“Women laden with scarfs”, photographs of Kol Maca-Vlora 1916. An overwhelming witness to those difficult years for Albanians, especially for children and women. More than a photo that evokes the timing of the waves, this is a virtuoso workmanship of a slightly-mentioned but untreated photo.
Kol Maca, is held as the first Albanian photograph in Vlora. According to the researchers from Shkodra, Ndoc Gurashi (October 2012), Kol Maca has learned photography skills at the atelier of Kol Idromenos in Shkodra, where he has served as an apprentice for some time. Also, the aforementioned Shkodra scholar states that Maca has opened his shop for photography in the coastal city in 1915 and worked there until 1921. This in the meantime coincides with the first Italian invasion of Vlora or as it is known there, with the “first Italy”, which also marks some buildings still standing, such as the Sahati and the Municipality (the former Italian Consulate). The seal that he took after pictures for the population was in Italian and was written “Nicolo ‘Mazza-Fotografo-Valona”, it was regularly made in Italy. In it, his name is found in his full version, Nikol, and somewhere else we face the next cut, Kolec. For his life, despite constant searches, we still do not know much about things. The author of these lines has found in Italy two articles of Kol Maca published in the monthly magazine “Corriere della Sera” (Milan). The first article is titled “Among the Albanian Mountains” (August 1907), the second, “Monument and costume of Albania” (May 1908). The above articles relate only to the Albanian World. They are distinguished for numerous historical, geographical, social and ethnographic data for Albanians in general and North Highlanders in particular. Between the writings and the author’s culture, there are plenty of pictures, probably Mac, that illustrate their content.
However, Kol Maca, in his photographic studio in Vlora, besides routine work with the community, has also taken pictures of various political, social and religious events of the city. It should be added that Kol Maca is one of the first photojournalists in the Albanian press, noted in the magazines of the 1930s, especially in the famous man of the time, “Minerva”, where he was employed. For a short time he has been an official photographer of the Royal Tribe. Kol Maca was also a member of the official group of press photographers who perpetuated the celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of Independence on 28 November 1937 in Tirana.
(Scarlet Maca-Photo Maca, Ark.P.Stefa)
Part of the article “Two Shkodra photographers in Vlora” by Qerim Vrioni.