Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Art Studies, Albania
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: Glob J Res Rev 2018
The transformation of prisons into museum is a new practice all over Europe since last decades. The purpose is representing the repressive communist regime, organized in the prisons and the memory of the victims of the system. The main reasons behind these transformations come as a need to underline and commemorate the situations within these prisons, as a need to overcome and change the symbolic of that place. This paper brings into focus the Memory Museum of Shkodra (Albania). It is the first museum of its kind in Albania, after the communist regime pavilion in the Historical Museum of Tirana. It was founded in 2014, 25 years after the fall of the communist regime, in order to make public know the crimes of that period. The focus of this paper lays on the “personal lives stories” and the main key questions of the study are; what has happened inside the walls of this former-prison and how it was transformed into a museum? Based on some autobiographical evidences it is intended to describe the mechanisms of violence in the prison following an analysis of the tortures exercised there. The museum itself, located inside the cell of a real prison (former prison of Sigurimi), offers the meeting with the walls that have seen the sufferings, the tortures. The visitor is experiencing the past with the prison itself as the main object. The visitor in return takes the role of the former prisoner, visitor’s body takes the place of former prisoner body; means that the violence which was once the integral part of penal experience is now transmitted as a huge esthetical experience for the visitors inside the museum.