By Clarissa de Waal
This new publication examines Albania's transition from Communism through the studies of a various diversity of households, highland villagers, city elite, shanty dwellers--Clarissa de Wall has the lives of Albanians there due to the fact that 1992. As such, it is a history--of monetary, social and political change--told from the viewpoint of the contributors. We see how some distance the archaic global of regularly occurring legislation keeps to pervade highland existence, from dispute cost to prepared marriages. even as, the writer exhibits us individuals of the ex-communist elite in Tirana embracing rentier capitalism, whereas squatters on kingdom farmland dwell lower than consistent possibility of eviction. Albania, the writer indicates, is a rustic wracked by means of contradictions: in flight from its Communists previous and but nonetheless beholden to its rural traditions; willing to embody loose markets yet with no foregoing the safety of primary making plans. I.B.Tauris in organization with the Centre for Albanian reports
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Additional info for Albania Today: A Portrait of Post-Communist Turbulence
The effects of long term poverty were obvious in every form of construction from furniture to buildings. Farm animals - cows, sheep, horses, donkeys, ﬂocks of turkeys - were a common sight in the streets especially on Sundays, the biggest market day. One day we saw a horse bolting wild west style the length of the main street from the roundabout down to the Café Europa where it turned right and was lost to view. Sometimes one met sheep on the end of a rope descending the stairs of an apartment block.
The New Year allowance was 4kg of meat, 2kg of pork and 2kg of another meat. Our host, a biology teacher, was responsible as an inspector for the secondary schools in the area, several of which he took us to see. This meant walking across the mountains through scenery which, despite the rather frequent industrial interruptions such as pylons, and still more frequent concrete bunkers (300,000 built under Hoxha for defence), was very beautiful indeed. On these walks we were struck by the rather chilling non-acknowledgement of the few people we passed.
Here in the dhoma e edukimit, the room for moral education, married couples’ difﬁculties, unruly children, political renegades, would be talked over by the ‘këshilli i lagjes’, the ward council. People would make autokritikë (self-criticism) if their behaviour had been singled out in a ﬂetë rrufe, in the hopes of staving off something worse than simply being reprimanded for lack of ideological maturity - ‘pjekuri ideologjike’. Even dressing slightly differently, wearing a skirt made in a new style, could be risky.
Albania Today: A Portrait of Post-Communist Turbulence by Clarissa de Waal