For three days, 19 participants from various institutions, organizations and interested groups (see list below) gathered in Mirdita to learn, understand, reflect on and discuss the past and present of Spaç prison. Activities included a site visit guided by a former political prisoner in Spaç, group meals, and “café-style” workshop activities in small and large groups on the following topics:
- SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of Spaç prison as it exists today (click here to read about this activity)
- Spaç in popular culture today
- Experiences from Spaç / witnesses from former political prisoners: both discussion with those present and viewing of prisoner testimonies collected by Albanian Human Rights Project (AHRP) (click here to read about this activity)
- Memory mapping of Spaç prison (click here to read about this activity)
While several participants headed home Saturday morning, others wrapped up the workshop with a tour to some other places of memory in Mirdita, including the hilltop church in Rubik and the Historical Museum of Mirdita in Rrëshen.
Overall, participants were enthusiastic about the process and excited to continue to the next stages. According to an anonymous evaluation collected at the end of the workshop, participants particularly valued the site visit, the chance to hear testimonies from former political prisoners, the small group work and, especially, the cooperation amongst participants coming from different backgrounds and generations.
Results from the various workshop activities, as well as a full report, will be posted shortly, so be sure to check back.
UPDATE: Click here to download the full report from Workshop 1.
Institutions and groups represented:
- Former political prisoners from Spaç
- Orosh Commune (local government)
- Local residents
- Ministry of Culture: Directorate of Material Heritage and Museums, and; National Center for Inventory of Cultural Wealth
- Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth: Directorate of Policies for Former Politically Persecuted People
- Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism: Directorate of Territorial Development
- Society of Former Politically Persecuted People, Shkodër branch
- “Spaç Prison Museum” Association
- Students of journalism, University of Tirana
- OneProd audio/visual
- Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB)