Colors of Tirana

If we take Italo Calvino’s words that a city “says everything you must think and makes you repeat her discourse” to be true, then Albanian cities have certainly had their way with the collective imagination of an entire population. For many years under Communist rule, Albanian cities were dominated by grey, a color which reflected its gloomy property on the lives and imagination of its citizens. This implicit lack of freedom enabled a totalitarian regime to flourish for more than 45 years. However, this purposeful lack of variety and creativity has been gradually overturned in the last several decades and an amazing array of colors has covered the building façades of many cities.

As Albanian cities continue to be reshaped, we find facades painted in Mondriani’s contemporary patterns, electrical city boxes decorated with street art, the walls of forgotten palaces covered in political graffiti and residential buildings displaying gigantic figures, Banksy-style. It was Calvino who also wrote that a city “does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the banisters of the steps, the antennae of the lightning roads, the poles of the flags.” Albanian cities have opted for an extreme makeover, a look which stands in stark contrast to the past, perhaps defying it and, while in the freshly painted cities of Albania, you will still encounter its deeply layered past, you will also be confronted with a decisively brighter and more beautiful future.

Tirana, the "Shallvare" buildings

Shallvare Buildings, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, "Agimi" buildings

Agimi Buildings, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Durres, Street Art, Graffiti

Graffiti on a door, Durrës, photo by Intoalbania 

Tirana, Street Art, Graffiti

Graffiti near Vasil Shanto School, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

At "Radio Bar", Tirana, Street Art, Graffiti

Graffiti near Radio Bar at the Block, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, at the "Pyramid"

The Pyramid of Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, near the "National Theatre"

Newly painted Government building near the National Theatre, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, Graffiti

Graffiti on an electrical cabin, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, close to "Tulla Culture Center", Street Art, Graffiti

Graffiti near Tulla Culture Center, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, near "Selvia", Street Art, Graffiti

Graffiti near Selvia neighborhood, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Shkodër, Street Art

Graffiti in Shkodra neighborhood, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, at the "Pyramid", Street Art, Graffiti

Pyramid of Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

"Parku Rinia", Street Art

I love Tirana installation at the Youth Park, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, "Wilson Square", Colorful Buildings

Graffiti on a building in Wilson Square, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, the colorful zebra crossing, Street Art

Colorful Zebra stripes near RTSH, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

Tirana, "Mother Teresa Square", Street Art

Painted Sixhade at Mother Tereza Square, Tirana, photo by Intoalbania

By: IntoAlbania


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