Title still missing

  • Dates
    2023 - Ongoing
  • Author
  • Topics Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Documentary, Fine Art, Landscape, Nature & Environment, Photobooks, Portrait, Social Issues, Street Photography, Travel
  • Location Albania, Albania

"Title still missing" is a personal project exploring themes of: home, belonging, and self-identity. The project aims to show the essence of everyday life through the eyes of a photographer who is returning home after years of living abroad.

Eight years ago, at the age of 24, I left my home in Albania for a “better” life with the intention of never returning. I used to carry a lot of anger towards my country and my family, to the point where I thought I‘d never look back.

Last Spring I initiated the process of acquiring the Austrian citizenship, which means I have to renounce my Albanian citizenship. In the days leading up to submitting my paperwork, I struggled with conflicting emotions, feeling as if I were betraying my roots. At times, I even considered abandoning the idea of obtaining citizenship, despite the substantial effort I invested to reach to that point. However, deep down, I knew that giving up my Albanian citizenship wouldn‘t make me less Albanian.

Having pursued a photography education in Austria without any practice in my country, I decided to temporarily step away from my life in Graz and go back to my roots to explore my identity before renouncing my citizenship.

 „The project will begin with a detailed planning of the trip to Albania, taking into consideration various locations and contexts to capture a diverse range of photographs. The project aims to capture the essence of the country through the eyes of a photographer who is returning home after years of living abroad. The aim is to document the culture and people of Albania in different scenarios to provide a comprehensive picture. The project will also focus on specific themes such as society, politics, corruption, and development to analyze the significance of photographic images in these contexts.“

This was my first concept. I didn’t really stick to it and I didn’t plan any detailed trips. I was for a long time not living an everyday life there so I decided to do that instead and followed my intuition. I visited what’s left from my family and friends, bars, my old music school etc. I walked a lot. Traveled from Shiroke to Ksamil, from Tirane to Prishtine: mostly by bus, sometimes by car. I stayed a lot at “home”. The outcome: everyday life photographs. A mixture between candid and staged photographs. This project offered me the opportunity to see my country and family from fresh perspectives through the photographic lens. Not searching for perfectionism. Just being there: watching, living, experiencing.

In search of Light.

A journey home and to myself.

The project tries also to explore the theoretical aspects of photography, including the concepts of Studium and Punctum by Roland Barthes, and the challenges of subjective photography. The interplay between Studium and Punctum tries to capture the broader cultural narrative of Albania and invites viewers to embark on a personal journey. As I reconnect with my homeland, each photograph becomes a nuanced exploration, offering both shared understanding and personal resonance.

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