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Entry Title: "From Albania with sun"
Franky Verdickt
, Belgium
Category and Expertise: Portfolio-Fine Art, Professional

Entry Description: Albania is located only 45 miles from Italy, and has history dating back to the 4th century B.C., but it is not well known even today. Despite its natural beauty, and recent attempts to lure tourists, a metaphoric dark cloud hangs over Albania, and few foreigners seem eager to visit to discover its charms.

Over the centuries, the land and people have been subject to massive turmoil in politics, economics, wars and culture clashes. After the fall of communism, many native Albanians fled to other countries (notably Italy and Germany) to seek jobs and better living conditions. Yet each summer, hundreds and thousands return to bask in the natural beauty and comforting culture of their homeland.

For this project, photographer Franky Verdickt traveled to popular seaside destinations near the coastal cities of Durrës and Lake Ohrid to document the summertime vacations of Albanians and Kosovars (ethnic Albanians).