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Monthly Archives: May 2006


The family of Xhemal Balliu lives in a small barn in the Brrete village, which is 50 km north of the capital of Albania, Tirana. Five adult members of this family are mentally ill. Due to this medical condition, the inability to provide food and the level of poverty, Lindita Balliu’s 4 young children have died. Three year old Mira is the only child of the family. She is believed to be the product of many sexual attacks that her mother Lindita suffered. Mira did not officially exist until she was registered after her young brother accidentally died in a fire. This family’s income is based on $4 a day that they receive from the government as handicap assistance for their three mentally ill family members. Aside from this assistance, they live on a goat and by selling wood and handmade brooms, materials for which they collect in a nearby forest, where Xhemali and his wife Memja live.


Dead Railroad

Albanian railroad was built during Communism. She is nearly unusable and only for the poor to travel Train wagons and engines are mostly made in the 60s and trying to survive the capitalistic system. Albania’s state-run railroad has approximately 240 miles of track..
Despite its limited network and poor equipment, the Albanian Railroad authorities predict they will carry 5,300 passengers per day for 2008. These images are taken in the way to Durres city, the closest city with capital Tirana.