“Engaging Tirana’s Communities in Public Arts and Policy”
PREPARED BY BLERINA BERBERI & KEVIN TUMMERS
EKPHRASIS STUDIO NGO, TIRANA, ALBANIA/ OCT. 2019
supported by UNESCO IFCD
Based on findings and activities from Project HARP- Public Arts Space (Engaging Tirana’s Communities in Public Arts and Policy) such as research, workshops with artists, conference, public meetings and presentations and more during 2018-2019, and Survey Report nr. 2 where 254 out of 456 respondents chose NATURE as main theme they would like to see and experience more of, and also activities for youth. Main concerns about public spaces are parking spaces, which occupy most of public space in Tirana’s neighborhoods (estimates in 1970s were 600 cars in all Albania, 1990 were 6000 cars in Albania, 2015 est. 300,000 cars just in Tirana).
To coordinate efforts with international movements, Park(ing) Day was selected and Tirana PARKing Days/ HARP PARKon was curated by Blerina Berberi and Kevin Tummers, under theme of Nature, for public intervention with primary implementation by 4 creative Albanian women, Iris Canaj, Tea Mersuli, Grace Kozeli and Valbona Berdica. Selected projects through open call targeted not the main boulevard and peripheral spaces with parking challenges that also lack beneficial environmental elements. 8 community public meetings were organized to discuss the project, and 4 locations were selected: 2 in the artist’s neighborhoods, 1 where residents had spoken on TV, media and filed legal complaints to Administrative Unit 2 about no public space, and 1 where planned central garden surrounded by buildings from Communist period was converted into parking spaces, and typically neighborhood playgrounds are now in private spaces. Check MAP here
Ekphrasis Studio NGO applied for and received legal permits from Tirana Parking/ Tirana Municipality, however community was very cooperative, and most cars were moved on time. Several notices were placed at sites with event details and designated parking spaces to occupy. Project was successfully implemented during Sept 21-22, 2019 and over 250m2 of public and parking space usually occupied by at least 20 cars, became a community meeting point of diverse artistic and cultural expressions a relief “therapy” spot after the earthquake.
We hope that the communities and public institutions, follow such good examples for bottom up approach, also by implementing law nr. 146/ 2014 on Public Notification and Consultation, and communities gather to organize similar cultural and artistic events in public spaces. Find more on www.HARP.al
Thank you for the support and collaboration: Tirana Municipality, Tirana Parking, DITArt, Destil, DOART, Tea Room, Folklore Ensemble Shqiponja (Eagle), Dekor Enterprise Tirana, Metropolitan Incubator, Nevin Bilali, Arba Baxhaku, Tea Mersuli, Sidita Zaja, Elisa Kuqali, Jonida Fezga, Iris Canaj, Valbona Berdica, Moz Art, Ermira Pirdeni, Sonila Abdalli, Grace Kozeli, Albana Kozeli, Franko Dine, Alba Canaj, Anila Hoxha, Aida Xhamallati, Claudia Imami, Juli Miftari, Julia Vrapi, Zhaklina Gjolla, Klodiana Shpendi, Aldo Tare, Enisa Cenaliaj Huso, everyone involved in the activities, the communities, family and friends!
Blerina Berberi & Kevin Tummers/ October, 2019