Call for artists

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Seeking artist.
Offering free studio space in Tirana city centre.
Duration: 2 months (Nov.1-.Dec 30, 2017)

Artist may use space as needed.
Artist shall create a permanent outdoor graffiti of their choice (upon approval of draft)
on Ditart Centre exterior doors, front wall and one water tank in the area. (images will be emailed). Artwork may depict or represent neighbourhood or another approved concept/design. Artist is encouraged to present a public event with works and communicate on social media about progress of work.

Artist will have full access to 42m2 studio space in Tirana city centre, includes bathroom, kitchenette, TV, WIFI, close to all amenities and bus routes.
Promotion of artist and work on Ekphrasis Studio online (website, youtube, facebook)
Promotion of artist and exhibition through Ekphrasis Studio network (mainstream/alt TV/print media, events guides, personal contacts, community, etc)

The artist retains full rights to use the image of the artwork.
Ditart Centre has full rights to use the image of the artwork.
Artwork remains on display as part of Ditart Centre’s permanent outdoor public art programme.

Other works in the programme:
Inside Out – Jedidjah Slaghter. Three mosaic carpets hanging outside, with mosaic mirrors.
Blue Summer – Ada Bufi. Mural painting of lively and reflective water scene.

email for details and photos to

Ditart centre is a not-for-profit arts centre in Tirana run by Ekphrasis Studio to improve our daily artistic and cultural quality of life!


Exposition “L’argent et la culture Canadienne”

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final poster exhibit


Shqip me poshte—English below—
L’argent est utilisé tous les jours et les symboles de notre culture et de notre histoire sont fiers présenté. De nombreux symboles ont été utilisés depuis le premier dollar canadien en 1858 et, avant cela, la livre canadienne et d’autres provinciales / coloniales. Un loonie, ou huard en français, est une pièce de un dollar avec l’image de huard sur elle, apparaissant pour la première fois en 1987, tandis que le toonie, un dollar deux pièce, présente principalement des ours polaires. On pense que l’association d’un “mâle” ce qui signifie un dollar provient de commerçants de fourrure qui ont utilisé le terme pour désigner un fourrure de castor, qui avait une valeur d’un dollar. Divers thèmes sont trouvés dans la circulation, des pièces de monnaie commémoratives et collectables et des billets de banque, représentant souvent des animaux, les gens et les événements dans un contexte canadien.
L’exposition canadienne de l’argent et de la culture à Ditart présentera des l’argent canadien, des informations sur les symboles qui y figurent, l’occasion de familiariser les téléspectateurs avec l’argent canadien et ses thèmes, personnages et histoires.
Organisé par Kevin Tummers et Blerina Berberi
Ekphrasis Studio

Paraja perdoret cdo dite dhe simbolet e kulturës dhe historisë sonë janë paraqitur me krenari. Shumë simbole kanë qenë përdorur që nga qarkullimi i parë i dollarit kanadez në vitin 1858, dhe para kësaj pound-i kanadez dhe të tjera monedha provinciale / koloniale. Nje Loonie, ose Huard në frëngjisht, është një dollar monedhë me imazhin patës në të, për herë të parë të botuar në vitin 1987, ndërsa toonie, dy dollar, kryesisht përmban arinj polare. Mendohet se kuptimi i një “buck” që do të thotë një dollar vjen nga tregtarët e lekures se kafsheve që përdorën termin për të treguar një lekuren e kastorit, e cila kishte një vlerë prej një dollar. Tema të ndryshme janë hedhur në qarkullim, monedha përkujtimore dhe kartëmonedha, shpesh permbajne kafshët, njerëzit dhe ngjarjet në një kontekst kanadez. Ekspozita “Paraja kanadeze dhe kultura” në Ditart do të paraqesë shembuj të parasë kanadeze, informacion në lidhje me simbolet mbi ta, duke i dhënë mundësi shikuesit te njihet me paratë kanadeze dhe shumë tema dhe histori.

