Diego Zanetti photographer

WASTED CHILDREN (Dukagjin, Albania)

Bambini a perdere (Dukagjin, Albania)

A tribal war is being fought in Dukagjin, an anachronistic and mountainous region in the northern Albania. Here the Kanun, a medieval code, is applied. In addition to controlling everyday life, this Law defines the right to revenge the killing of a family’s member: the vengeance is directed not only to the person who caused the offence, but to all male descendents. Not even life imprisonment can be a deterrent sufficient to placate the duty of vengeance which today no one is excluded from. Women and children are affected as men, although the Code prohibits such involvement. At this moment, more than 650 are "locked up" at home in a condition of auto-detention to escape death. However the Kanun considers forgiveness. Sometimes there is someone who decides to break the chain of blood. A solemn ceremony celebrates the birth of a new family. Until now more than 600 families have returned to live.


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