Albanian Vendetta

Shkodra.  Guillaume Herbaut
 I can think of no greater nightmare than an inescapable spiral of revenge. Vendettas that never end, that continue on across borders, oceans, generations. Guillaume Herbaut's bleak photo essays of families in hiding in the Albanian town of Shkodra are haunting. People trapped in their homes, waiting to die. Is that not hell?

10,000 people are affected by vendettas in the North of Albania, living shut away for fear of reprisals from the opposing family. 1000 children do not leave home and no longer attend school. 2000 women have lost their husbands in the settling of scores. The fall of the communist dictatorship in 1991 led to the reappearance of earlier practices. The Kanun, a civil code drafted by Lek Dukadjini, a lord of the North in the 15th century, has extended its influence in a time when the voices of the police and the judiciary are inaudible. The Kanun strictly codifies revenge. If one of its members is killed, a family must take revenge. – Bruno Masi

These photos were taken in 2006. 

"One of us is going to die."
Hysni Ymeri has lived shut away with his son Alban for the last three years

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