Mirian Bllaci

Change agent dedicated to heritage-based management and innovation processes with a particular focus on urban spaces, remembrance and civic empowerment.

  • Former activities:

    In over 10 years of international experience I have developed strong interest and skills in designing and implementing projects aimed at strengthening the ties between people and heritage and at connecting between people particularly in Europe and the Western Balkans, and in particular in areas “under stress” such as in the Kosovo, Jordan, Israel, etc.

  • My organization:
    “Cultural Heritage without Borders” (CHwB) Albania, an international organization that works with cultural heritage as an active force in reconciliation, peace building and social and economic development.

  • Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:

    I am active in several memorialization projects, in particular with the memorialization process of the former prison of Spaç in Albaniaë campaigns and events on “difficult” stories and civic spaces at risk; development of informal learning based on critical games and interactive tools. I am actively involved also in a variety of other structures such as the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience or the International Alumni Center of the Robert Bosch Foundation, etc.

  • Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:

    The impossibility of the emergence of a genuine societal effort to deal with the past is attributed to our inability to formulate a shared vision of the future. The fragmentation and polarization within and among the groups of time-witnesses have helped neither to get the much needed societal buy-in for making this important cause a national priority. In recent years international organisations have supported the creation of a national dialogue on the past and that has certainly boosted the internal debates. But it is widely accepted that true reckoning with the past should come from Albanians themselves.

  • My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
    I am part of the “transition” generation in Albania, which is shaped by competing histories: those whose families continue to deny the violence of the country’s communist regime because they were accomplices in it or simply because they genuinely consider it part of a push for a better future; those whose families were persecuted and so pass on the wounds of this violence. My work seeks to multiply spaces and opportunities for encounter and dialogue between people from both these factions. In particular, the voices of those that experienced persecution and injustice can come through strongly particularly in sites like the former prison of Spaç. That seems to be an effective way to reach especially the younger generations, as we have spectacularly failed to raise their interest on Albania’s communism experience, and without which there cannot be any critical thinking on the links between the past and the present.