Exploring a Diffuse and Unstructured Participatory Action Research Frame: Mourning as a Tool for Social Interposition in Tirana, Albania

Kailey Rocker

Cultural Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA

Arba Bekteshi

Laboratory for Albanian Culture and Arts, Albania

Abstract

This essay reflects on the participatory action research (PAR) project ‘Mourning Cultural Heritage,’ which the authors initiated in response to an urban development campaign in Tirana, Albania. In this project, we placed a series of obituary notices for historic buildings that were altered, lost, or threatened by this campaign on walls around the city. Through a replica of mourning, we attempted to carve out a space to discuss political decision-making around public space and cultural heritage. Our project demonstrates the productive capacity of incorporating fictional and artistic endeavours in applied ethnographic work as well as the possibilities of a diffuse and unstructured PAR practice.

Keywords

Participatory Action Research; Tirana, Albania; Neoliberal Urban Development; Critique Plus; Urban Cultural Heritage

Author contact: kailey.rocker [at] unc.edu; arba.bekteshi [at] gmail.com

Citation: Rocker, K., and Bekteshi, A., 2019. “Exploring a Diffuse and Unstructured Participatory Action Research Frame: Mourning as a Tool for Social Interposition in Tirana, Albania”, Irish Journal of Anthropology, 22(1), 224-237.