Upcoming and Past Events

  • Talk by HM Ambassador to Albania, Alastair King-Smith
    Fri, 26 Nov
    Zoom (link is sent after you register)
    26 Nov, 19:00
    Zoom (link is sent after you register)
    The Ambassador will be talking about his first impressions of Albania and the priority issues confronting him. He will also tell us about plans for celebrating the centenary of diplomatic relations between Albania and the United Kingdom.
  • Talk on Ismail Kadare’s novel “The Doll” by John Hodgson
    Wed, 13 Oct
    Zoom - link provided once you RSVP/register
    13 Oct, 18:00
    Zoom - link provided once you RSVP/register
    This is a talk via Zoom by John Hodgson, translator and AAA member, for which “The Doll” is the sixth novel by Ismail Kadare that he has translated.
  • Forestry in Albania, a talk by Roland Lleshi
    15 Jul, 18:00
    Zoom
  • The Albanian Economy 30 Years after Transition: Achievements, Challenges and Ways Forward - Dr Luca Uberti
    09 Jun, 17:30 BST
    Zoom (link sent after registration)
    No other transition economy has experienced such a dramatic socio-economic transformation as Albania. This talk will chart the state of the Albanian economy 30 years after the transition from Communism
  • Pursuing the Albanian Dream: language and nation in Kosovo, by Dr Justin Elliott
    10 May, 18:00 BST
    Zoom webinar
    A talk on the changing status of the Albanian language in Kosovo during the Yugoslav period and why in 1968 Albanians in Yugoslavia abandoned their own attempts to form a standard language in favour of one developed in Albania which bore little relation to what was spoken in Kosovo
  • Translating the Bible into Albanian - a talk by Altin Hysi
  • Talk on the Architectural Heritage of Gjirokaster by Louise Schofield, 17 March 2021
    22 Mar, 17:30 – 19:00 GMT
    Zoom
    Our next event is an illustrated (Zoom) talk about the architectural heritage of Gjirokaster, which will be given by Louise Schofield on 17 March starting at 5.30pm (London time). This is one of our series of talks about Albania's architectural heritage, the first of which was in June last year.
  • Talk on Reginald Hibbert's war diaries
    26 Jan, 19:00
    Zoom
Image by Mika

Past events

Below you will find some of the events we have held since 2011.

Reginald Hibbert's war diaries, 26 January 2021

Happy New Year, AAA member, friends

This is a short reminder re our first event of 2021. After the recent publication of Reginald Hibbert's War Diaries, we are pleased to announce that there will be a talk on the diaries, to be given by Jane Nikolov, Sir Reginald's daughter and the diaries' Editor. This will take place by Zoom on 26 January starting at 6pm..

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Ali Pasha, a talk by Sir Noel Malcolm, 25 November 2020

A talk by Sir Noel Malcolm on Ali Pasha which will take place via Zoom on 25 November at 6pm.The talk is entitled "Ali Pasha and Great Britain during the Napoleonic Wars".

This event will be the Association's contribution to the celebration of Albania's Dita e Flamurit (Flag Day), which falls in the last week of November.

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An Evening of Albanian Poetry, Thursday 17 December 2021

Dear Member, friends

Join us in “An evening of Albanian poetry”, an event organised by SSEES UCL Short courses (Mirela Xhaferraj in collaboration with the ANGLO-ALBANIAN ASSOCIATION. We will be reciting Albanian poetry with simultaneous on-screen access to the English translation. Also musical interludes and Albanian songs will be performed by Albanian artists in between poems.  

This event will be held on Zoom on Thursday, 17 December at 18:00  (London time).

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,

Stephen

Stephen Nash CMG, 

Chairman

Colorful Book Spines

"From Skopje to Calcutta: Mother Teresa's path to sainthood", by Dr Gezim Alpion, 29 September 2020

Dear Member, and friends,

 

 

Following our AGM, Dr Gezim Alpion will talk to us about his latest book on Mother Teresa, at 7pm, via Zoom. His talk is titled "From Skopje to Calcutta: Mother Teresa's path to Sainthood".

Please would you tell us if you will be attending the talk on Mother Teresa at 7pm by pressing the Yes/No button.

Dr Alpion works in the department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology at the University of Birmingham. In his written work his focus is on Mother Teresa: his latest book is titled "Mother Teresa: the Saint and her Nation". See below for a list of his published books.

As the evening will be in two parts, the AGM and then the talk on Mother Teresa, members may choose to attend one or both parts. You will be sent information nearer the time about how to sign up via the two links provided. We look forward to "seeing" you.

