Lunchtime Lectures: Discovering the Balkans- Balkan material culture in the V&A Collection

This talk is part of the V&A Academy Lunchtime Lecture Series. No booking is required.

+44 (0)20 7942 2000
  • V&A South Kensington

    Cromwell Road
    London, SW7 2RL

  • The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

  • Free event

Lunchtime Lectures: Discovering the Balkans-  Balkan material culture in the V&A Collection photo

The Balkans has within the context of the western world often been presented in a problematic way. Recent conflicts, war and political instability in the region have induced a reputation that is not reflective of incredible cultural practices the Balkans has cultivated over the centuries. Join Arber Gashi as he seeks to juxtapose this unrepresentative narrative by exploring the stunning Balkan material culture present in the V&A collection. This talk will look at the significant role traditional clothing plays within Balkan cultures and will go on to reflect on the way these practices manifest themselves for Balkan diaspora communities in Britain.

Arber Gashi is a Writer, Researcher and Visual Storyteller. He is the founder of the digital educational platform Balkanism and has extensively researched the important role traditional garments play within the cultural contexts of Kosovo, N.Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and other parts of the Balkans. Arber has also researched the experiences of diverse ethnic communities within the historical context of Kosovo. Arber explores notions of his diasporic identity and experience through his visual storytelling and was most recently included in the ‘Keep in Touch’ exhibition. His photographic pieces investigated the way Arber remembers the historical experiences of his ancestors in Kosovo at a distance. Arber is also an LGBTQIA+ Tour Guide at the V&A and has also expansively researched LGBT+ historical experiences in a variety of historical and cultural contexts.

Header image: Coat, F, embroidered, 1800s, Albanian © Victoria and Albert Museum, London