The “Moving Albania” series by Belgian photographer Frederik Buyckx

Travel in Albania is always exhausting and long. This is normal.

These pictures were truly an exciting discovery for me. At first, they looked like they were taken years ago, but the sad reality is that they are as fresh and brutal as ever!

If you’ve ever visited Albania, as a foreigner, then obviously you have seen the ever expanding city limits and countless buildings, big and small, but as soon as you move to the outskirts of major cities like Tirana, Durres, Shkodra, etc., then immediately you are faced with another reality, that as per these pictures, looks and is much harsher and difficult to comprehend. Nevertheless, it’s that!

The contrast between the rich and the poor has been widening for years now and these pictures remain a true testimony to that unchanging fact.

As I browse through them, my first impression is that of Albania during communism, as much as I can remember it. But I cannot escape the fact that it is still very real for Albanians today.

As far as I can tell, most of these pictures were taken in the north of Albania. (original link here)

According to a recent graphic representation of the energy map of Albania, families in the north represent a 50% or less margin of customers who actually pay for the electricity that they consume. In other words, for the most part they are so poor, that they cannot even afford (or do not want) to pay for their electricity bills.

Meanwhile, in my personal perspective and association with past experiences, these pictures remind me of things like: