By Fadil Paçrami
Memorie.al / What is prison? It is the place where those who have been sentenced to deprivation of liberty are kept, we would say by reading any dictionary. But that is little. Prison and freedom – two opposites. Previously: what is freedom? In short: to be free means to do what you want, to think and act as you wish in the exercise and fulfillment of your freedoms and rights, as a person and as a citizen, but always without harming and violating others. . Again: to think and act. We are talking about democratic freedoms, from those of speech, press, assembly and organization in various parties and associations, ensuring the conditions where ideas, requests and human wills can find expression and concretization, from those of the biological-related plan with the being itself, to those of the social plan, related to the ways of living.
Continues from last issue
A WRITING THAT WAS NOT PUBLISHED…!
(Reply to a friend, during a conversation)
This article was sent for publication in “Drita” – October 1991, but for a while it was delayed, because the newspaper did not come out because there was no paper, so in January 1992 I withdrew it. One of the many friends and comrades whom I met when I got out of prison, after you had come to me twice, came to me these days as well. While I was sitting, he suddenly addressed me: “today I did not come like the other times”. I looked at him somewhat surprised and asked him: what happened to you?! “Nothing to me – he cut me short, – but I have come to fight with you”.
I laughed. Why? And he began.
HE: – I have noticed that you go out a little, I don’t see you in clubs and cafes, rarely even in the meetings that are held. The prison life and the loneliness there have affected you so much, how much are you unlearning?
(I noticed that he had it all on his mind, he’s one of those people who doesn’t mince his words and doesn’t slack off when he’s being ridden, even insisting on his. I had to have a conversation with him, which lasted quite a while. )
ME: – I have work, so I’m busy, I don’t have free time, I don’t even know where to find it. Finally, the few years I have left, I want to use them to once again go through what I wrote in prison – they are too much, to empty that load – a kind of impregnation, which I feel weighs me down. So it is not about someone who is influenced and uneducated. Up to 10 hours a day, I call them necessary for work, this regime I have adhered to for years. It is possible that I am exaggerating, as it is possible that you are not right, with this remark of yours. I will think about it though. We’ll leave it at that: time will tell.
(He didn’t obey and contradicted me. But he had his, I had mine. “You’ve been on your own, all your life”, – with these words, it seemed to me that he closed it, but no. Right away I realized that I didn’t express an opinion of his own.)
HE: – But from political life, why do you stay as an aside, away from the parties? And when, today?! Now that everyone is dealing with politics, the others – both creativity and scientific work, are somehow left aside. You different, I don’t understand you?!
ME: – It is related to the first one, what I talked about above. I see, I still do not convince you, it seems, I need to explain a little longer:
– I have expressed myself since the first days – I thought about it since I was in prison. As far as political parties are concerned, I prefer to remain independent, because I call this a condition for maintaining freedom of thought and redeemed relations with interlocutors. Even from a disappointment that the past left me.
I am, and I want to repeat, in these coordinates: outside the parties, but not indifferent, not even in the shadows – a voice in support of the benefits of basic freedoms, human rights and the democratization of the country’s life; a voice also against, as they contradict these. It is understood, as much as possible and depending on the developments of the time.
I value freedom very much, so I also want to emphasize that for creators in the field of letters and arts, it is a necessity. This conviction crystallized and came to me, being reinforced in prison, where at a glance, as I have treated in an interview given to the press, “I felt myself freer and more independent than “I was before” (I am not exaggerating and I pray that it is not taken as a paradox: freer in prison than outside it?!
Yes, because I had nothing else to lose from this). How things went, after 73, when with the infamous 4th Plenum of the Central Committee, free thought was drowned even more, fear numbed the minds and wills of people even more, the totalitarian regime struck everywhere, how often, I cried for the trouble of my friends, who I knew did not agree with what was happening, they were struggling inside, everything that was bothering them, they were suffering so much in silence.
– I have no aspirations in the political field, nor any claims. With this, I want to calm everyone’s selfishness, because I am with the one who should take the fate of the country into the hands of the youngest, as the most capable, cleanest and most energetic – for which I have always been and quite a few accusations have been made against me, related to the “generation theory”. Second, for years – since before I went to prison, I have devoted myself more and more to creativity and less to political engagement – for which, as you know, I have been criticized several times at that time.
Now I stick to them even more. Leaving something behind – an ambition, this is somewhat instinctive of man, someone aims at inheritance through the birth of children, others with a good name and memory, those that benefit people and the country, some even in a political career (excluding newcomers and matrapazis, who are not absent in these spheres); while creators in the literary field and people of science in their fields, that’s enough for them.
