Jun 14, 2014

Random Thoughts | Everyday Ruins vs. Monumental Archeology in Albania

What is the difference between 'ruins' and 'archeology'? 
Do we have the capacity to distinguish one from the other?
What's a 'ruin' and what's 'archeology'?
Are 'ruins' from a past (even) failed ideology (i.e. Piramida) part of our (heritage) 'archeology', or just urban excess/waste (i.e. entrepreneurial opportunities)?  

When speaking about history and heritage, why do we only mention/condemn the 'contemporary' vandal acts upon the 'physical' or 'visible' presence of history (such as mosaics, houses, monuments, i.e. architectural objects) and not the 'cultural' or 'intangible' heritage they have produced? The same cultural foundations that have birthed and enriched our national legacy?

I am (more) offended and shocked by the fact that these vandal acts (and condemning attitudes that follow) clearly manifest (or depending on your optimism suggest) that cultural heritage has already failed us (or it may have never reached us at all) because how else could we explain such disregard, disrespect and plain abuse of fundamentals that has made Albanians (more often than none) proud patriots?  

Why are we louder in condemning acts upon the physical, visible heritage than the acts themselves as a manifestation/product of our dissipated cultural heritage? An alarming symptom of cultural ruin indeed. So, let's not stop at the disgust we feel about 'those people that destroyed that beautiful amphitheater' but tap into our responsibility (as Albanians and their co-patriots) to (re)educate and make them understand the gravity of their ignorance toward what's left of our national legacy.

What worries me is not only how quick rapid 'transitional' modernity (if we dare call it that) have challenged (a better word would be destroyed) the presence of 'physical' historical heritage, but more so how they have castrated the weight of  their our 'cultural' production. We have failed our historical identity (and consequent national legacy) by paralyzing and even wounding a collective memory (supposedly so rich) dating back to antiquity. 

An unfortunate transitional lasting change: haunted by alienated historical 'ruins' and blinded by the glare of towers that now cover them.

Where do we go from here?

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