Memorie.al brings the rare testimony of the famous sculptor, Agim Rada, regarding the early friendship with his friend and colleague, Kristaq Rama, about whom he speaks with sympathy and the opposite about his son, Edin, who once kept him close … “I do not want anything, just let us work quietly”, says the rebellious sculptor about the current prime minister who once had an idol Rada and, in his book, “Reflections”, has written long about him….?!
Agim Rada, who is also the author of the bust of Mit’hat Frashëri that was placed in the hills of Lake Tirana with an official ceremony and that had a harsh reaction from left-wing segments, etc. Mr. Rada has made a short history of his family and personal history, focusing on the relationships and relations he had with his friend and colleague, the sculptor Kritaq Rama, as well as his son, Edin, i who in the 80’s had Rada as an idol and in his book “Refleksione” he wrote at length about her. But this has not flattered Rada at all, who tells about the friendship he had with Edin until 1990, he said that from that time until today, that is, for 30 years that he has not met or did not drink even a coffee with today’s prime minister. For more about this, but also other events and stories from his life, the interview given to Memorie.al informs us.
Continued from the previous issue
Mr. Rada, did you experience this situation badly….?
No, man gets used to it, man is weird and I did not even think that this thing was the end of the world. I thought this is the world, this is how it should be, and I considered it normal. I did not think that I should be the same as an officer boy, that these are not even mentioned in the Politburo, that even if we wanted to, they did not speak to us at all. Later I worked in a flour factory holding bags all day, that the process was such that I had to keep them that the machine that took out those bags did not turn off, What can I say, I did very hard work, but that was the time , this was our destiny.
No, but I shot where there was more money, so I changed jobs. A friend of mine told me; let’s work as a bulldozer helper there at the Brick Factory, come on it gets 7 thousand lek, it was a dream for me to get 7 thousand lek, and I went. Heavy mud, it was raining, colorgano, they said to her who cuts the bricks, she had no end, she wanted raw material, winter and they slipped our feet, we fell with the mug in the mud, what can I say.
With all this hard work you did, back in school you were a good student…?
Good…, but I had a big flaw in school, because there was a subject, Marxism, which you call Philosophy. Do you think that the Philosopher was called to know when he was born e.g. Haxhi Lleshi, or what activity Pilo Peristeri had? I honestly considered these things great shame and could not chew them. Not only could I not chew them, but I also made fun of them. So, I also have with Edin who is prime minister today, since I worked with his father in a small studio, he was young, small and he wanted to stay with me and listen to these jokes I made and laughed. Because, as it were, I was a kind of leader, for humor, for… or more precisely a kind of figure to tell the truth, with courage even risking. I talked so much that many people were impressed and they asked me with a laugh: “O Gimo, weren’t you a spy who would not arrest you”?! I do not know I was telling you, God, the great god has saved me that I did not end up in prison. But apparently for our family he had remained and was cut off from his father’s prison and did not go any further.
You said that at school you did not like Marxism…?
Yes, while in other subjects I was very good and when I gave the competition to continue the Institute of Arts, from Tirana was just a right to study and I won it.
But just like in Lice, also for the Institute of Arts, something happened when you were going to start school….?
Pooo, true. That year when I was going to the Institute, they said that Mehmet Shehu had given an order that no one should escape compulsory military service. And I was shaved and put in the car to send a soldier along with the others, but a miracle happened. He was a Harrilla Dhima, I will never forget him, I even brought his photo here today on the show, which got me out of the car. He passed away, but I am very grateful to him, because he went and captured a great military commander who was a friend of Mehmet Shehu and said to him: “Aman, what are you doing, he won the competition, we have the best of him all competitors ”. So, I got out of the car when I did not even expect it and in those moments, I do not know what joy. Today I say that there is a god who helped me, who would do these deeds if I had gone as a soldier. Also, in addition to prof. Harrilla Dhimo, I remember with great respect, Thoma Thomain, whom I then went out on the street to ask if I had won the competition and he was silent at first and then after his wife said something in his ear, he replied: quiet “. That’s all I wanted and I flew with joy as the path of my life took that direction to where I had set off.
And you found yourself in that school after graduating with high scores…?
Yes, but we have to admit that it was not a real art school, on the contrary it was a military school, a school of dogmas, where our superiors often told us “We do not need an artist, we need a militant”. Artists were not made or produced there; artists were cloned there. I did not consider it and I was not really part of this scheme, so I did not enter the line as easily as the others I watched in amazement as they entered that artist conversion converter. I was rebellious and said what is being done like this, where are they taking us…?!
