Vangjush Vëllahu

Fragments (I), 2015 - 2018


6 Channel Video Installation (for specifications to each video see below)


This series of videos document the present situation of a few unrecognized states and serve as historical testimonials that are part of the development of forgotten traces. The collective drama is not only a trace left on people’s experience but also a trace left on the architecture. Architectural constructions such as buildings are one of the main topics of this work, since they embed memories and at the same time their image is an embodiment of the war. This buildings show memories of a political system, memories of people who lived inside and simultaneously contain within their physical structure the passing of time and vandalism. Being an iconic image of the war for the people that live on those places, the buildings represent simultaneously the development of the place in the socio-political context. Experiencing in a literally real dimension in these regions makes one to see differently, and also judge from a different point of view. The videos show a narrative and simple message namely the historical context of these territories and the problems that occur in the present and are part of an installation that resembles the destroyed surroundings of the quasi states.


There are numerous examples of states which declared themselves as being de facto but even so in most of the cases, they face the fact that if they don’t achieve the independence they would be forced to turn back under the sovereignty of the ‘parent’ state. This happens when a de facto republic fail to get international recognition or an external patron. Nowadays, this phenomenon remains a problem considering that most of the governments that are against this process. A multitude of countries are composed by multi-ethnic groups that could take the example of the actual de facto states and declare themselves independent. Therefore, it remains a very sensitive subject and a topic that is often seen as being pointless even in the recent years.


As Fredrik Barth indicates, in systems that contain more ethnic groups “interaction between members of the different groups of this kind does not spring from the complementarity of ethnic identities; it takes place entirely within the framework of the dominant, majority group’s statuses and institutions, where identity as a minority member gives no basis for action, though it may in varying degrees represent a disability in assuming the operative statuses.” In a Pluralism is not easy to maintain a balance as long as ethnic groups are result of particular historical, economic and political circumstances. As can be seen, the unrecognized states are a phenomenon without a solid solution that could improve this situation which normally provoke dissensus between countries and more than this, generate real conflicts. The unrecognized states are rather left into the shadow as long as their existence doesn’t threaten the international security.

Abkhazia after, Vangjush Vellahu Varosha a silent town, Vangjush Vellahu

Abkhazia After, 2015-16

Varosha, a silent town, 2016

Agdam, Vangjush Vellahu

Agdam, 2016

Trans'nistria, 2016-17

At the edge of Tskhinvali, 2017

Field of Blackbirds, 2017