In August and September 1976, the Swedish documentary photographer Ann Christine Eek (1948- ) travelled with the Norwegian anthropologist Berit Backer (1947-1993) to the Albanian village Isniq in Kosovo. After several weeks’ stay in this patriarchal society, documenting a traditional culture about to vanish, Backer and Eek returned home with thousands of photographs, numerous notes, and interviews. However, everyday realities, and the tragic death of Berit Backer delayed for many years the book they had planned.
Searching for credible and strong visual expressions, Eek portrays in her photographs the very hospitable Albanians of the village: its women and men, with respect and dignity. Kosovo, until 1974 a Serbian province in Socialist Yugoslavia, was still unknown to the world, and the fate of its Albanian population even more so.
The book closes with a historic survey about the Kosovar Albanians, suppressed for centuries. The photographs of village life, deeply harmed by the 1998-1999 war, has become an important part of the history, and cultural heritage of Kosovo, declaring its independence in 2008.
Ann Christine Eek will give a talk about the project and the book on the Photography Day August 28 at 12:00.