MARTESA E ATYRE | THEIR WEDDING
credits :Realized with activists Grupi ATA, Kamza, Albania Camera by Altin Sulaj and Alban Tufa 14' Colour, Sound (2017)
Martesa e Atyre, which in Albanian language means ‘their wedding’ is a performative intervention which investigates the multifaceted meaning of ‘promise’. This work has a specific location: Kamëz, geographically considered the ‘periphery’ of Tirana, historically Kamëz is a city build over the post communism migration (1991) predominantly from the Albanian mountainous areas in the north of the country.
The meaning of ‘promise’ in Albanian has a very strong resonance.
A group of young feminist activist called ATA, which means ‘them’ indicating the pejorative way in which people use to call them after their migration, are struggling to have their collective voice recognized, especially when they claim the right to use the Pallati I Kultures (Cultural House), the only existing space where young people of the periphery can exchange knowledge in a city where even schools work in extremely poor conditions. I proposed them this action after working together for six months.
The work is based on the informal use that old man make of the spaces outside the Pallati I Kultures. In order to play domino, a diffused game in Albania, they extract concrete bricks from the pavement in order to make stools for themselves. I envisaged the stools as a symbol of the public use of this particular cultural space, and I made drawings of them which I then used to make postcards. Together with the group of activists, dressed in white, we went to ask the old man an exchange: a brick for a postcard. This has activated various reactions, which unraveled the necessities and the consequent possibilities. With the bricks, we all went back to the activist center, where we were welcomed by the traditional elements of the wedding ritual. After we publically spoke our promises, poetically or with new propositions, we had a meal, made as a collective effort, we played and danced traditional music.