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3# Elbasan: A Home from Home?

Crossed by river Skumbin, Elbasan is a city at the very center of Albania. Since 2006 it hosts the Skampa International Theatre Festival organised by Albanian Contemporary Theatre Association A.T.K, which never stops expanding its activities to neighbouring cities and to engage with local communities and youth. Discover the festival’s 20th edition, its performances artists and audience, as seen through the eyes of Spyros Andreopoulos – founder and director of Motus Terrae company – who draws a portrait of a place in the sun, struggling for tomorrow.

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During my 12-hour bus trip, I couldn’t help thinking how strange is that I never have visited Albania before and to actually know but a few things about my neighbours. On my arrival I feel tired and excited, eager to discover this new place and its people. What I wouldn’t expect, is that as soon as I would set my foot in the city of Elbasan, at 7am on a Friday, I would engage instantly in a conversation about migration...
A walk in the city centre. A wide street cuts Elbasan in half. The fortress’s ramparts, stretch along a significant part of the main street. A physical border between the old and the new. Past and present intertwined, yet imbalanced, struggling to co-exist...
Romano said that Albanians have a long history of migration and for that reason they understand the concept of the wall… Yet, I feel that there is a great difference between understanding a wall and actually trying to cross it to survive…