Were you not afraid that they might accuse you?
Look, I take this opportunity to thank all those students and professors, good friends who have surrounded me with whom I have had the opportunity to be close to them who never accused me and made me not try communist prisons. After I had explosions from time to time and talked a lot…
Inside the Institute you exploded and talked…?
Not within the Institute, no. Out with a group of friends and especially when we drank after the drink, that I drank as they say, to comfort. That I then left the drink very simple and without any problems and that I put it in my mouth. This shows that I was not a drunkard, but I drank it as a means to comfort and lose my mind in a virtual reality.
There were many like that…?
There were some grains in Tirana that we talked all day and did not sell each other. Look, I do not want to be a conformist, because everyone who knows me knows that I am not, but I want to say that the professors of Figurative Arts have been men artists, excellent men, introducing here: Kristaq Rama, Muntaz Dhrami, etc. Let’s not say Kristaq, not Kristaq’s son, I do not need and I am not interested in that job. I worked with Kristaq and if Kristaq had been a spy, I’m telling you, I would be in jail. What I did not say to him and he shouted at me: “Shut up, shut up if I tell you”, so he treated me like his own child.
He treated you like his child…?
Also, Kristaqi was not indoctrinated but sadly by such a man njeri
Were the artists in the spirit…?
I have a special respect for Kristaq, I worked with him and I can never refuse that cheese bread that he toasted on an electric stove and shared with me, that we worked together. So, I have very good memories.
After you finished the school where you were appointed?
Before we finished school, we were taken to defend our diploma and I was taken to Kavaja, to Poçeria. A real horror there, sorry, there was no toilet. In one part of the nearby forest women went for personal needs and in another part men went. Imagine an environment without bathrooms, where the clay that became the pitchers was up to the waist. When I saw those rooms…., Think of coming from the center of Tirana. I was horrified. And I sat on the train tracks as it seemed to me that there, I had a contact with Tirana and I touched them with my hand as if I was making a spiritual connection so my eyes filled with tears. Not only me, but also the children of the communists were taken everywhere in the districts, to Burrel, etc. And I say that thing has been an undeclared internment. This was done so that the youth would not gather together, because the youth thought they would have problems and so they were scattered in the districts where most of them spent their lives there and many girls remained single because they were in the mountains of Puka, Tropoja, Kukës, forgotten places, what can I say, I have met great girls there, the stars of Tirana who remain single forever and returned to the capital from 40-45 years old.
You stayed there for a long time in Kavaja…?
I was sent there for the profession I had finished, but there was no job and I was working as a laborer. But there I was very lucky that they gave me a room and I sat there and, in the afternoon, I made a sculpture of where I was going. While at dinner I drank a bottle of alcohol because I had no TV, no radio or anything. Luckily, I used that time to read, and I read a lot.
So, you had a very good relationship with the book…?
Yes, a lot, I took it out of my mouth and spared no effort for the book. Even when I was at home, since I was little, I read all night and my father, in order to save or not to drive me crazy, was forced to remove the fuse, or the light bulb, after I read it by reading great authors, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, etc. .
We are looking at the monitor a very interesting picture…. Many who are watching it probably do not know who is there…
Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.
Are you on the steps of the University…?
We are on the steps of the Institute of Arts and this tall man is today’s prime minister…
So, on your side is Edi Rama…?
Yes, then Edi helped me get a book that had come to me from abroad and they had it confiscated, because supposedly it did not belong to me but to the state. Book with sculptures by a Serbian author, Ivan Mesovic. And ay helped me. There with my hands I am making humor I am telling how I lied to him where I got the book, saying: I am Agim De Rada. And she said to me: Are you related to De Rada? We are the same trunk, I told her and she got excited and gave me the whole book. Besides Edit, he is also in Germany, he sent me the photo. In the corner is Kuqi, Arjani, a very charming boy.
Everyone is an artist are they there?
Yes, all artists. The middle one with the yellow shirt, has been the bass-baritone at the Opera. On the other hand, we are painters and sculptors. In the corner is Riza Hoxha, painter and lecturer.
Very interesting this old picture…?
Yes really, very interesting. If you look at us all, we are all under 60 kg. as we called it then, “Mathauzen”… or “Auschwitz”.
But weak from misery, malnourished, without vitamins, without carbohydrates, without…. how can a person grow…?!
But why did you change all those jobs, you could not do them…?