During the communist period in Albania, the government regularly published Pionieri, a magazine for all the “young pioneers” of Shqiperi. I had heard about this publication and it’s entertaining and enlightening view into what life during Zoti Enver’s reign was like for youngsters from other volunteers, but recently had a chance to get my hands on some copies from the 70s from the Lezhe library’s extensive archives.

So far, I’ve enjoyed looking at the articles and exploring what was deemed important to show/teach/tell the country’s youth during such a closed-off time. I like to think of Pionieri as a sort of communist version of Highlights. Most of the articles seem to be about national heroes, sports, school and ways to help out in your community. But, each issue has a feature on another foreign country and a decent selection of fiction and poetry in Shqip.

While I’ve enjoyed reading around, I think the best part for me….the most “translatable” per se….are the graphics. I love the style and the bright colors of the printed borders and backgrounds interspersed with the greys of the black and white photos….and I appreciate them all the more because they all pre-date computer layout programs by about 30 years.

Take a look:

I also was struck by the prominence of girls in the photos and contributions in this publication:

  1. susan said:

    How are the women doing now? Do they work, own businesses, go to college?
    Interesting comparison with Highlights!

  2. Mom said:

    Laura Margaret:

    It is indeed always interesting to see the unexpected ways and places that creative impulses and talents find to express themselves – no matter what the current regime or political climate. I am so pleased you have found these interesting magazines, and even more pleased that you have found a way to share some of their riches with others of us. I love how thoroughly open your eyes always are to the visual and conceptual intricacies of life! xoxox, Mom

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