Albania Available for Rent is the response to the spirit that lives in the memory of things of the past. It is a personal journey to discover a recent past which even if geographically and temporally is so close, is still too hidden.
What do you know about Albania?
Throughout all the second half of the twentieth century, the existence of this country was almost unheard of. The knowledge that ordinary people had of Albania was virtually not existent;in the collective imagination this country had almost disappeared, as it did not happen with any other European nation over-curtain.This is due to the absolute hermetic closure that has been subjected to decades by one of the fiercest and fierce dictators that contemporary history has ever known: Enver Hoxha.
What really drove my attention into this subject was the main peculiarity of this historic case, the dark ability of Henver Hoxa, which at this time still survives, is that he has not left traces of himself in people’s memory. he managed to transform his country in to a black hole in the geographic map of europe. If today we ask to the average person, who where Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin or where their regime had been, many will be able to give an exhaustive answer. But in very few would be able to answer the question “Who was Hoxha?”. Yet his was the longest dictatorship in European history: forty years had been personally conducted, with a regime that altogether resisted for forty-six; that Albanian was the last communist communist totalitarian to fall into Europe, when the Berlin Wall had already collapsed, the Eastern Europe already unleashed by the Soviet yoke, the Uss dissolving, and the last great dictator, Ceausescu in Romania, had already been shot.
By placing together found pictures with recent ones , Yvonne De Rosa explores the “old and the new”, the past and the present, trying to add her personal vision. At the time of her passage, in the same places of those found pictures in Albania,(the first one depicting her great grand father in the same place in Albania during the second world war) the country had witnessed the conquest of independence, the institution of the Republic, the Italian-German military occupation until the socialist regime of Enver Hoxha with his fall and the difficult transition post regime. The Albanian population was experiencing a moment of suspension between a season of building speculation and the hope in the economic potential of tourism.
Gathering traces in every place she photographed,Yvonne De Rosa engages her personal fight with time by adding one more fraction of a second to the found story, dialoguing with the people who was photographed in the past telling them what would have been the future of a place that in those days was her present.