometimes though, it comes back at night, to haunt its survivors.
The sites I photographed reflect this half-forgotten past. They mostly tower from the city skylines or are so hulking to transform entire territories. These sites are ignored, not demolished but neither used for other purposes.
On the night of the regime, the totalitarian inspiration of future and progress, the paranoia of invaders and new oppressors, the propaganda of greatness and prosperity of the nation remain trapped in the ruins. Everything remains trapped and collapsed in polluted, lost, disaster areas.