VALBONA FLOWS IN SKANDERBEG SQUARE

On May 24, 2018, the Valbona River will flow to Tirana’s Skanderbeg Square, to “protest” against the hydropower constructions threatening 30km of its length. Under attack by a proposed 14 hydropower plants – three of which are already under construction – the Valbona River is one of Europe’s last remaining wild rivers and the heart of Northern Albania’s Valbona Valley National Park. The river protest is an appeal to decision-makers, and primarily to prime minister Edi Rama, to halt construction of hydropower plants in the National Park, to protect the river, the unique ecosystem it supports and the local community that lives within the park.

The concept of the river itself ‘flooding’ the square in protest is preceded by the countless protests organised in Valbona and Tirana to stop the construction of hydropower in the National Park. Also local community is involved in several legal struggles to protect the Park. It was only 10 years ago that the mountain villages in the park opened their isolated community to the world, and the Valbona Valley National Park is now considered to be one of the best outdoors destinations in Europe.

There is a lot at stake, and scientists confirm their concerns. A recent study revealed that 49 European freshwater species would either become extinct or lose 50 to 100% of their Balkan distribution due to cumulative hydropower projects in the region. The proliferation of hydropower should additionally consider climate change: South East Europe faced severe droughts last year, resulting in energy crises. Yet the number of small hydropower plants are constantly increasing, despite risks.

The project is coordinated by TOKA, the NGO leading the campaign against hydropower within the National Park, Catherine Bohne (acting president of the organisation), Andi Tepelena (representative of the independent cultural scene in Albania) and Adelina Stuparu. The project is made possible with financial support from Berlin-based Guerrilla Foundation, Lush UK, and many donors from the Netherlands who contribute financially to small grants administered by the XminY Foundation. Contemporary artist Klodian Dedja has designed a sound and visual installation that will transfer the river symbolically and holographically from the National Park into Skanderbeg Square, to the heart of Albania’s capital.

Come and experience Valbona river at Skandebeg Square! Stand for its protection!

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VALBONA DERGJET NE SHESHIN SKENDERBEJ!

Ne 24 Maj 2018, lumi Valbona do te rrjedhe ne Sheshin Skenderbej ne Tirane, per “te protestuar” kundra ndertimit te HEC-eve qe kercenojne 30 km pergjate tij. Nen sulmin e 14 HEC-eve te planifikuara – 3 prej te cilave jane tashme ne ndertim e siper – lumi Valbone eshte nder te fundit lumenj te eger te mbetur ne Europe, si dhe zemra e Parkut Kombetar te Lugines se Valbones ne veriun e Shqiperise. Protesta eshte nje apel ndaj vendimarresve, ne vecanti ndaj kryeministrit Edi Rama, per te ndalur ndertimin e HEC-eve ne Parkun Kombetar, per te mbrojtur lumin, dhe ekosistemin unik te tij, si dhe komunitetin e banoreve qe jeton aty.

Koncepti i lumit qe pushton sheshin ne shenje proteste eshte i pararendur nga protesta te panumerta te organizuara ne Valbone dhe Tirane per te ndalur HEC-et. Banoret vendas gjithashtu jane te perfshire ne nje sere betejash ligjore per te mbrojtur Parkun. Ishte vetem para 10 vjetesh qe fshatrat malore brenda Parkut u hapen ndaj botes, ndersa Parku Kombetar i Lugines se Valbones konsiderohet tashme si nje nga destinacionet outdoor kryesore ne Europe.

Ka shume elemente ne loje, dhe shkencetaret konfirmojne shqetesimet e tyre. Nje studim i fundit thote se 49 specie europiane qe jetojne ne uje te embel ose do te zhduken ose do te humbin me 50-100% shperndarjen e tyre ne Ballkan, si rezultat i aktivitetit te akumuluar te HEC-eve ne rajon. Shtimi i HEC-eve duhet te marre parasysh gjithashtu ndryshimin klimatik: Europa Jug-lindore u perball me nje sere thatesirash vitin e shkuar, qe rezultuan ne kriza energjitike. E me gjithe keto rreziqe, numri i HEC-eve te vogla po rritet ne menyre konstante.

Projekti i instalacionit koordinohet nga shoqata TOKA, ojf-ja qe po drejton fushaten kundra HEC-eve brenda Parkut Kombetar, nga Catherine Bohne (drejtoresha e organizates), Andi Tepelena (perfaqesues e skenes se pavarur kulturore ne Shqiperi) dhe Adelina Stuparu. Projekti eshte bere i mundur me mbeshtetjen financiare te Guerrilla Foundation te bazuar ne Berlin, Lush UK, dhe shume donatore te tjere nga Hollanda te cilet kontribojne financiarisht ne grantet e vogla te menaxhuara nga XminY Foundation. Artisti bashkekohor Klodian Dedja ka dizenjuar nje instalacion zanor dhe pamor i cili sjell simbolikisht Valbonen nga Parku Kombetar ne sheshin Skenderbej, ne zemren e kryeqytetit shqiptar.

Eja dhe prek lumin e Valbones ne sheshin Skenderbej! Qendro krahe mbrojtjes se tij!

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