Arbër Gashi

Writer, Researcher, Visual Storyteller.

United Kingdom

Arber is a Writer, Researcher, Visual Storyteller, Events Producer and Curator based in London. He has a BA in History from Goldsmiths, University of London and a Master’s in Gender, Sexuality and Culture from Birkbeck, University of London. His research has looked at documenting the experiences of ethnic minority communities of Muslim faith in London. He has also extensively researched about Yugoslav Colonisation practices in Kosovo during the interwar period, and it's long-term effects on Kosovar society.

Arber writes about a variety of subject areas, but is particularly focused on LGBT+ themes, Balkan heritage, diaspora experiences, and Kosovo’s historical and cultural expression. Arber explores his diverse diasporic identity through visual storytelling, and combines his written practice with other artistic mediums such as photography to poignantly convey his inner most thoughts and feelings.

Arber is the founder of the digital educational platform Balkanism and co-founder of the events organisation the Balkan London Collective. Arber is open to collaborate with arts organisations, publications and collectives that align with his intentions and goals.

Portfolio

Upcoming events

Projects/Contributions/Exhibitions

iba.art
In Search of Some Phantom, 2024

International Body of Art are excited to announce their first exhibition of 2024, 'In Search of Some Phantom'. Arber contributed his multimedia collaged pieces titled 'The "Aliens" Who Became 'British'. These pieces critiqued the process of naturalisation for immigrants and refugees.

Eventbrite
Goddess on the Throne Exhibition 2024

Curated by Arber Gashi and Tringa Kelmendi, held at the Kosovan Embassy in London, this exhibition brought Kosovan women and their narratives into focus in honour of International Women's Day. Arber and Tringa worked tirelessly to produce an engaging, informative and interpersonal exhibition.

Balkanism
Balkanism

Balkanism, established by Arber in 2020, is a dynamic digital platform dedicated to showcasing the richness of Balkan culture, identity, history, and diaspora experiences. With a forward-thinking and inclusive perspective, the platform addresses historical inter-ethnic challenges within the Balkans.

BLC
Balkan London Collective

Arber serves as the co-founder of the Balkan London Collective (BLC), an events organization established with the goal of creating inclusive spaces for members of the Balkan diaspora community and their allies in London and Britain. The BLC curates events that foster cultural engagement and joy, showcasing emerging artists with Balkan heritage and hosting themed nights that celebrate the region's diversity.

Thesociologicalreview
03/01/2024
Image-Maker in Residence: Arbër Gashi

Kosovar-heritage London-based historian Arbër Gashi on how and why he founded Balkanism, an online platform that re-narrates what it means to be Balkan beyond national identities.

ArtRabbit
Keep In Touch - Exhibition at Host of Leyton in London

Keep In Touch showcases visual responses to the notion of 'home as solace; home as exile' from artists of the Caribbean, Latin America, East and South Asia, North and West Africa, and their diasporas. Arber's work, that explored how his family continued remembering their heritage from the diaspora, was included in this exhibition.

Share UK
Beyond Medicine

When Britain went into lockdown in March 2020, it was not only dealing with a health crisis, but a social one too. Stories of doctors and nurses battling on the frontline are numerous, but what happened in local communities is less well documented. Arber was a Oral History interviewer on this project.

Migration Museum
Around the Table: A Festival Exploring Food and Migration - Migration Museum

Arber was a panelist at this festival focused at highlighting Food and Migration. He spoke on a panel consisting of Jimi Famurewa and Cynthia Shanmugalingam that engaged in a very thought provoking conversation pertaining to food markets, access to international produce, and the building of solidarity between migrant communities through trade.

Victoria and Albert Museum
LGBTQIA+ Tours - Tour at V&A South Kensington · V&A

Arber is a skilled LGBT+ history tour guide at the V&A Museum, where he brings a fresh perspective to his tours by actively incorporating diverse narratives and experiences. His guided tours go beyond traditional narratives, ensuring that the LGBT+ community's history and contributions are thoughtfully and inclusively represented.

Online

Balkaninsight
I Saw My Fellow Albanians in Kosovo Die from Afar

Born in Britain after his family fled ethnic persecution in Kosovo, Arber Gashi discovered how his fellow Albanians suffered during wartime when he saw images of mass graves online. He argues now that the victims deserve to be treated with more care and respect.

Broken Englizh
05/04/2023
Mos Harroni - Don't Forget

This written piece explored what notions of "home" meant for Arber and his family from a diasporic perspective. The piece was accompanied by a series of images titled "Mos Harroni" which translates to Don't Forget in English, and they focused on the process of remembering ones heritage at a distance. These images were featured in the 'Keep in Touch' Exhibition held in Leyton, November 2023.

Kosovo 2.0
12/16/2022
'Ti nuk je shqiptar'

The standardization of Albanian culture and the erasure of diversity.

Refugee Week
Recounting the refugee stories that shaped me

Guest blog by Arber Gashi, @gashiarbs_ on Instagram (Writer, Oral Historian and Visual storyteller) My Mother, Firdeze, and Father, Mehdi (Dini), in the early days of their relationship - photo was taken in Kosovo, which at the time was a part of the Former Yugoslavia, 1985

In Print

RKS² Transcendent Locality - Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo 2023
Unearthing Kosova

This piece explored Arber's relationship to his country of origin Kosovo, and how the decisions his parents made in leaving Kosovo impacted him.

Neighbourhood Magazine Issue 2
Embracing the Inbetween

This piece explored the intersections of Arber's British Kosovar-Albanian identity, and the complexities that have often arised because of this. You can go to the offical Neighbourhood Magazine website to purchase the magazine if you wish to read Arber's essay in full.

The Road To Nowhere - Volume 3
Diasporic Memory: My process of remembering Kosovo from afar

In this piece Arber explored the way his diasporic identity impacted his existence in Britain. It presents the practices his family engaged with in the diaspora that provided a sense of memory for him, despite not having been born or raised in Kosovo. It then also explores how Arber became compelled to create the digital platform Balkanism, that seeks to provide education, knowledge, and healing for the Balkan community in the diaspora and in the region. Please head over to the Road To...