Tirana – Budapest Is freedom a burden or an opportunity?

Does our past make us more sovereign or less sovereign in our approach to freedom? asks the Albanian capital. Edit Pula, an artist, director of an art space and advisor to the mayor on cultural matters, stresses that the concept of freedom, which carries a great deal of weight in Albania, is equally fraught with feelings of pride and guilt here. She seeks to stimulate civil dialogue about freedom for the Freiraum project.


The Budapest-Tirana tandem’s questions are both about civil society as a central political actor. Hungary asks what obligation civil society has to defend shared European values. And Tirana wants to know how great a challenge freedom is for Albania’s nascent civil society. To answer these questions, the project partners in Budapest and Tirana, EKINT (Eötvös Károly Institute for Politics) and the artist Edit Pula are seeking out manifestations of civil-society activity in urban public spaces: tagged, spray-painted or otherwise altered advertising posters, converted or repurposed buildings, destroyed objects, unofficially installed memorials or places of remembrance etc. Their photographic documentation of these “sites of activism” will be exhibited in Tirana in early December, accompanied by a panel discussion and a piece of music specially composed for the Freiraum project. The tandem will follow that up by developing a discursive assessment of their findings.

(September 2018)

Our Partner

The artist Edit Pulaj (*1974) spent a number of years in Norwich and London before returning to Albania in 2009. In her painting she deals with color and the inherent ability to communicate and interact. Edit Pula also acts as cultural adviser to the mayor of Tirana.
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