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Concrete Mushrooms

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During the communist regime between 1945 and 1991, Albania experienced a unique brand of communism which led to its total isolation not only from the west, but increasingly from the east as well. Hoxha's strict adherence to Leninism led to a break between Albania and the USSR in 1961, giving birth to an ever-present paranoia towards an invisible enemy always looming behind the hills.A huge portion of the country's resources was thus routed to defence and an incredible amount of armaments were stockpiled in freshly built bunkers.

The Concrete Mushrooms project is composed of a book and a documentary film which focus on the reasons for building more than 750,000 bunkers throughout the country of Albania, and how the locals now coexist with them by repurposing them. The bunkers were never used for their intended purpose but have instead become a symbol of the Albanian landscape, often being transformed into chicken coops, silos, hotels, and tattoo parlours.

Watch the full documentary: