"In It We Should See Our Own Revolution Moving Froward, Rising Up": Socialist Realism, National Subjecthood, and the Chronotope of Albanian History in the Vlora Independence Monument
Isto, Raino Eetu
Mansbach, Steven A
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November 28, 1972 saw the inauguration of one of communist Albania's largest and most significant works of public sculpture, the seventeen-meter tall bronze Vlora Independence Monument. The work, created by Kristaq Rama, Shaban Hadëri, and Muntas Dhrami, represented an unparalleled attempt to visualize both the geographical and historical unity of the Albanian people, assisting in the cohesion of a modern national identity created and reinforced by the communist government. This paper argues that the Independence Monument, as an exemplar of Albanian communist art, represented not the propagandistic revision of national history--as is often claimed of socialist realism--but rather the establishment of a spatial and temporal ground from which its viewers could come to understand themselves as possessing a shared national heritage and participating in the common construction of a uniquely Albanian socialism.