Exhibition: Being Transgender in Albania

Being trans in Albania. Te jesh trans ne Shqiperi

Being transgender is like being a prisoner of conscience!

 

By: Altin Hazizaj

 

Being Transgender in Albania has never been easy! Once upon a time their murder was accepted as “normal”, nowadays their prostitution for survival is considered a norm. Often, I have asked myself, how it is to be transgender and live under their skin? See the world they see! Meet the people they meet and dream….

Yes, dream!

Dream that one day your family will love you for who you are! For that inner and outer beauty that comes with every human being and that the difference makes it even more radiant.

Dream that your neighbour will not push you down the steps and say that he doesn’t want to see you alive anymore.

Dream for a better education and another teacher, because the one you had never had the decency to teach one letter or maths formula! They were the ones that left you to the last desk of the classroom and never even mentioned your name!

Dream for a decent job that can pay for your rented house, food and new clothes, but that never happened, because no one dares to employ a trans person… they know that their clients would treat you as a different species.

There is so much hate, so much exclusion, so much refusal, so much of this and that. It never ends!

Yet you never give up your dreams: to be a film director, to be a writer, to be a teacher, to be a student and graduate University, to have your family! After all, isn’t it true that dreams never die?!

With so many dreams in mind we did this exhibition too! Four of the most talented, easy going, provocative and dream-alike transgender people: Luana, Lola, Amelia and Denisa joined us on a trip to the most infamous ex-communist prison of Albania, that of Spaç, where before the collapse of the communist system at least 2000 people were jailed for political reasons, most of them for speaking freely and without fear against the regime. Against this background we had built the concept of the very first exhibition of transgender persons in Albania, the four being models and dressed the way they choose, from personal clothes to military outfit and finally to beautiful national costumes of Albania of Mirdita, Tirana, Berat and Korça.

We were extremely lucky to have Gent Shkullaku, an extremely experienced and talented photographer, joining our team at very short notice and for making what he does best, outstanding pictures that put at the centre both the historic space of an ex-prison (now a museum) and the people being photographed.

Being transgender is like being a prisoner of conscience! You are that person that the society doesn’t accept! That person that the family, the society and the state deny the very existence of having a different gender, as if they own GENDER as if it is a medal that they don’t give to everyone.

Today we challenge this reality! Being transgender means being yourself! Who you are! And this is a RIGHT that needs not only protected but also guaranteed by every possible means. If anything, this exhibition asks only for one thing: Respect and recognition of gender identity!

The exhibition is supported by the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Unit of the Council of Europe. A modest cocktail will accompany the entire evening of the exhibition.

Exhibition "Being Transgender in Albania" of PINK Embassy Albania, 20-24 May 2021, Zeta Art Gallery, Tirana / Albania.

 

For more information, please contact:

PINK Embassy Albania

E-mail: pink@pinkembassy.al

 


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