The Colored Democracy of Edi Rama: Art and Beauty as Forms of Political Action

  • Abstract:

    Can art and beauty be the starting point for a process of urban regeneration and construction of a collective identity, lost in sad historical and political events? Edi Rama thinks so. Rama, first an artist, second the mayor of Tirana and last the Prime Minister of Albania, chose the color, art and beauty as devices to renew the hope among his people and he was right. Through this policy of the arts Edi Rama has been able to give new life to Tirana: citizens, surrounded by beauty, feel now safer and they have found their civic identity as well as they have developed a strong sense of belonging to the urban community. This issue does not involve installations of commemorative monuments in public areas of the city, but it concerns instead a wise use of color to bring life to the buildings and it aims to a total rethinking of the city spaces. The Edi Rama’s motto is “take back your city with paint”, because, he says, the color is not only art, but a form of political action. These interventions, Rama says, “do not have children fed, cared for the sick or instructed the uneducated,” but give hope and light, helps people to understand that it can be possible to live in a different way.