It’s well worth taking an umbrella and heading over to the Dodona Theater today! At 5pm, Femart will be screening two films that explore a common past: the Architecture of Sadness guides us through Albania’s recent past through its architecture, while Kang e Defa introduces us to women’s folk songs performed across Kosovo.
Architecture of Sadness, Ermela Teli
The Architecture of Sadness is a short film that takes its viewers on a journey through time by exploring very specific sites of Albanian memory and legend. A veteran of Albania’s cultural scene, Ermela Teli is an actress and director whose short films and documentaries focus on the themes of social justice and memory. Architecture of Sadness (re)introduces us to sites such as the Rozafa castle, Communist bunkers, the Spac work camp and the sprawl of post-dictatorship Tirana, as well as the scars they’ve left all over the country’s landscape. The scenes of abandoned factories, haunted prisons and soulless city landscapes are interspersed with vignettes of the lives of people who inhabited these environments, shifting our point of view from the present to the past.
For more on Teli and her work, visit her Tumblr page.
Kang e Defa (Songs and Tambourines), Fatime Kosumi & Vincent Moon
Fatime Kosumi, an Albanian artist and musician (most of us probably know her from the Andrra project), and Vincent Moon, a renowned documentary filmmaker, joined forces to document performances of women’s folk songs across Kosovo. In Kang e Defa, we’re taken to Prishtina, Gjakova, Gjilan, Shurdhan, Zym, Romaja/Has and Prizren throughout the course of one day, and watch women of all ages and backgrounds performing the songs they grew up with. Most of the songs are wedding songs, dedicated to young brides leaving their families to join their husbands. It’s impossible not to notice that most of these songs are songs of mourning, not of joy. The trauma of the separation caused by marriage was obviously a big event in the lives of young women and girls, since it meant leaving their homes and their villages to marry a near stranger. There are also other songs, songs I didn’t even know existed, such as an almost pagan ode to the arrival of spring and a young man’s ballad for a deceased lover. Beautifully shot and with minimal dialogue, Kang e Defa is a window into a rarely explored part of Albanian culture.
For more on Kang e Defa, click here.