From: The Balkanista
Albanian Artist to Participate in Paris Fringe Festival, Online

Albanian artist, Aida Llukaj is taking part in this year’s Paris Fringe Festival. This year, for the first time ever, due to COVID-19 it will take place entirely online.

Aida will be presenting a dance-theatre performance entitled “Turp” (Shame) which features a mix of dance, monologue, poetry, and music. Her work is inspired by what she refers to as “the challenging position of women in Albanian society”.

The piece comprises different scenes that reflect everyday life, but Aida rebels against the society that tries to tear women down and break their spirit. This she says, is due to society being intimidated by their strength and happiness.

Aida told me that her work will demonstrate the conditions of women’s life in Albanian culture and the struggle of existing in a society where men and women do not have equal rights.

“Different scenes are performed through verbal and body language, and these scenes are created from the Albanian reality which shows the everyday position of women. They give up on their dream career because they have to prepare themselves for marriage and to be capable of serving men,” she said.

“The freedom of falling in love, and sometimes, choosing who they marry is still not allowed. Secret love relationships can sometimes end in family massacres.” Aida added.

She also noted the expectation placed on women to radiate external beauty while having no consideration for inner and mental beauty.

“Women are often judged because they smoke. Somehow, if you are female and you smoke, you are not considered morally “right”.

Aida was born in Durres and loved acting and dancing as a child. Her parents wanted her to study medicine but in 2010 she made the choice to follow her heart and pursue a career in the arts. She moved to Italy to study art. Living in Rome for seven years, she finished her degree in Arts and Science of Spectacle at the University of La Sapienza. She then pursued a Master’s degree in Theatre, Fashion, and Digital Arts. Her first public performance was at the age of 20 in a comedy directed by Guido d’Avino.

During her career, she has studied with prominent drama teachers and choreographers, taken part in a number of projects and courses throughout Europe, and used her talent to connect with the young generation and vulnerable members of society.

Viewers will be able to log on and watch all the performances online and for free. There are a total of 20 works included in the festival from countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, India, Belgium, the UK, the USA, and France. With its new, online presence, art lovers can tune in from around the world to watch the shows that are on offer.

The festival will take place over four weekends in June with performances starting each Saturday and Sunday from 2:30pm Paris time. You can find the schedule and instructions on how to stream on their website.

Aida will be live on Sunday 21 June at 17:30 and Sunday 28 June at 19:00.