Best wishes

 

Stephen

 

 

Stephen Nash CMG
Chairman

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The architectural heritage of Tirana, Arber Kadia, 16 June 2020

ear Member, friends

It is a pleasure to announce our next Anglo-Albanian Association event, - an illustrated talk entitled "The Architectural Heritage of Tirana:  across the centuries to the present day". We had originally planned to hold this talk some time ago, but our speaker Arber Kadia will now be addressing us from Tirana via Zoom on Tuesday 16 June, starting at 7pm London time.  This will be the AAA's first Zoom event.

Arber Kadia graduated in History of Art at the University of Bristol, after secondary schooling at Eton College.   From 2009-2013 he had a senior position in the Ministry of Culture in Tirana, where he was responsible for monitoring Albania's heritage sites and museums.  He has also worked in the Albanian media as a TV presenter and producer, and as a columnist for Tirana's English language Daily News. More recently he has had a key role as Cultural Heritage Monitor for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), aimed at bringing natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe.

We look forward to welcoming Arber Kadia, albeit in the virtual space of Zoom, and at a time of controversy with the demolishing of the National Theatre building on 17 May.

Image by Jo Arounding

Scanderbeg in Music, by Eno Koço, 21 January 2020

Dear AAA member, friend

We have pleasure in inviting you to our first event of 2020, which is a talk entitled "Scanderbeg in Music" by the Albanian musicologist/ conductor Eno Koço.  This will take place at the Embassy of Albania (33 St George's Drive, London SW1V 4DG) starting at 6.30 for 7pm.. 

 

Dr Koço will give us an illustrated talk about the ways in which Scanderbeg's life inspired composers to write music in praise of him.  From the 16th century we see Scanderbeg's name celebrated in musical as well as literary forms, - such as the opera by Vivaldi, the sonnet by Edmund Spenser, and plays written in the 18th century.  Dr Koço will tell the story of how this 15th century Albanian hero's life was still being celebrated in music across the continent of Europe centuries later.

Best wishes for 2020,

Stephen

Stephen Nash CMG

Chairman

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Albania: Progress & challenges, by HE Ambassador Duncan Norman, 26 November 2019

Dear AAA Member,

Our next event is a talk by the British Ambassador to Albania, Duncan Norman. The talk is entitled "Albania: progress and challenges'. It will take place on Tuesday 26 November in the Embassy of Albania, 33St George's Drive, London SW1V 4DG, starting at 6.30 for 7pm..

Much has happened in Albania since the Ambassador last addressed us: local elections boycotted by the opposition, unrest on the streets of Tirana, more evidence of people trafficking, an earthquake, and now a postponement in Albania's EU accession process, described recently as follows: "The European Council decided last month to postpone a decision on opening Accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia to next year. What does this mean for Albania? For its domestic politics and for its foreign policy?" The Ambassador will give this issue a particular focus.

The talk will be followed by Q and A and then refreshments. Toasts will be raised to the flag, as Dita e Flamurit (Flag Day) follows on 28 November.

Best wishes,

Stephen

Stephen Nash CMG
Chairman

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Film screening: Ballë për ballë, 13 February 2019

ear Member,

On 13 February, we will screen another Albanian film - "Ballë për Ballë" (Face to Face), dating from 1979. This remarkable film, made during the Hoxha era, somehow manages to present a very serious topic - the Albanian/Soviet split - without becoming a crude tool for government propaganda. For those with a particular interest in aged Soviet military hardware, the focus on the fate of Soviet submarines based near Vlora is a treat!

The Anglo-Albanian Association has screened several of Kujtim Çashku's films including "Colonel Bunker" and "Magic Eye". Cashku is currently director of the Marubi Film Academy situated on the Kinostudio site in Tirana.

This screening will take place at 6.45 for 7pm at the Embassy of Albania (33 St. George's Drive, London SW1V 4DG) on 13 February.

Best wishes,

Stephen Nash CMG
Chairman

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Film screening: Kapedani, 13 December 2019

Dear AAA member,

 

We have planned a celebratory event - our last event of 2018 -  which will take place at the Embassy of Albania on 13 December:  a screening of the comedy film "Kapedani" (The Captain), followed by Christmas refreshments. We hope that you can join us.

 

"Kapedani" dates from 1972, produced during a too-brief period of liberalization, and is still regarded as "one of the most beloved treasures in the history of Albanian motion pictures".  It remains a staple of prime time Albanian TV, especially at this time of year. It is remarkable that Muharrem Fejzo, the director, got away with such an imaginative and comic film during the time of the Hoxha regime.

 

The screening will start promptly at 7pm. 

 

The film, which is in black and white, has English subtitles. 

