Having arrived in Shkup/Skop(l)je in Macedonia after a six hour drive and finding myself on the film set of an advertisement for telecom company Plus (one day I’ll make a post with all the advertisements my friends have played in; I’m surrounded daily by the faces of Plus, Vodafone, and Eagle Mobile), I thought of updating you a bit on the ever developing Albanian nationalist tidbits… Recently I saw a videoclip entitled “Gjaku im” (“My Blood”), which was specifically made for the 100th anniversary of the Albanian independence, yet another fine work of propaganda (check also the videoclip of Aleanca Kuqezi). The video reminded me of an old cartoon I had seen from the period that Albania was fighting for its national integrity and identity. We find the maiden Albania, her right arm Shkodra (in the north) under attack by the monkey of Montenegro, whereas the left arm Janina (in the south, now in Çamëria in Greece) threatened by the Greek panther, while the Serbian snake is entangling her feet. “Keep these bloodsucking beasts away from me!” the caption says.
The celebratory video delivers essentially the same message, though without the explicit discursivity of the cartoon, and without an immediate identification of the culprits with different countries. We find a chained girl representing Albania, surrounded by a cast of vampiric creatures. We find an old king/god (Zeus?) holding her captive, an evil witch, ginger kids. In comes the hero (this is where the video continues at the point the cartoon leaves us), the maiden grows wings, and in a teratological finale (Red Bull?!) she kills her captors by flapping her wings. “Don’t be afraid if you grow slowly, but just think that you’re growing,” the final quote says. So much for expanionism!