Institute for Democracy, Media and Culture (IDMC) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Authority for Information on Documents of former State Security, Central State Archives and OSCE Presence in Albania organized on 13-14 September 2018 "Reporting on the SIGURIMI Files & Researching in Archives" workshop. This is the second time IDMC organizes this workshop. The aim is to raise awareness of the society, in particular of the journalists, students and young researchers about the role of the archives in dealing with the dictatorship past.

The activity was opened by the director of IDMC, Dr. Jonila Godole, who emphasized the attention that should be shown when archival files are interpreted, as often "the information provided may be untrue, so we must be skeptical of accessing archive files". Godole said that 27 years after the collapse of communism there are still events and crimes that young generations do not know about. In addition, she encouraged the participants in the workshop to do as much research as possible.

The activity was greeted on behalf of AIDSSH by Mr. Simon Mirakaj, member of this institution, who emphasized for the participants the importance of knowing the past in order to prevent repeating what happened 50 years ago. The activity was also greeted by Mrs. Nevila Nika, former director of Central State Archives (AQSH), who emphasized the importance of referencing archival sources, in particular in study research.







Participants in this activity had the opportunity to be trained by local and foreign experts on how to access archives. Mrs. Dagmar Hovestädt, workshop trainer introduced them to the history of creating and opening STASI files, and brought the German experience of reporting on these files. Young people were offered a comparative approach to opening Sigurimi and STASI files. They learned also about the model of administering these files.

The difficulties and challenges of establishing the Authority for Information on Documents of former State Security and opening the files were addressed by Mrs. Ornela Arapi, specialist of study/media applications at AIDSSH. She addressed the issues in detail and assisted the participants in the formulation of certain topics. Thus young people worked in concrete examples. Other member of the AIDSSH, Mr. Altin Hoxha and Mr. Skender Vrioni responded to the questions young people had about the process which started since 2015.

Present at the workshop was also Mr. Ardit Bido, Director of the Archives Directory. Mr Bido explained for the participants the difference between "open archives", such as the Central Archive, and "semi-closed archives" as AIDSSH. Mr. Erblin Vukaj, journalist and researcher at IDMC, shared with the participants his experience of researching in archives and introduced young people to examples of media coverage with ethical problems in publishing unauthorized archival documents.

Part of this workshop was also a study visit at AIDSSH offices, offering thus to young people the opportunity to get acquainted with concrete files for the first time. During this study visit under the direction of the Director of Archives at AIDSSH, Ardiana Topi, but also other specialists in this institution, the young people were introduced to the work process in this institution and concrete steps how to report on the files.





Institute for Democracy, Media & Culture








Konrad Adenauer Foundation

OSCE Presence in Albania

Central State Archives

Authority for Information on Documents of former State Security

Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Crimes in Eastern Germany



Venue: Tirana Hotel, Onufri Hall / Address: Skanderbeg Square, Tirana

Contact: Erblin Vukaj, workshop coordinator, IDMC

Matilda Karçanaj, project coordinator, IDMC



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