ask your grandparents

Ask Your Grandparents 5

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More than an Object

The competition "Ask Your Grandparents" is back for our older and younger friends, to inspire creativity, support and promote stories never before told.

In this new edition we are asking young people aged between 14 and 19 years to look for symbolic objects with a special meaning or value to them. The objects could provide inspiration for telling their family or relatives' story using three genres:

  • Visual Arts
  • Written Stories (Storytelling)
  • Digital Storytelling (Multimedia)

Photographs, letters, documents, items / furniture, clothes or any significant accessories – all competitors may use these objects as creative impulse to reflect individually on Albania's past under the dictatorship.

For 7 years, we at IDMC have seen how superficially the Communist past is presented in the school curricula, the indifferent coverage by the media, and its distorted interpretation in the social media: to know and reflect on our Communist past remains a key challenge for Albanian youth.

So this competition offers the young people the opportunity to creatively confront a period of time so emblematic to our country, but one which they personally did not live through.

Ask your grandparents, your parents, ask everyone who represents the generation who survived the Communist regime in Albania, examine their memories, be curious to learn more about your family members, a period so different to the one you we live in the present. Because the future can never be certain without knowing the past.

Many objects can be tied to a story (or else):

  • Some event your family experienced and wants to testify to
    It could be: a document, a file or a judicial act which marked the life of a person, changed theirs or the entire family’s destiny, a written text or a photograph.
  • Daily life under the dictatorship
    It could be an object: a radio, a newspaper, clothes or an item from abroad kept by a political prisoner or persecutee, with a story of its own.
  • An act of resistance to the injustices of the dictatorship
    As we know, the Communist regime banned religion and imposed atheism. You can bring a cult object (ornaments, beads, a cross, a relict from churches, mosques or tekkes that were demolished back then), giving evidence not only of the destruction, but the value and opposition to that regime.
  • Personal story
    Love stories were often brought to an end because of a partner's bad biography. You can bring objects that marked the lives of such people.
  • Banned books, secret diaries or stored letters.
  • And more…

By forgetting the dictatorship we would fail our collective memory!


Terms of Participation

This Competition is open to: High-schoolers aged 14‒19 (individual work)

Ways of Competition:

  • Video & audio (no longer than 4 minutes in length)
  • Arts & installations
  • Interview about the Object (no longer than 4 minutes in length)
  • Essay
    • Visual arts entries (poster, painting, drawing, sketch etc.) must not be larger than A3 format.
    • Written stories must contain a minimum of 1,000 and max. 2,000 words, and rely on authentic documents.
    • Participants from previous Competitions are free to compete again as long as they work on a different subject than before.

Competition Announcement: 5 November 2022

Closing Date: 20 January 2023 

Awards Ceremony: February 2023

Winners' Prize: A Study Trip Abroad 


  • Entries may be submitted in English or Albanian language.
  • Each participant may submit only one entry.
  • Each entry must clearly relate to the subject matter of the competition.
  • Only original work will be accepted.
  • Entries that promote ethnic, gender or sexual discrimination etc. will not be eligible.
  • Winner entries will be handed over to the organizer, which owns the right to exhibit them in (non-profit) events for awareness purposes, locally and abroad.
  • There is no participation fee.
  • Permission to publish or broadcast must be obtained from anyone who appears on a video or picture.
  • Submissions must be original works.
  • Any plagiarisms will result in instant disqualification.
  • All rights remain with the authors, but by entering into this competition, the winners of the competition transfer unlimited use for translation, publication, exhibition and broadcast to the organizers.
  • Under the aforementioned rights, the winners agree that they will not be entitled to other fees or form of compensation other than the prize.

Submission of Entries

The deadline to submit your application is 20 January 2023, 00:00.

Participants can apply using the Form below:

Application Form
Application Form


  • Multimedia entries larger than 5 MB in size should be uploaded via WeTransfer and emailed to
  • Visual Arts: please write an e-mail to with a picture of your entry attached, and schedule a meeting so you can deliver your work at the IDMC office in person, to the following address:
IDMC – Institute for Democracy, Media & Culture

Bardhok Biba St., Trema Bldg.
Entrance A, 11th Floor
Tirana, Albania

Participants will receive a confirmation by e-mail. For more information, please consult our website or follow us on Facebook.

Jury and Evaluation

The Competition will announce 7 prizes.

All entries will be evaluated by an independent jury composed of public figures and experts, based on the following criteria:

  • Innovative presentation
  • Object with a significant history
  • Understandability
  • Originality
  • Ability to engage the audience
  • Clear and powerful message
  • Authentic style

The winners will be announced on February 2023 during the MEMORY DAYS and will be invited to Tirana to collect their prizes in the presence of personalities from the media, civil society, politics and culture.

Competition Organizer

Institute for Democracy, Media & Culture
Institute for Democracy, Media & Culture


Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Albanian National Association of History Teachers
Albanian National Association of History Teachers