Cultural challenges in
post communist Albania

This article will treat the present-day challenge of overcoming a heritage of totalitarian culture, developed during 50 years of isolation under one of the most severe communist regimes in the world, with which Albanian culture is currently presented. After 14 years of post communist transition, a deep crisis surrounding Albanian cultural identity still looms amid a chaotic cultural and moral environment. Albania's culture under communism was an instrument used for 50 years by the regime to wield power over and isolate the Albanian people. Unfortunately, this culture seemed (and, in fact, still seems) unable to provide Albanians with the tools needed to approach and adapt to their current reality created by the opening up of the country. This historically informed Albanian culture simply seems capable of recycling its old patriarchal, nationalist and communist traits in an attempt to function under the constraints of the new state, within new cultural boundaries and in its new relationship with the rest of the world.

Fatos Lubonja
Writer and journalist, founder and editor of the quarterly review of critical thinking "Pėrpjekja" ("Endeavour") in Tirana
read full article >
Arts management in turbulent times. A new publication by Milena Dragicevic Sesic and Sanjin Dragojevic
Undertitled "Navigating the arts through the winds of change", this new book by two prominent cultural experts - active key contributors to the Policies for Culture programme since its very beginning - assesses the dramatic period of change affecting the cultural sector in Central, Eastern and South East Europe since the 1990s, and points the way towards greater organisational stability and operational success in arts management within these regions. If cultural organisations are to shape and develop cultural life in their respective countries, the book argues, both public and independent arts organisations need to be able to rely on strong organisational structures and sufficient management capacities. For this reason, strategic planning and increased proficiency in organisational development and management become key factors. Such planning and proficiency assist cultural organisations in exceptionally difficult environments to master successfully the many - often daunting - challenges they face.
read full article >