Case study presentation

Reviving abandoned heritage into a cultural tourist trail, Dorina Xheraj-Subashi and Inesa Sulaj

The presentation discusses the multiple interpretations and narratives of community memory as a basis of crafting the idea related with the abandoned urban houses in Durrës/Albania. As the urban history of the city and especially the social memory are less explored, this project contributed on the correlation of several urban and heritage elements left apart from the studies of the last century. The project aimed the creation of a new cultural tourist trail, for the sustainability of a new the thematic walk of “The Old Doors Trail” in Durrës.

Elements, from the 19-20 century, were highlighted through their aesthetic patterns combined with emotional narratives of their owners and first hand oral stories from them. They were handy decorated using the crochet and darts techniques, with the purpose of creating new urban city installation and enhancing the importance artisanship. The presentation tackle also the social inclusion of underrepresented women in the creative sector as preservers of transmission of knowledge in art and culture.

Dorina Xheraj-Subashi

Dorina Xheraj-Subashi

MuZEH Lab, Durres, Albania

Dorina, teaches museology in university with particular interest research in education, community engagement and interpretation. Her contributions span with researching in the Western Balkan Countries, as well with developing new approaches how to teaching with collections and interpret museum objects. She has and international and regional network in museum and heritage field, and hold several positions as co-chair of National Committee Working Group in ICOM, in executive boards of ICOM, and act as honorary member for international organization ENCATC.

As museum professional, has been invited and attended many times in international conferences and other professional meetings related with museum and heritage fields.. Dorina has awarded several scholarships and fellowships which has sculptured her professional knowledge in Western Balkan and internationally. She has an extensive contribution in cultural project design and management. She also designs and curate exhibitions on behalf of MuZEH Lab Center, but also delivers and facilitate workshops and trainings in museum educational programs. Her professional layer goes from being either an engaged academic but also activist in museum and heritage expertize profession from more than 10 years.

Dorina is also the Executive Director and co- founder of the non-governmental organization MuZEH Lab, based in Durres, Albania, a museum based approach NGO.

Inesa Sulaj

MuZEH Lab, Durres, Albania

Inesa Sulaj is one of the founders of MuZEH Lab, a non-profit organisation and community centre based in Durrës, Albania. Since opening this organisation, Inesa and her co-founder Dorina Xheraj Subashi have focused on developing community projects in the cultural heritage and museum field. Inesa started her career at the Ministry of Culture in Albania, worked for USA Embassy projects and was also a consultant for different NGOs in Albania. She then received an offer to work as a Museum Educator at the National Gallery of Arts in Albania, the most important figurative art institution in the country. The challenges and limitations she encountered in this institution inspired her to open her own space. While opening MuZEH Lab together with her co-founder, Inesa also completed a Master of Arts for Museum Studies at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Inesa is also the Office Manager for the European Association for Heritage Interpretation/Interpret Europe.

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