23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Mimoza Ahmeti

The writer, singer and painter Mimoza Ahmeti was born in 1963 in Kruja, northern Albania. She initially studied Albanian Language and Literature, later Stage Writing at the Academy of Art in Tirana and earned an MBA in Information Systems at the Graduate Institute Kurt Bösch in Sion, Switzerland. In 1990 she became a member of the Albanian writer’s union. Since 1994 she has been been a freelance writer and directs the Marin Barleti publishing house. She is also currently earning her doctorate at Sigmund Freud University in Vienna.

Her poems emphasize the priority of the spiritual liberation of people from the political: »Materialistic ideology has made people all the same. They were instrumentalised by politics. All individuality, the infinite variety of facets which make people what they are – it was all destroyed.« Ahmeti’s poetry is characterized by the recurring theme of perception and creation following not ratio, but emotion as a means to truth. Unfulfilled desire, pain and loneliness are not portrayed as negative but rather fueling the development of true individuality – as modus vivendi. This creates a whole distinct language cosmos, that through metaphorical association makes possible a new order of things. Ahmeti’s poetry is an appeal to absolute individuality, far from any kind of standardized thought and life. That way time and again she makes explicit social taboos and complexes.

Due to her radical individual thinking and confident, feminist outlook, she has often been the subject of attacks in the very traditional and patriarchal Albanian society. A deep crisis followed, which she worked through in her novel »Gruaja haluçinante« (2006, tr: The Hallucinating Woman). The woman of the title has tried out various therapies to combat her depression, none of which have helped. »Her body and her soul were two beasts which were torturing each other to death. In order to reconcile them, she expended her energies to the very last.« She wants to fully immerse herself in life and loses herself in countless love affairs. In haunting and expressive prose Ahmeti describes the despair of this mysterious woman, not just limiting herself to her psyche, but also considering the realities of a modern patriarchal society.

Ahmeti has published many collections of poetry, as well as short stories and another novel »Arkitrau« (1993, tr: Cross-beam). Her books have been translated into Italian, French, English and German. Ahmeti lives with her family in Tirana.

© international literaturefestival berlin


Marin Barleti
Tirana, 1993

Marin Barleti
Tirana, 1994

Pjalmimi i luleve
Tirana, 2002

Otto Müller
Salzburg, 2009
[Ü: Andrea Grill]