81 days: Ermal Zalli

Today, I filled my sketchbook pages with the lines and shades of history amidst the timeless beauty of Berat's Mangalem district. While sketching the area's historic homes, I had an unexpected conversation with Ermal Zalli, a local craftsman renowned for his woodwork. Ermal, with a warmth as inviting as the city itself, shared stories of Berat's past, each tale intricately linked to the buildings I was sketching. His connection to the city's architecture and his role in preserving its heritage were inspiring. I included elements of his craftsmanship in my sketches as he spoke, blending tangible and intangible heritage of Berat. This encounter, set against the backdrop of Mangalem's cobbled alleys and overhanging houses, added a rich layer of understanding and appreciation to my artistic exploration. Ermal reminded me that behind every facade and window there's a story waiting to be told. Today's journey was not just artistic, but deeply human too.

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