Constantin’s Besa (Albanian: Besa e Kostandinit), is an Albanian ballad and legend. Doruntine is the only daughter in a family with 7 children, including herself. When Doruntine is asked in marriage by a foreign prince, everyone in the family disagrees to let her go so far away. Only Constantin, the youngest of Doruntine’s twelve brothers, promises his mother that he’ll bring Doruntine back to see mother as soon as mother wants to. Eventually mother agrees to the marriage because of Constantin’s promise.
As time goes by, all brothers, Constantin included, die in a war. Mother cannot bear the loss of all of her children and not having even her daughter close to her. She curses her own dead son, Constantin, who made her a promise he couldn’t keep. At the curse, Constantin wakes up from the grave, and brings Doruntine back, because a mother’s curse even after death, is worse than anything else.
Albanian legends consider the concept of besa, the pledge of honor, as something exclusive to men and boys. But really, besa is something that can be honored by women, girls, men and boys! In this UNDP Albania (United Nations Development Program) project we decided to rewrite this legend with feminism lenses. And based on that children book, we created this animated video, where Doruntine is not married because others decide so. Her husband is not a prince, but a farmer. She did not follow a man to the end of the world because she was forced to do so, but because she herself wanted to have new experiences. Doruntine in our animated video is not only the sweet girl who weaves wreaths with flowers, but also the girl with physical strength, who chops wood. And Trim, as many guys can, knits. Doruntine is strong enough to survive a wild forest to reach her destination and return home. Patriarchy is so deeply ingrained in our conscious and unconscious that we massacre women and girls even in fairy tales and legends, where at least fantasy could save them.
Gentian has 18 years of experience in Media, and earned a Bachelor’s of Journalism from the University of Tirana in Albania. While he worked in different printed and electronic Media, he developed strong communication skills. Though his work at its early stage focused on show business, lifestyle and entertainment, he showed a strong passion and interest toward social issues, using entertainment industry and its popularity to give voice to vulnerable social categories. Not many Media expert have been using entertainment industry for social and human rights purposes. He has leveraged entertainment, show business and lifestyle media to give voice to social and human rights causes and campaigns.