Places, stories, sensations – learning from the testimonies of former political prisoners

Along with the testimonies and input from the former Spaç political prisoners who were present at the workshop, participants were also able to view, both as a whole and in small groups, several video testimonies from former political prisoners who had been in Spaç. These testimonies were recorded by Albanian Human Rights Project (AHRP) and provided to CHwB for the purposes of this workshop.

The four testimonies come from people who were imprisoned at Spaç at different times, which allowed participants to become acquainted with various aspects of the former prison, from its beginnings in the 1960s until the early 1990s.

The first testimony, viewed by the entire group, was from Bedri Çoku, in which he explained in detail how the famous Spaç Revolt of May 1973 arose, took place and was suppressed. This was one of the most special moments of the workshop, not only because of the power of Bedri Çoku’s testimony itself but because of the fact that for many of those present, this was the first time that they had encountered this event that testifies to the resistance against Communism.

Later in groups, the participants saw and analyzed the testimonies of Tanush Kaso, Bedri Blloshmi and Sherif Merdani, all of which are also very rich in information that helps in documenting and understanding aspects of life in Spaç.

This documentation was done by participants themselves and structured around three primary axes:

  • Places / constituent spaces / locations
  • Events / Stories
  • Sensations / feelings evoked by the environment of the former prison

The following word clouds show some of the results from the group analysis of the testimonies.


Word cloud of places / crucial locations related to Spaç prison


Word cloud of stories / events related to Spaç prison


Word cloud of sensations / feelings / evocations related to Spaç prison
UPDATE: Click here to download the full report from Workshop 1.

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