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The Art-Kontakt Festival is expected to attract thousands of people this weekend in the Porto Palermo Castle, with a mixture of music and modern art inspired by the global economic crisis.
|Artist performing during the 2007 edition of the festival | Photo courtesy of Art-Kontakt|
“This is an event that has everything from art, music, cultural tourism and heritage in the stunning bay of Porto Palermo,” said Andi Tepelena, the executive director of Art-Kontak and curator of the festival.
“The central theme of the festival is the global economic crisis, various perceptions, doubts and questions derived from it,” he added.
This is the second edition of the festival held at the triangular-shaped 19th century castle.
Telepna notes that while the first edition had a more local feel and it aimed to promote the castle’s cultural heritage through modern art, this year’s edition will explore more contemporary themes.
“Albanian and foreign artists will exhibit their perspectives on the crisis from their own countries,” he said.
The three-day festival, which is held from August 9-12, will feature variety of works including video installations and photography, accompanied by a wide range of musical performances.
The Art-Kontakt festival is one the few summer festivals being held this year because public funding from the Ministry of Culture has been redirected towards festivities for Albania’s 100-years of independence in the autumn.
Tepelena stated that the keys for the festival’s survival are private donors and, most importantly, the artists.
“It’s a creative format and is based on the passion of the artists that are exhibiting, which work without being paid,” he said. “We, as an organization, are only creating the infrastructure,” Tepelena explained.
He underscores, however, that the absence of assistance from the Ministry of Culture is unjustified because of the promotional value of the festival, not only for the cultural heritage site where the event is being held, but also for the Albanian Riviera as a whole, which is as a tourist destination.
“This is the only summer festival that has survived this year and promotes the whole southern coast,” Tepelena said.
“It’s good promotion for the area, not only for the crowds that it will draw, but also as a break from folkloric art, showcasing the more modern spirit of the country,” he concluded.
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