 

Best wishes,

 

Stephen Nash

Chairman

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Film screening: Syri magjik, 6 June 2019

Dear Member

 

We have scheduled a film screening of "Syri Magjik" (Magic Eye), which will take place at the Embassy of Albania at 6.30 for 7pm on Wednesday 6 June.  This film, directed by Kujtim Çashku, was released in 2005 and tells the story of the mayhem which Albania experienced in the wake of the pyramid scam of 1997, and related issues.   

 

Çashku is an important figure in the history of the Albanian cinema, his work straddling both the Hoxha era ("Ballë për Ballë"/ Face to Face, 1979) and subsequent times.  He is now Rector of the Marubi film school in Tirana.

 

Best wishes,

 

Stephen Nash

Chairman

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Trekking in the mountains of northern Albania, Kosovo & Montenegro, a talk by Richard Hargreaves, 28 February 2018

Dear Member,

We have pleasure in announcing an illustrated talk by Richard Hargreaves on Trekking in the Mountains of northern Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro. This will take place on Wednesday 28 February, starting at 6.30 for 7pm.. Venue: the Embassy of Albania, 33 St George's Drive, London SW1V 4DG.

This is the first time that I can recall an AAA talk on walking in the mountains, and we are grateful to Richard for agreeing to share his experience with us. He has been involved with Antonia Young in the Balkans Peace Park Project, about which Antonia gave us an inspiring talk last year. Among the good works in which the Peace Park has been involved - with the aim of deterring conflict in this remote corner of the Balkans - is the organizing of walking tours in the stunningly beautiful mountain area which straddles the three countries. I hope to set out myself later this year !


Best wishes,

Stephen

Stephen Nash CMG

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An Evening of Albanian Poetry, Thursday 17 December 2021

Dear Member, friends

Join us in “An evening of Albanian poetry”, an event organised by SSEES UCL Short courses (Mirela Xhaferraj in collaboration with the ANGLO-ALBANIAN ASSOCIATION. We will be reciting Albanian poetry with simultaneous on-screen access to the English translation. Also musical interludes and Albanian songs will be performed by Albanian artists in between poems.  

This event will be held on Zoom on Thursday, 17 December at 18:00  (London time).

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,

Stephen

Stephen Nash CMG, 

Chairman

Colorful Book Spines

Annual General Meeting, 29 September 2020

Tuesday 29 September 2020, at 5.30pm

PROGRAMME

- Welcome

- Minutes of 2019 AGM [I hope attendees will have received this]

- Stephen Nash, Chairman's Report

- Pat Swire, Honorary Secretary

- Philip Logoreci, Treasurer

- Arber Koci, former Membership Secretary

- John Watkins, new editor of the Anglo-Albanian Gazette, the online AAA newsletter

- Elections (Honorary Secretary to explain and officiate)

- Comments, questions from the floor (AAA members)

- any other business

Stephen Nash CMG
Chairman

Empty Classroom

The Prespa Lakes: Transboundary sharing of natural beauty, by Klaudja Koci, 15 July 2020

Dear Anglo-Albanian Association Member, friends

We are glad to announce another AAA talk to be delivered via Zoom on Wednesday 15 July at 7pm London time. This will focus on the Prespa Lakes, a remote region of eastern Albania. This is where our speaker, Klaudja Koci, has been working for the last five years managing environmental work in the transboundary area shared between Albania, North Macedonia and Greece.

As well as being an area of great natural beauty - as Klaudja's illustrations show - it is rich in wild life, with high endemism in fish species, the world's largest population of Dalmatian pelicans, and traces of a population of the illusive Balkan lynx. Klaudja is also responsible for the environmental education programme of the PPNEA (Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania), an NGO whose executive director, Aleksander Trajce gave us an inspiring talk which AAA Members will remember.

Having studied political science at the University of Tirana, Klaudja Koci was awarded an EU Erasmus scholarship for MA studies at universities in the UK, Norway and Germany. She is now embarking on a PhD at the University of Cumbria, where her topic is protected area governance as applied in the Prespa Transboundary Park.

In order for you to join us on Zoom you will receive the link and joining details by email a few days before the event.

We look forward to your joining us on 15 July,

Stephen

Stephen Nash CMG
Chairman

Lake

Annual General Meeting, 1 April 2020

Dear Anglo-Albanian Association member,

As you have already been notified, this year's Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday 1 April, starting promptly at 6.30pm.. The venue is the Embassy of Albania, 33 St George's Drive, London SW1V 4DG.

