Reiner Riedler

Albania, Life on the Periphery

The work on Albania was my first major photographic project. Over a period of six years, between 1995 and 2001, this book came into being. It was the time after the fall of communism in Europe. The pictures of the mass refugee movement went around the world at that time, many left the country for "freedom". The Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha had ruined the country. In 1997, when a large part of the population lost their belongings due to pyramid games, great unrest arose. The country suddenly appeared on the map of international media. In March 1999, hundreds of thousands of refugees from Kosovo found shelter with their friends and families in Albania. I took pictures in the village communities during my travels to the highlands of Kurvelesh in the south of the country. The hospitality of the people is unforgettable.