HE: – Good, good, but isn’t this also a kind of selfishness, at the same time, and an avoidance of the obligation that every person has today towards the society of the country, in these historical times that we are going through? (What should I do, the challenge was open, I couldn’t pass it in two or three words. So, I stayed. I told him what I thought about the events in progress, which I will try to summarize below.)
ME: – The democratization processes have just started, they must be deepened and taken further. They are now irreversible and unstoppable.
The totalitarian socialism of the Stalinist type failed everywhere in the countries of the East; it was also overthrown here. Deep and accelerated changes are expected in economic, state and institutional structures, mindsets and remnants from the past, those of legality, etc. The obstacles are big, the road is not paved at all, on the contrary…! It takes courage, clarity, knowledge and persistent work, with defined objectives. Decisive here is the struggle, and the all-round activity of political parties, those that are and others in formation, legislative, executive and judicial bodies, all layers of the population, groups and social categories.
There are many ways and means
– There are opinions that everything starts with the changes in the structure, as there are others, that the attention will focus on the stability of the economy and its transformation, hence the changes in the structure. Moleksen here the issues of order, social problems passing this stage, with as little pain as possible. The steps that have been taken and have been put on the road – with the economic reform for the transition to the market economy, privatization, the introduction of production capacities of various spheres, the liberalization of prices, etc., and the relevant legislation – are promising.
The job is: to walk without stopping, without extremism and with perspective programs. Both time and today’s developments, at the end of the century, have brought out the all-Albanian national issue in the sharpest way. A century ago, as you know, it happened to us: either Albania will become independent, or it won’t and…! The solution was not complete: it was done, and the country was divided into two.
The case remained open. He was trampled, he was left in silence, he came out and came out again, there was also betrayal. Together with the democratization of the country in the mother Albania, today’s developments in Kosovo – the nationwide movement for freedom and democracy, the declaration of the republic and the referendum, for this, put the issue of the nation’s unity back on the agenda, for a complete solution of final, but this time, more forcefully, like something delayed, that no longer holds.
(I must emphasize that the opinions here were agreed. We both noted the lack of a unique strategy and some non-open and less clear party positions and, of special persons who catch the eye from time to time, should be overcome.)
HE: – Come back to where I started – here are the developments and dynamics of events, they require more concrete commitments to talk about.
ME: – Where do you leave me! I also explained to them, I think. I’m not saying that everyone should do this, nor do I think so. (After he asked some supplementary questions and remarks, we managed to understand each other, at least he didn’t contradict me. I don’t know if I could clearly express everything that was on my mind. I don’t pretend that they are like this and not otherwise. I said that I would leave it at that, but no – continued)
HE: – You talked to me there before about the years in prison, I want to ask a question: how do you think today about being put in prison and being held for so long?
ME: – More precisely, it’s not one, but two questions, but they are related… We talked about this once, I don’t understand where it’s going?!
HE: – Simply: why was it necessary?
ME: – For the first one, to be honest, I didn’t think it would go that far. You ask why? I have also asked this question and not only for myself. But I quickly gathered my mind: dictators are like that, try to face them! And every time I was in a bad situation, I repeated to myself, finding strength, these verses of the wise man Luigj Gurakuqi:
“Except for a lofty goal I ban you with patience
and strengthens the heart
Among the objections, he did not give up
woe to him who does not endure”!
Is that enough for you? Wait! I want to add something. Passing through those labyrinths of cells, during the investigation and afterwards of the infamous Burrell prison, under those torturous physical and mental pressures, I often thought that many others passed through those tunnels and I was sorry, why I didn’t know what happened inside them!
Deep down I even blamed myself for this. From then on, this made me not to remain silent, but I wrote several times to those in power, so that they would not say tomorrow that they knew nothing about those injustices, illegal actions and the regime of terror of those years. Serious as all that happened, which must be recognized, accepted and corrected. This is a request and a call, that this must be done by everyone – the state and society, and those who, to one extent or another, bear the burden of what happened so wildly and ugly.
– For the second, it is worth clarifying that I got out of prison with the last decree of the President of the People’s Assembly (just two weeks before the elections of March 31, 1991) for the release of political prisoners, which was announced under the pressure of newly created political parties and voters in mass rallies within the country, as well as pressures from abroad.
