Aquarium for Humans

An investigation at a swimmingpool in Tirana

We do look different. The only ones wearing jeans and sneakers, walking slowly through piles of sunbathing bodies. Between energy drinks, chicken wings and bikinis there is hardly a story to find….but we are left with some impressions to share.

The Concept

Who said swimming pools replaced the beach? If this was the case, then they would be called fake beaches. The temporal grave filled with water and used by people for recreation, competition and pleasure has gained a different function than the sea; as far as to win the status of homonym with the sea. A swimming pool is like a piece of sky, where humans try to feel free and fly. Humans cannot live without water, whether it is inside him or he himself in it.


The Biggest Swimming Pool Ever

People try to build up the biggest, weirdest and funniest swimming pools could there ever be. And yet their efforts are useless, the most unreachable swimming pool in size and shape is the earth. This, the oldest of structures; filled with water; covering all our lives.

 


Tirana under water

The biggest but the most populated. You go there and the ticket seller says; “200 Lek a ticket!” – “One square meter for each of you.” You surrender, as it is hot and you don’t have more Lek to go to the beach. There are hot girls walking around ‘innocently’ in sexy but cheap bikinis hoping to be seen by the tough guys with their Mercedes stolen from Italy. After having asked their mums for some money they buy expensive yet funny energy drinks and the day begins.

The boys themselves, after having worked the whole week, after having sold whatever chickens or vegetables they could at the Bazaar walk around the swimming pool to check’ it out. The girls, with no experience and their mums close behind them, give the boys secret signals.

Meanwhile my friend and me keep on working on our photo investigation. We are the only ones wearing jeans there apart from the guards. And suddenly I realize that the first and the last time I was here was six years ago. While we take photographs people watch us suspiciously as though we are steeling their images. But they don’t interfere in our photo research. There are even some who try to do the best pose, maybe hoping they will appear in a magazine or journal. We leave at closing time.


Pictures by Ervin Berxolli, Tirana

 

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