Urban Places and the Narrative of the Supreme Power
Keywords:Urban space, fake narratives, propaganda, communist regime
During the totalitarian era (1944–1991), urban space was used as an “arena” in which to demonstrate the absolute power of the communist regime. Some important structures were built; others were destroyed; new names were given to streets or even cities, to create a new identity for the urban areas. Urban locations (the Pyramid of Enver Hoxha, the Dajti hotel, the building of the Central Committee, etc.), became symbols of fear and admiration, because of their strong association with the supreme political power. Contemporary novels such as Ferri i çarë (The Hell is Broken), Në kohën e britmës (In the Time of the Scream) by Visar Zhiti, The Successor, The Daughter of Agamemnon by Ismail Kadare, Loja, shembja e qiellit (The Game, the Fall of the Sky), etc., make urban places the epicenter of a dramatic relationship between man and the totalitarian power. The main goal of this paper is to analyze the correlation between transformations that happened in urban spaces during the communist era (1945–1990) and the implementation of the ideological project of the “New Man”. A thorough text analysis of Albanian novels is used to interpret the re-designation of the cities, as part of a political program, by which urban landscapes, literature, and art were transformed into mere ideological means through which the communist new word was proclaimed. These transformations became symbolic signs of a tragic time, where man became God (in the new atheist context), and the urban space became the temple, and where fear and obedience were sowed together with fake narratives related to urban identity.
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