Luan Rama Biography

Luan Rama

Luan Rama, born in Tirana, Albania, in 1952, is a scholar, filmmaker, editor and writer. He graduated in journalism from the Faculty of Political and Juridical Sciences, University of Tirana, and subsequently specialized in filmmaking and communication in France, at Paris VII Denis Diderot University. His career spans more than fourteen years as a screenwriter of award-winning feature films, documentaries and cartoons for Albanian cinema studios.

From 1996 to 1997, he was editor of the French-language newspaper Le Courrier International (Paris) and he continues to contribute articles to both daily newspapers and Albanian revues.

He is a distinguished diplomat, who served as an ambassador of Albania (1992–2005) in Paris, Lisbon and Monaco. He further served as an Albanian cultural representative in Paris (1997–2003) at both UNESCO and the international French language organization, OIF (La Francophonie).

Luan Rama has written fifty books, including novels, short stories, poetry, correspondence, essays and historical works published in Albanian, English, French, Italian and Greek. Many of these explore linkages – historical, cultural and personal – between Albania and Europe, especially France. Among them are politico-historical works on General de Gaulle, and on former French President François Mitterrand; studies on Greco-Albanian poet Jean Moréas, a founder of French Symbolism, and on Omer Kaleshi, a modern Albanian painter; essays on poets Jean Cocteau and on Arthur Rimbaud; and a novel on dancer Isadora Duncan’s 1913 sojourn at the Albanian resort town of Saranda.

A number of his literary works have been published in France, including two volumes of poetry, Territoires de l’âme (Territories of the Soul) and Couvrez-moi avec un morceau de ciel (Cover Me with a Piece of Sky); the essays Le long chemin sous le tunnel de Platon (on the fate of the artist during the totalitarian era in Albania) and Pont entre deux rives (on Franco-Albanian linkages). He has authored studies on Jean Cocteau such as Rendez-vous avec Jean Cocteau, and on French archaeologist Léon Rey and his pioneering work at the ancient Greek site of Apollonia, Albania, Auguste Dozon – le Consul qui aimait les contes (Auguste Dozon – The Consul who loved the Conts), Udhëtimi i fundmë i Arthur Rimbaud (The last trip of Arthur Rimbaud) and Parisi letrar (Literary Paris). His works have also appeared in various anthologies: Appulé, Paris, 2018; Bantam, An anthology of Albanian poetry, AM Publishers, UK, 2019; Antologjia e Tregimit shqiptar (The Anthology of Albanian Prose, Tirana, 2019); Giornata della poesia mondiale (The Day of World Poetry, Roma, 2020) etc.

Luan Rama has been awarded many honours for distinguished services to his country as well as for excellence in writing. These honours include: the Naim Frashëri Medal (Albanian civil award) in 1986; the European Award of ADELF (the French Language Writers’ Association), for Le long chemin, in 2000; the Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (French civil award, presented by then President Jacques Chirac) in 2002; and the Personality of 2014 of La Francophonie (presented by the Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), “The Great Alexander – Gold Prize” and the Salamine Greek Committee, UNESCO. He is regularly invited to speak on the subjects of literature and diplomacy to national and international symposia and has published fifteen from French to Albanian and vice versa.

He lives in Paris, where he has lectured on the history of literature and geopolitics at the Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilization (INALCO).