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New Video, New Europe

A Survey of Eastern European Video
January 11 – February 22, 2004

Erzen Shkololli
Kanagjeci, 2002
11' 25
Playing the role of ethnographer, Shkololli presents footage of a Romany wedding ritual that occurred near his home in Peja. Kanagjeci (girl's night) or Night of Kona (the night the girl cries), takes place on the eve of wedding. Female friends and relatives gather for a mixture of celebration and mourning as the bride will leave her family. Even if the bride-to-be is happily engaged to a man of her choice, leaving the family is still expected to be grievously acknowledged. This intimate footage is dominated by an intense elegaic tone as a veiled histrionic bride solicits collective weeping, flailing and wailing throughout a room filled to capacity. The piece ends as the bride settles down long enough for a print of her hennaed hands, as custom warrants. Despite their concentration in the Balkans, Romany communities occupy a marginal status in every country. Footage this intimate is difficult to obtain, particularly for an outsider like Shkololli. He selected this footage from amongst many hours he viewed after contacting videographers within the Romany community who earn money recording such occassions as family keepsakes.

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