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Early Photography in Albania

 
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The Photo Collection
of Thimi Raci
Deutsch | Shqip

Dardha in southeast Albania
1918 — 1952

Thimi Raci (1886-1966) was an Albanian photographer who was active in the 1920s and 1930s in his native village of Dardha, situated in the mountains of southeastern Albania near Korça. He was born in Dardha where he attended a Greek-language elementary school. At the age of fifteen, he emigrated to Romania in search of work, as did many young Albanians from that region at the time. On his return to Albania, he worked as a tinsmith in Korça before moving back to his village. He learned the art of photography from Pero Kaçauni who emigrated to the United States in 1910 and left Thimi his camera and material. By 1911 there was a shop in Dardha bearing the sign "Thimi Ratsi - Tinsmith and Photographer". Raci's photos are conventional for the most part as one would expect - mostly family portraits, weddings, children and social events in and around the village. However, if we bear in mind that the only other photographers in Albania were in the towns of Shkodra and Korça, one cannot fail to be impressed by his spirit of enterprise. Surprising for the outside observer is the high level of prosperity, social progress and westernization that one encounters here in the village of Dardha when one realizes how poor, backward and "oriental" the rest of the country was at the time. Thanks go to Adriana Stefani Kuruni and Vaskë Bruko, as well as to Albanian photography expert Qerim Vrioni for making this photo collection available.

Thimi Raci THR001: Dardha: Portrait of women (Photo: Thimi Raci, ca. 1926-1935). THR002: Dardha: Pupils at the village school (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1918). THR003: Dardha: Villagers at harvest time (Photo: Thimi Raci, 16 August 1926). THR004: Dardha: Couples in the snow (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1931). THR005: Dardha: Four children (Photo: Thimi Raci, ca. 1930-1938). THR006: Dardha: Aerial view of the village (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1935). THR007: Dardha: Village school and Orthodox church (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1934). THR008: Dardha: Young women making tablecloths on their Singer sewing machines (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1 June 1927). THR009: Dardha: Group portrait with an Orthodox priest (Photo: Thimi Raci, ca. 1926-1935). THR010: Dardha: Group of men and boys making music (Photo: Thimi Raci, ca. 1930-1935). THR011: Dardha: Five women (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1930s). THR012: Dardha: Group of men out hiking (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1920s). THR013: Dardha: The wedding of Thimi Zengo (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1926). THR014: Dardha: The wedding of Fani Ktona (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1930). THR015: Dardha: The wedding of Petraq Pani (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1934). THR016: Dardha: A village wedding (Photo: Thimi Raci, ca. 1935). THR017: Dardha: The wedding of Pandi Zengo (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1936). THR018: Dardha: The wedding of Jorgji Zengo (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1937). THR019: Dardha: The Blessing of the Waters at Epiphany, first view (Photo: Thimi Raci, January 1939). THR020: Dardha: The Blessing of the Waters at Epiphany, second view (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1930s). THR021: Dardha: Villagers and pupils gathered in front of the schoolhouse for the national holiday (Photo: Thimi Raci, 28 November 1937). THR022: Dardha: Women in a line doing their traditional Dardha Dance (Photo: Thimi Raci, 16 August 1936). THR023: Dardha: Women in a line doing their traditional Dardha Dance (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1951). THR024: Dardha: Pilgrimage to the Church of St Constantine in Bradvica (Photo: Thimi Raci, 3 June 1936). THR025: Dardha: Pilgrimage to the Church of St Constantine in Bradvica (Photo: Thimi Raci, June 1937). THR026: Dardha: Villagers in the early communist period (Photo: Thimi Raci, 1952). simple jquery lightboxby VisualLightBox.com v5.9

 

Die Fotosammlung des Thimi Raci
English | Shqip

Dardha in Südostalbanien 1918 — 1952

Thimi Raci (1886-1966) war ein albanischer Fotograf aus dem südostalbanischen Bergdorf Dardha, nicht weit von Korça. Er besuchte eine griechische Grundschule im Dorf und zog im Alter von fünfzehn, wie viele seine Freunde und Verwandten, nach Rumänien, um dort Arbeit zu suchen. Nach seiner Rückkehr nach Albanien war er einige Zeit in Korça als Kesselflicker tätig. Das Fotografieren lernte Thimi Raci von Pero Kaçauni, der 1910 nach Amerika auswanderte und dem jungen Thimi seine Fotoausrüstung hinterließ. Im folgenden Jahr gab es in Dardha ein kleines Geschäft, auf dem stand: "Thimi Ratsi - Kesselflicker und Fotograf". Racis Fotos sind von der Thematik her erwartungsgemäß eher konventionell - meistens Familienporträts, Fotos von Hochzeiten und Kindern sowie Aufnahmen von Dorffesten usw. Wenn einem aber bewusst wird, dass es zu seiner Zeit in Albanien nur in den Städten Shkodra und Korça Fotografen gab, kann man über seinen Geist als Unternehmer nur staunen. Auffallend in seinen Aufnahmen ist eine für Albanien damals ungewöhnliche Atmosphäre von Fortschritt und Wohlstand, die einem hier in und um Dardha begegnet. Wir sind in Zusammenhang mit dieser Präsentation Frau Adriana Stefani Kuruni und Herrn Vaskë Bruko sowie dem albanischen Fotografiefachmann Herr Qerim Vrioni dankbar, die uns ermöglicht haben, diese Sammlung vorzustellen.

 

Koleksioni fotografik i Thimi Racit
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Dardha në vitet 1918 — 1952

Thimi Raci (1886-1966) ishte një fotograf shqiptar i cili punoi kryesisht në vitet '20 dhe '30 në fshatin Dardhë afër Korçës. Raci lindi në fshat ku ndoqi një shkollë greke. Në moshën 15-vjeçare emigroi në Rumani për punë, si shumë shqiptarë të atyre zonave. Pas kthimit në Shqipëri punoi teneqexhi në Korçë para se të kthehej në fshat. Mjeshtërinë e fotografit e mësoi nga Pero Kaçauni, i cili emigroi në Amerikë në vitin 1910 dhe i la Thimit të gjitha pajisjet e fotografimit. Një vit më vonë, në fshatin Dardhë kishte një dyqan me tabelën "Thimi Ratsi - teneqexhi dhe fotograf". Për sa u përket temave, fotografitë e Thimi Racit janë të zakonshme - kryesisht portrete familjesh, fëmijë, dasma dhe foto të ngjarjeve të fshatit, mirëpo në rast se mbahet parasysh se në gjithë Shqipërinë e asaj kohe kishte fotografë vetëm në Shkodër dhe në Korçë, mahnitemi nga kontributi i jashtëzakonshëm i Thimi Racit. Vëzhguesi i kujdesshëm do të habitet gjithashtu për nivelin e lartë të mirëqenies, të progresit shoqëror dhe të ndikimit perëndimor që shfaqet në fotografitë e Dardhës po të krahasohen me pjesën më të madhe të Shqipërisë së Mesme dhe të Veriut, ende e varfër, e prapambetur dhe orientale në atë kohë. U jemi mirënjohës Zonjës Adriana Stefani Kuruni dhe Zotit Vaskë Bruko si dhe ekspertit të fotografisë Qerim Vrioni për mundësinë e prezantimit të këtij koleksioni.

 

 

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