In northern Albania, a handful of villages live in a suspended time and space, outside the time and space of contemporaneity. The life and death of its dwellers is marked by the ancient rules of the Kanun, an ethical code handed down orally for centuries and fixed in writing only at the beginning of the twentieth century. Among these, an atavistic law according to which an offense of the blood, that is a murder, can be washed away only through the sacrifice of another life. It is the principle underlying the feud mechanism, also known elsewheere, which here takes on a tragic twist when it involves children: since the house is considered a sacred and inviolable place, the children of families who according to the Kanun should pay their tribute of blood are forced to an existence confined to their homes, as going out would mean exposing themselves to the risk of being killed.
Keti Stamo, a psychologist and director of Albanian origins, explored the history of these children to bring their story to the attention of a wider audience. Using dreams and dream narration, she conducted workshops with a group of children, working with them for several months and accompanying them on a path of exploration and narration of their days and their lives, leveraging their imagination as an element of creativity and healing. This experience lead to a documentary film , “Les enfants de Cain” (“Cain’s children”, 2021).
The Pianoterra Foundation contributed to the realization of this project by supporting in particular the designing of workshops conducted by Keti Stamo. The film also won the Mutti Prize for creativity in 2019.