Money is used everyday and symbols of our culture and history are proudly presented. Many symbols have been used since the first circulation of the Canadian dollar in 1858, and prior to this the Canadian pound and other provincial/colonial currencies. A loonie, or huard in French, is one dollar coin with the loon image on it, first appearing in 1987, while the toonie, a two dollar coin, mainly features polar bears. It is thought the association of a “buck”
meaning a dollar comes from fur traders who used the term to denote a beaverpelt, which had a value of one dollar. Various themes are found in circulation, commemorative and collectable coins and banknotes, often picturing animals, people and events in a Canadian context.
The Canadian Money and Culture Exhibition at Ditart will present examples of Canadian money, information about the symbols on them, giving the opportunity to familiarize viewers with the Canadian money and its many themes and story-lines.
Curated by Kevin Tummers and Blerina Berberi
supported by Ekphrasis Studio

Exhibition RELATIONS/ Ekspozita LIDHJET

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You are invited at the opening of the exhibition to meet with the artist, Vilhelm Aagaard, on Friday, October 16, 2015, 18:00 at DITART– International and Community Culture Center, Str. Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41, Tirana, Albania
Jeni te mirepritur ne hapjen e ekspozites per tu takuar me artistin, Vilhelm Aagaard, te Premten, 16 Tetor, 2015, ora 18:00 tek DITART– Qender Kulturore Komunitare dhe Nderkombetare, Rruga Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41, Tirane, Shqiperi.

BIG flyer

Me poshte per shqip!

Exhibition RELATIONS
Vilhelm Aagaard
Born 1959 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Vilhelm’s motive in the world revolves around human relationships and the landscape that surrounds us and is within us, or as he states “It is the blind spot I try to identify through art”. Creativity started as a bolt from the sky. The media images of the Kosovo war during the 90’s marked an important call for the artist to express his perspective on our human relationships. Vilhelm works with selfinvented techniques, and his paintings have thick and bold brush strokes, thicker than you think.
Do not miss the opportunity to see original works during the exhibition at DITART. Oct. 16- Nov. 20, 2015. DITART International & Community Culture Center. Str. Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41,Tirana, Albania. 

Supported by

Ekspozita LIDHJET
Vilhelm Aagaard
Lindur më 1959- Kopenhagen, Danimark
Motivi i Vilhelmit ndaj botës rrotullohet rreth lidhjeve dhe marrëdhënieve ndërmjet njerëzve dhe pejsazheve që na rrethojnë ose janë brenda nesh, ose sic thotë artisti “Është Pika e Verbër që unë përpiqem të identifikoj ndërmjet artit”. Krijmtaria filloi si një vetëtimë nga qielli. Imazhet e medias gjatë luftes në Kosovë në vitet 90-të shënuan një thirrje të rëndësishme për artistin për të shprehur perspektivën e tij ndaj lidhjeve dhe marrëdhënieve njerëzore. Vilhem punon me teknika të shpikura vetë dhe pikturat e tij kanë penelata të trasha, më të trasha se çmund të mendoni.
16 Tetor- 20 Nëntor, 2015 @ DITART Qendër Kulture Ndërkombëtare e Komunitare, Rr. Mustafa Lleshi, Nr. 41, Tirana, Albania. Mbështetur nga

Other links: Eventbrite KultPlus ArtRabbit ArtSlant Calendar AllEvents Shqiptarja Shqiperia Albanian Telegraphic Agency Ikub Tirana XXL InfoKult MegaPress RoundTown


Management of Cultural Expressions in Contemporary Albania

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Backgrounder: Management of the cultural expressions in contemporary Albania

By: Ekphrasis Studio

TIRANA. Almost 20 years after the first student called “We want Albania like the rest of Europe”, the strong, ancient history of artistic and cultural information of the Albanians continues to be a persistent dialogue alongside not yet developed policies, qualifications and education. The result of this combination is un-planned, sporadic cultural organizations and events. Arts and heritage boards have almost the same character; they depend on which political wind is stronger.

The management of cultural expressions in Albania is something of a “tabula rrasa”, and is mainly a vague economic understanding of cultural goods. There is rarely a measurement for success, other than an opinion or statistic claiming to be better/worse than the activity before. There is little education.

During the last 20 years, infrastructure for creating and presenting cultural expressions has actually decreased.  The cinema has been reduced from 450 movie theatres in the late ’80s, to only a handful in 2009.  Recent cultural activities, especially contemporary, have taken place in un-used military zones, crumbling castles, the abandonned Hotel Dajti and so on. Infrastructure is critical for creative development, but state facilities are severely lacking in funding and maintenance, countless historical objects have been looted and the building of the Albanian League of Artists was turned into the new Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports. With its long title (listing its responsibilities and administrative duties), this institution has the monopoly as the busiest cultural manager in the country.

