The Bow Wake [Vala e Harkut], 2019, 77min

During a Felix Gonzalez-Torres travel grant in Albania (2017-18) I worked with and documented two LGBTQIA+ communities in Albania: the Burrnesha and the Alliance against Discrimination of LGBTQ an activist organization started by Xheni Karaj, based in Tirana.

The Bow Wake [Vala e Harkut], 2019 is constructed as both a two-channel installation and as a feature length film to illustrate connections and tensions between these communities, as well as a larger portrait of Albania and the cities and people I visited. The film addresses complex issues surrounding expressions and perceptions of gender across cultures and histories. The investigation into the lives of Lali and Xhenifer is an endeavor that requires a persistent yet delicate approach, particularly as the film hones in on such an intimate and contentious subject. The juxtaposition of footage in the format of a two-channel video invites viewers into a nuanced, intercultural dialogue.

This work won the Tim Disney Excellence in Storytelling Prize, 2019.
Watch an excerpt of the film here.