I just came across a new short story by longtime friend of dva Bevis Fusha, who I actually just had the pleasure of meeting in person for the first time a month or two ago in Tirana. There have been many projects about the Albanian phenomenon of the Blood Feud (here is a good background piece from the New York Times) but none that are as affecting and touching to me as Fusha’s vision of it. It is nuanced, delicate and sensitive, far from the easily concocted exoticism and sensationalism. It is great to see an Albanian photographer focused on such an issue, and it provides terrific context for the perspectives we’ve seen before.
Speaking about the work on the site Enter World Press Photo he says:
I also did not want to make the story clichéd. So many photographers had gone down that route. I also did not want any invention, such as putting weapons in young people’s hands, as some foreign photographers had done.
The second problem was that the time was very short, just a few hours, during those four days. That would never be sufficient to achieve the proper visual sensitivity in each visited family.
So I decided to hold on to a naive and childish prospective. A photographic history filled with fences, flowers and other symbols, to point out the essence of the phenomenon.
Click on either of the photos to see more of this project on the website of the Metro Collective. Be sure too to look at Fusha’s website for more of his outstanding work. Lastly, if you are interested in this subject matter you really must find a copy of “Broken April” by Ismail Kadare. Harrowing and deep in thought inside the mind of a young man caught on both sides of his family’s blood feud early in the 20th century. A clash of Albanian cultures, changing times and the horror (and clarity) of knowing when your death will come. Written by one of the foremost contemporary Albanian authors.