As an invitation for the fall 2020 design in dialogue studio students received the following letter from the Palace of Brigades in Tirana. The studio started in September and last until mid December. Click here to find more information about the studio and the students projects.
I am writing you with a request. It has to do with my situation. I know you too have been forced to not see anyone for a while, but my solitude started long before the arrival of the virus and still continues.
When I was younger, powerful people wanted to be in my company. I hosted kings and generals, judges and other high ranking officials. Now it’s mostly quiet. Only every now and then I receive guests, who are primarily interested in themselves, not in me. Time hasn’t been kind to me. The faded colors, the cracks, my dull expression… I’m nothing more than a vague shadow of my younger self.
Next year I’m turning eighty. Looking back on my long life I have come to realize that I have always been subordinated by others. From the royals who put me here, to the fences who keep people away from me, there is always someone or something preventing me from opening up to the world.
Stuck in solitary confinement, I spend my days scanning my surroundings for a sign of life. I see the cypresses waving in the wind. Clouds are drifting by, bringing rain and snow from the nearby sea and mountains. In recent years it has been increasingly dry. The sunlight scorches the grass, the soil becomes sandy, the fountain stopped running. I feel trapped, unable to change my own conditions.
Increasingly I wonder who has the imagination and power to unleash my potential and see the value of a more progressive preservation of my heritage? One that respects my integrity while allowing me to develop. Who or what can create the conditions for me to flourish and become a meeting place for people from near and far? How can my luscious garden be rejuvenated and connected to the larger natural environment?
Please help to unlock my golden cage! By listening to the people that take care of me everyday, and by helping me to discover the stories that reveal my hidden qualities, I can finally become part of the city that has gradually grown around me.
Even if you were allowed to travel to Tirana you would not be able to visit me, due to my fragility and state of seclusion. But you can get to know me from a distance by joining the NEWROPE Design Studio. They are inviting you to collectively imagine alternative futures for me and beyond myself – in dialogue with experts and leaders and by exploring digital and analogue means.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Pallati i Brigadave
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