Lana – A Portrait

In 2015, philologist Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei and photographer Marco Mazzi spent two weeks creating a psychogeography of the river Lana, which runs from east to west through Tirana, the capital of Albania. First canalized during the Italian occupation of Tirana and a product of “rational” urban design, this delapidated highway of waste water originates among islands of plastic debris beyond Ali Demi, slices the city in half, forming the horizontal axis that crosses the vertical Bulevardi i Deshmorët e Kombit, to then return to its “natural” riverbed near the Ring, where it encounters Rruga e Kavajës. It is cut off from main pedestrian areas by two main traffic arteries, thus creating a half-sunken, almost quiet paradise of concrete, topiaries, and used tissues, an open sewer masking as city park.