The only information not to find from this Ministry is the state’s Cultural Policies. There is only one page on the Cultural Strategy which states only what has to be achieved rather than how developments will unfold. Policies are for planning the budget, meaning the use of taxes collected according to the needs for developing and preserving cultural goods. Through policies, the statutes of artists are defined and arts management mechanisms that create the market(ing) encourage production of all creative expressions. Without policies – that is to say guidelines that need to be carefully evaluated on their impacts – there is no plan or incentives. What is here today, is not assured for tomorrow.


A policy in the simplest sense, is like having a road map with directions to get somewhere. It exists to address an issue that has been deemed important, with guidelines on what the outcome should include. Essentially, if policy does not exist, no defined problem or issue exists either – thus, no map, no guidelines and no particular outcome.

Earlier this year, this was proven in dramatic fashion when the Deputy Director of the National Art Gallery openly announced that he would curate an exhibition of his own art at the National Gallery, using public funds, for his political party’s election campaign. This was approved by the Director himself, and every authority right to the top of the government.

Can a state administrator with a specific job description also be a curator and artist at the same time within the same institution? If so, everyone who has these skills should become a state administrator to exercise them. One must ask what was the merit of this project being in the National Gallery. Artistic quality and subject matter of national importance? The “deputy director’s” position within the gallery? The “artist’s” position within the government? Definately the latter two.

Qualifications and human resource management are essential to any project management and above all the main assets for any country’s future. Qualifications act as a proof of knowledge, at very least proof of the ability to acquire knowledge. Human resource management is the ability to put people where they will shine. A merit based system through open calls for applications is crucial. Un-earned honours, awards and job positions do nothing to improve the outcome, furthermore, with an under-skilled staff one can expect limited achievements at best. Add this to an un-specified policy, and you are left with very little.

This leads us to education – in schools, but also in other activities. All members in the cultural conversation must be reached out to and heard. Research of Albania’s cultural values in the world and understanding Albania’s culture through intercultural dialogue are among many other European and world concepts that are heard only during some government level international conferences. All participants and citizens must be the drivers of dialogue as well as active participants in the design and realization of their presentation. This means alternative spaces to host the cultural conversation.

To start the conversation, a system of merits is often established through transparency of Open Calls, asking willing participants to present their ideas in a competition. These calls are an aspect of an open policy to support and quantify the work of artists. The process enables the most suitable artistic expression to be presented, and serves as a collection point to establish a database and network of working artists. This process invites all willing participants to the conversation, to present their point of view, while also helping administrators determine how many ‘willing participants’ exist.

Naturally, not all submissions will meet the criteria, however the fact that criteria has been set, indicates a policy to facilitate meeting some defined objectives. A call for submissions is an exhibition in itself and is a chance for any curator to examine numerous presentations of a subject, critically selecting the most appropriate creative work/worker. The same can be said for anyone in the creative realm – to critically select the most appropriate. These calls are rarely made in Albania.

“The Government has no monopoly of knowledge and ideas. To understand and tackle our challenges fully and vigorously, we need to draw on the expertise and resources of all our people.”

-Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Singapore

Numerous jurisdictions around the world have supported the development of the culture sector

through the creation of cultural policies. This has generally been a positive step, but the successful development and management of cultural expressions requires that culture and creativity are everyone’s concern, not just the culture sector’s, and certainly not just the Minister’s.

Canada has just begun a national initiative to increase Canadians’ awareness, accessibility and participation with art and artists and engagement within the cultural sector. Meanwhile, President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities includes twenty-six private sector citizens who have an interest and commitment to arts and humanities, along with twelve government members whose agencies have cultural programs, such as the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the U. S. Department of Education, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

What about Europe? Recently, the Manifesto on the Status of the Artist (a collaboration of the International Federation of Actors and International Federation of Musicians), highlights five key points to improve in European policies including job stability, social security, pensions and copyrights. Europe is also in year three of a six year, 400 million euro cultural programme including policy measures expressed by cultural organizations regarding cross border dialogue and trans-national mobilty of artists, artworks and products.

Ekphrasis Studio is the first and only Arts Management & Creative Industries Studio aiming at policy, project and educational development in Albania. Directors: Blerina Berberi & Kevin Tummers.

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