The AGM will include short reports from Stephen Nash, Chairman; Philip Logoreci, Treasurer; Pat Swire, Secretary and Arber Koci, Membership Secretary. There will be a report about the AAA's Earthquake Fund and feedback about its disbursement.

Election matters. Members of the Board are elected for 3 years and come up for re-election next year 2021 when their three years end. There is however currently one co-opted Board Member whose status will require ratification by the meeting. Following this, views and comments of members present about the activities and running of the AAA will be invited.

After the AGM, there will be a talk given by John Grogan, the former Labour MP for Keighley and Ilkley (until December 2019). During the last Parliament, John headed the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Albania.

There will be refreshments. There is no charge for attending this event, although voluntary contributions will be welcome.

We look forward to seeing you on 1 April!

Best wishes,

Pat Swire
Secretary  

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Film introduction to Xhanfize Keko, 12 December 2019

Dear Member,

Our last event during this calendar year is an introduction to Xhanfize Keko, the brilliant Albanian film director who - during the period of the Hoxha regime - made her reputation with films about children. Films such as "Beni Walks Alone" and "Tomka and his Friends" have become firm favourites with Albanians of all ages.

This event will take place in the Embassy of Albania (33 St George's Drive, London SW1V 4DG), starting at 7pm (6.30 for 7pm) NOT AT 6.30pm as indicated earlier.. Mevlan Shanaj's documentary about Keko will be introduced by Fjoralba Miraka, a PhD candidate at the University of Roehampton, and film critic for an Albanian magazine. She will take Q and A after the screening. During 2020, Fjoralba will curate a retrospective of films by Xhanfize Keko here in London (details will follow).

After the Q and A, we will enjoy Christmas drinks. Attendees will be invited to make voluntary contributions (please bring cash or cheque) to help cover costs.

Please respond to this invitation to ensure entry to our 12 December Xhanfize Keko evening. Space is limited, and entry will be allotted on a first come first served basis.

Best wishes,

Stephen

Stephen Nash CMG

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Post-conflict civil society work in Kosovo, Dr Joanna Hanson, 10 July 2019

Dear AAA member,

You are invited to a talk by Joanna Hanson on 10 July, at the Embassy of Kosovo (8 John Street, London WC1N 2 EB). Joanna, an Anglo-Albanian Association Board member and former member of the UK Diplomatic Service, will be talking about the work of the Prishtina-based NGO, New Perspektiva, of which she is co-Founder. The talk will begin at 7pm..

New Perspektiva was established in 2014 to provide information on the EU-facilitated normalisation process between Kosovo and Serbia at inter-state and inter-community level. It also aims to open up voices on related issues and to move the narrative from an ethnic to a more civic and human one. Joanna will talk about this work and its achievements, including activities dealing with history teaching.

This will be our last event before the summer break, and Joanna's talk will be followed by "end-of-term" refreshments. We look forward to hearing whether or not you will be attending. 

Best wishes,

Stephen

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"In Tilman's Footsteps", an illustrated talk by Richard Hargreaves, 23 January 2019

We invite you to join us for our first event of the year, - an illustrated talk about Bill Tilman, an SOE operative who fought behind German lines in southern Albania during 1942/43.
Venue: Embassy of Albania starting at 6.30 for 7pm. Please click on the attached flyer below to see more details of this event.

The speaker Richard Hargeaves has had a longstanding involvement with the BP3 Peace Park project in northern Albania since 1971. Born into a mountaineering family in the Lake District his involvement with mountains has continued - he annually takes groups trekking on cross-border tours or on music tours in Albania and he takes photographs. The setting of this illustrated talk is in southern Albania. 

Bill Tilman  1898 – 1977 – Soldier throughout WW1 and WW2 – Kenya coffee/tea planter – ‘silent’ mountaineering partner of Eric Shipton – Nanda Devi – Everest – explorer of Central Asia – sailor/navigator on 18 yacht voyages to Patagonia, Arctic and South Pacific, etc.

 

The Talk

 

In April 2015, on a trekking tour in southern Albania, Richard Hargreaves came across “Tilman Square” in a remote village, a memorial to Tilman’s time behind enemy lines in 1943/44 helping Albanian partisans in their fight against the Italian and German invaders.  Home from the trek, Richard read up about Tilman’s Albanian experiences and discovered just how much the peaceful trek in 2015 had walked in Tilman’s wartime footsteps 72 years before. This illustrated talk covers Tilman’s extraordinary career and his 10 months in Albania before showing the landscape and villages in which the partisans and Tilman travelled and fought their guerrilla war against the occupying forces. 

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Celebrating Scanderbeg at the British Academy

Sponsors of this event: The Butrint Foundation, the Embassy of Albania and the Embassy of Kosovo.

