New Documentary “A Republic in Spac”: Memory of the Past

“A Republic in Spac” is a documentary produced by Dr. Julian Bejko and Dr. Dritan Karadaku, professors from Tirana University. The project was a collaboration with their students with the idea to “represent the collective memory of the past” in Albania, influenced by Plato’s Republic and other important figures in history.

“The intergenerational education must begin from reflection on such events where Spac is the chimney of an even larger and heavy smokescreen. This was the opinion of the philosopher Theodor Adorno after the horrendous and unprecedented events of World War II and the Shoah. But we as Albanians, should originally remember that Spac is there, that it exists, that it is an opened chapter, unwritten well or written with all kinds of calligraphies, whipped with overlapping meanings. Memory is something very fragile, even more so when it comes to the memory of a nation and society,” stated Dr. Dritan Karadaku.

The two professors document the first visit in 25 years to Spac prison of a group of students-professors. Prison of Spac was for many ‘the place of hell’ and a scary model of “education” during the dictatorship. It is now a museum and national monument.

“To be taken to jail because you write a poem, to be imprisoned because of faith in the existence of God, to be imprisoned because of not thinking about human beings as a clay ball that one can give shape as desired through the state. But what makes people be so unreasonable? What leads them to believe that prison and mine is a place of education? What makes them hope that through hatred, one can produce goodness? The students and the young generation, starting from a pragmatic approach, have to cope with the past to understand that part of their troubles and concerns are arising precisely from it. Their relation with the past is largely virtual and perfunctory. But a student of social sciences should start the first day of learning from this visit. “said Dr. Julian Bejko.

“We believe that the establishment of a polyphony of fundamental truths is needed, from which we can consolidate democracy and the society. In addition to video images, they have composed about 100 pictures each with its own significance. The documentary has an energy of information, photographic evidence of Spac and the Spac of transition. Also, through philosophy and poetry, references on world personalities like Socrates, Plato, Naim Frasheri, Maya Angelou or Lincoln, they have strived to transmit their messages to the generations of young Albanians, who begin to care about their past and at the same time, build up their tastes and opinions starting from those personalities,”said Dr. Dritan Karadaku.

“One of the messages is that of recovery, hope, strengthening of democratic principles, tolerance, education and rational optimism. Despite the suffering, pain and sadness that Spac and our country embody, their message is: “Still we rise!” This is the only way!” added Dr. Karadaku.

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