17–18 FEBRUARY 2017
Communism through Archival Documents
Workshop with high school history teachers
In the Archives of the People's Party of Albania there are many documents that show various characteristics of communist period in very original and meaningful way. Pieces from "popular discussions" show political culture of that time: reports of the committees and organizations provide information on everyday life and living conditions; Summary of the communist leadership discussions shed light on the organization and culture of governing the state. Many of the phenomena presented in these documents (e.g. the culture of violence, clientelism and corruption, citizen-state relations, etc.) help to understand not only the communist period, but also the post-communist one.
Therefore, IDMC in collaboration with the Association of History Teachers "Youth and History" organized in Tirana a two-day workshop with history teachers of high schools from all over Albania. The aim of the workshop was to discuss through concert examples with the teachers and pedagogy experts how to select and prepare these documents in understandable and valuable form for high school students.
First day the documentary "Memory of a Country that Forgot to Forget" was screened and a discussion about the documentary as a didactic element took place. Participants discussed also about the level of knowledge that young people have about the Albanian dictatorship, followed by a discussion on the importance of using these visual elements in the class.
Second day started with a discussion about communism in the school textbooks. Fatmiroshe Xhemalaj, ambassador of EUROCLIO in Albania, noted the problem on the way this period has been covered in the school textbooks. During the discussion with teachers were pointed out different idea about the supporting materials that can help teacher to attract the youth's attention about the topics that cover the Albanian communist past.
The other part of the day focused on the group discussion of archive documents taken in the former Archive of Albanian Labour Party. In these archive documents were covered topics such as "Repression", "Everyday Life – Popular Discussions" and "State".
Based on the recommendations is intended a booklet with fragments of archive documents, explanations and comments, which can be used by teachers in the future.
More information about the trainers:
Dr. Idrit Idrizi is a researcher at the Academy of Sciences of Austria (Post-Doc-Track program). He studied History and Human Rights and has a PhD in History from the University of Vienna. His research fields are Communism and Memory about Communism in Albania and Southeastern Europe.
Fatmiroshe Xhemalaj is a history expert and ambassador of EUROCLIO. She is one of the initiators of HTA (ALBAN) and former President of HAT. She was Secretary of the Scientific Commission of the History and Geography at MOA-ALBANIA for the approval of the school textbooks, and Secretary of the History Commission for revision of the history textbooks in Albania and Greece.