Daytime programme | 11:00 - 16:00 | Free and open to all.
(The evening is by invitation only)

11.15: Patricia Nugee introduces her collection of rare books on Scanderbeg. The oldest one was written in Latin and published in 1510. It was later translated into many European languages. The collection also includes including histories, poetry and plays. During the day, historian Michael Gunn will be on hand to answer questions about Scanderbeg’s life.

12:00: and 3pm Jeff Charest, ethnomusicologist from Cardiff University, School of Music, will play musical instruments from Scanderbeg’s time.

13:00: Screening of ‘Skënderbeu’. Released in November 1953, this was communist Albania’s first feature film. Despite its age, it remains a definitive account of Scanderbeg’s life. Recently re-mastered, the film will be shown with English subtitles.

16:30: Registration for evening event including tea and coffee

17:30: Welcome from Stephen Nash, former Ambassador to Albania and Chairman of the Anglo-Albanian Association

17:30 – 19:00: Discussion about Scanderbeg

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The emergence of feminism in Albania

Dear Member,

We have pleasure in announcing our next event, - a talk by Dr Nevila Pahumi on the emergence of feminism in Albania during the first half of the 20th century. Her talk will be held at the Embassy of Albania (33 St George's Drive, London SW1V 4DG) on Wednesday 7 February at 6.30 for 7pm.

Dr Pahumi is the current Alexander Nash Fellow in Albanian Studies at SSEES (the School of Slavonic and East European Studies). She has a PhD in modern Balkan history from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her current research focuses on religion, gender and nationalism, and in particular on the ways in which Albanian women activists lobbied to build up a women's movement in the wake of the creation of the Albanian state in 1921. The pioneers of Albanian feminism looked to models in other countries, including Egypt, Turkey and the United States. 

Last year we were reminded of the tragedy of Musine Kokalari, one of the first Albanian women to become involved in politics and who subsequently became a victim of the Hoxha regime. It is fitting that we now have an analysis of the origins of the feminist movement and we look forward to welcoming Dr Pahumi.

After the talk, there will be Q and A followed by refreshments.

Best wishes,

Stephen

Stephen Nash, CMG

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Film screening: Skenderbeu, 17 January 2018

Dear Member,

A Happy New Year to you, and we look forward to seeing you at our 2018 events.

 

The first of these is the screening on 17 January of the film "Skenderbeu", at the Embassy of Albania (33 St George's Drive, London SW1V 4DG), starting promptly at 6.30.  Made in 1953 - the first feature film  to result from Albanian/Soviet collaboration in the "Shqiperia e Re" film studio in Tirana - it is a beautifully crafted epic, which reflects well the heroic subject matter. The lead role is played by the Georgian actor,  Akaki Khorava, who imbues it with just the right gravitas.  The film was dubbed in Albanian (from Russian), and carries English subtitles.  It won an International Prize and Special Mention at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival.

 

2018 marks the 550th anniversary of the death of Scanderbeg in 1468, and the Embassy of Albania, in collaboration with the AAA,  is commemorating this fact with a series of events, of which this is the first.  We are putting together further plans including a possible academic discussion on Scanderbeg's legacy, to follow on from our Scanderbeg Symposium held at Pembroke College, Cambridge in 2016. During this month of January, Miss Patricia Nugee, an AAA Board member, will be taking part of her collection of antiquarian books on Scanderbeg to Toronto and Ottawa where they will be exhibited.  

 

There will be refreshments after the "Skenderbeu" screening.

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Dita e flamurit celebration, 23 November 2017

Dear Member,

The Anglo-Albanian Association will be celebrating Albania's Flag Day with an event at the Embassy of Albania on Thursday 23 November. The scheduled start time is 6.30 for 7pm.

At 7pm the film "Nentori i Dyte" (The Second November) will be screened. This is a digitally restored version of Viktor Gjika's 1982 film which chronicles the birth of the Albanian state in November 1912. Gjika was one of the most talented directors to emerge during the 1970s and 80s, and he became head of the "Shqiperia e Re" film studio after the premiering of The Second November. We are grateful to the Albanian Cinema Project and the National Film Archive for making the film available to us.

Also, we will be welcoming to our celebration Jeff Charest, the musicologist and AAA member who specializes in Albanian music. He (and fellow musicians?) will be contributing an authentic musical backcloth to our evening. There will be ample opportunity to raise glasses to the flag.

We recommend an early response to this notice to ensure entry, which will be granted on a first come first served basis. Attendees will be invited to contribute donations towards the cost of this event.

Best wishes,

Stephen

Stephen Nash

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