On the other hand, the fact that; in the decree announced in the press, the word “pardon” was used and not “release”, according to the law also “innocence”? No, it’s the same.
Victims are not forgiven, but these can be forgiven. They are released or declared innocent and they are asked to apologize publicly, which the rulers at that time did not do, they did not have that courage. This is how I expressed myself before, as much as was said, that he does not agree to be released from prison with a pardon. As if it wasn’t enough, all that had been done and taken away from prison cells, hellish labor camps and deportations, but this insult had to be given to them, being told: go now, get out, we have forgiven you! But it must be accepted that laws have been violated, crimes have been committed.
(I saw that he was touched here and gave me the right, he listened attentively, he still wanted to know and burst out all the rage, more than I did. He asked me for forgiveness for the teasing he did to me, but he did not give up his).
HE: – He still insists. As you spoke to me, they convince me even more than they should, to get out of that somewhat narrow circle, that’s what I think. You talk to me about the creative work and that you got into it, but isn’t this, an enclosure within a sphere, a bit like being tight for time?
ME: – No, why? It’s not like that – creativity, I also think about scientific work, are not narrow spheres at all, on the contrary. Since you teased me, let me explain:
– I have noticed from the conversations I have had the chance to have, with various friends and colleagues, that little attention is paid to creative work – which is also noticeable in the literary press, publications, theater stages, etc. The prevailing opinion is that now is a different time – everyone and everything is devoted to politics. There is also a re-steppe. It is often asked, not without concern, by the authors themselves, from the most well-known ones, not without malice, even by those who themselves have contributed nothing and want to excuse themselves, blaming others, regarding the creativity up to now: what will be left, what is not?
Others say that they need a period of reflection and meditation, which may even last a while, until they recover. Some of the elderly seem to have no time left to gain what they lost. Young people are searching to position their individualities. A certain dullness also causes gossip, with doses of nihilism and revenge, which even reach slander and insults for specific people. I call all this pointless, how long will we continue like this? Dictatorship bequeathed us such mindsets and practices, to throw them away as soon as possible, this is required of us and we must do it.
How? Letting go of excessive words, shouting, waiting, reluctance, excuses and getting down to business.
– I am of the opinion that before creativity, open fields without sides and historical burdens fall. I will try to argue. Do we say that the country, society and people – these are also our objects as creators – are going through a deep economic, political, moral, conscience, faith, intellectual, etc. crisis today. The period of dictatorship, with its feats and duration, left great traumas. If they were to appear, in the external views of man, in the face and body, we would face a blacksmith. However, the traumas in question are psychic, internal, not visible. In order not to be long, I am reading something from an article that I published there before and then we continue, (I got up, took a newspaper “Voice of Youth” that I had in my file and started reading): “It belongs to the writers of artists, I think, more than anyone to trace, discover and treat them by raising them to art.
This is… and it can be done, outside of any recipe or dictate, one of the endless promising fields from which many topics, events, situations and complex characters, conflicts and sharp psychological, moral and ethical analyzes with multi-dimensional messages can be stimulated. , waiting for the artist’s hand, belong to his sphere. Of course, in addition to traumas, various crises, disappointments, sufferings, loves and hates, other properties with the most qualitative human characteristics for tomorrow live and are born. We have here an incessant, even explosive intermingling and struggle, of good with evil, of fear with courage, of protest with submission, of virtue with vice, of wickedness with goodness, of honesty with meanness, etc., etc. What more than these, would the writer and artist want? So, let’s not cry tomorrow for what we didn’t do. This is an opinion, perhaps worth discussing”.
HE- I heard you, I understand. I can’t get ahead of you in this area, but I didn’t have a say here.
ME: – Dale, wait… since I’m in my waters, I wanted to stop a bit: – About the crisis of conscience. We all feel this, in one way or another, as creators. So, it is presented as complex, obviously with feelings of guilt from everyone, who more and who less. The whole country is experiencing a cleansing process, from a past that burdened it so much. Everything, therefore, boils around us and in ourselves – in human souls. Is there a wider and more prosperous field, at the same time with many unknown and unexpected for tracking, research and discoveries than this for creators, from where a wealth and an infinite variety of topics, overloaded with very processes, originate and can be taken explosive? Human dramas, conflicts and contradictions, shocking events and complex characters, we have them everywhere, with different sizes and colors. This is a very charged state, quite special and interwoven with spiritual wounds, disappointments, passions and stresses, dreams and hopes. A world in turmoil, another in the making. Memorie.al
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