Artists for vjosa

Vjosa, through the lens of 7 photographers

The exhibition “Vjosa – The Wild Pearl of Europe” opens at the National History Museum

Tirana, 13 June 2019. The exhibition “Vjosa – The Wild Pearl of Europe” was opened in the Albanian Historical Museum, with about 50 photographs from Vjosa valley, realized by Albanian and foreign photographers. The exhibition presents the work of 7 photographers who have documented the wonderful landscapes of the Vjosa valley, natural values, community living, biodiversity, threats posed to the last wild river in Europe, and important moments during the battle to keep it free flowing. Art brought by Roland Tasho, Nick St. Oegger, Roland Dorozhani, Robert Hackman, Adrian Guri, Gregor Subic, and Artan Rama offer a complete information picture for the public, giving more attention to the issue of protecting the River Vjosa from dam construction.

During the opening event in Tirana. (c) Nick st. Oegger

“The exhibition comes as one of the forms chosen by us to raise awareness among the public and decision-makers on the importance of preserving this European legacy. Many of the photos were taken during our several years of work in Vjosa, ” said Olsi Nika, head of EcoAlbania organization.

Nick St. Oegger, a photographer from California, said he was captivated by the beauties of Vjosa. “The fact that such a river is still in Europe makes it a unique stream. This has pushed me to photograph the beauties of Vjosa and the communities that live along it”, he said at the opening of the exhibition.

Vjosa is the last wild river in Europe. It flows untouched through the deep gorges, gravels and islands about 270 km from the Pindu mountains on the Adriatic Sea. The Albanian government and Prime Minister Edi Rama have given the green light for the construction of two large hydropower plants: Kalivaçi and Poçemi, which are planned to be built in the most ecologically rich part of the Vjosa River.

The exhibition will be open from June 13 to June 16 at the National History Museum, followed by a tour of exhibitions in several cities of the Vjosa Valley.

The campaign “Save the Blue Heart of Europe” aims to protect rivers with greater natural values on the Balkan Peninsula. The campaign is coordinated by international NGOs Riverwatch and EuroNatur in co-operation with partner organizations in the Balkan countries.

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Albanian artists united in a song to protect the rivers of Albania.

The green song “Blessed be the Free River”!

The power of music to raise awareness.

The green song “Blessed be the Free River” tries to contribute on behalf of the causes that protect the river Valbona and the last wild river in Europe, Vjosa.

Musicians, producers, musicologists, historians and artists, Albanian and international: Elina Duni, Eda Zari, Lina Rukaj, Rhani Krija, Vlashent Sata, Emiljano Dhimo, Shpat Deda, Gert Kapo, Henning Jung, Kleidi Eski, Sokol Çunga, Mikaela Minga, all together collaborated and produced the song and video “Blessed be the Free River”. This song (an initiative of the duo Duni – Zari) came as a need to spread information about the systematic injustice that is done to the areas of these rivers. At the same time, the song goes for supporting the awareness of this cause amongst our society.

Music is omnipresent and all-embracing in our life. It stimulates pleasure in the brain and elevates emotions. The music, the song, are not only entertaining mediums or elements that bring us together to party. The song is a wonderful instrument and effective through which information about causes on behalf of nature, on life or social problems are transmitted. Can we change the world with a song? No, but with a song we can change the micro-world and the perception of each one of us!

A song reinforces solidarity, it inspires, saves, gives hope. These concerns and the will to produce a protest song arise from the level of awareness about that irreversible evil that is happening in Valbona, in Vjosa, or about what is happening with the water, air, nature, the Albanian land, as well as with nature worldwide. This song gives voice for recovery, howls to the public in order to create on everybody a deep eco of awareness.

At the “Blessed be the Free River” the artists, fully aware, continued this initiative not only aiming at producing music, not only to stress the call: “We want no pipes, we want no dams, we want no barriers, nor dikes, we want all good people to howl: Blessed be the Free River!”, but produced a song that has a supreme goal: There where rivers exist, there is always a reason to build bridges, where we walk toward the other shore and hug the problems of each other as humans.

This is an effort to unite and solidarize activists, associations, those pro the Valbona and Vjosa river, but also all individuals that works and are worried about the existence and the values of our society. On the other hand, the song tries to give the message that there is no part of nature, no river, not a part of the air or the earth that are more privileged than another. Through apolitical activism and only after concentrated efforts, but always united, can be overthrown the wrong decision-makers and their unfortunate plans. Is it possible to be aware about the huge truth, that in no near future, but nor in a far one, never there will be another Albania, with the same nature like the one that we have? Therefore, let’s go and protect this nature. This is the appeal of the artists as volunteers, citizens, colleges, contemporaneous, but above all, as PEOPLE.

Don’t forget to sing out: Blessed be the Free River!

Music by: Elina Duni & Eda Zari © reserved by Duni & Zari

Lyric by: Sokol Çunga & Eda Zari

Produced by: Henning Jung, Gert Kapo, Rhani Krija – Cologne / Germany.

Visuals & Video: Concept & Video produced by Kleidi Eski / Light & Moving Prod.

Vocal: Elina Duni, Eda Zari, Linda Rukaj, Vlashent Sata, Shpat Deda

All percussions: Rhani Krija Piano, Fender Rhodes: Gert Kapo Drums: Emiljano Dhimo Bass: Henning Jung Mixing and Sound: Henning Jung Arrangements: Gert Kapo

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Foto by Kleidi Eski

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