Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Recently, my friend, graphic artist Visar Osmani invited me to visit him at Pristina, Kosovo. To be honest I never had the desire to visit that part of the world. Mostly because I belong to a nation that has done a lot of scary things to the Albanian people in Kosovo area inspired by nationalism ideas. But as it usually is, harsh and gloomy environments, as well as traumas, often create some hidden extraordinary things. So in Pristina, I was fascinated by the conceptual art show in their National Gallery and some retro incredible futuristic buildings from the 1970s and 1980s.
At twilight, you will feel like you've been in some Solaris-type SF movie. One of those buildings was part of the work of Albanian artist Driant Zaneli, a poetic conceptual work about our planet that will die when our shiny star Sun finally goes out, and probably even before that, and how people once looked to the future, asking questions and wanted to explore and get to know some new distant worlds, because end of the Sun maybe does not have to be end of everything one day, while today it seems like everything is going backward.
In Kosovo, it seemed to me that the true image of this scary backward move in this region was especially the image of an exceptionally militant national hero of Kosovo, who today adorns a futuristic building that used to be sport and culture center that once held the name of two partisans who were killed by police while they were hugging each other. Sad and depressive picture of how people here eventually changed their old true heroes, progressive ideas for hate, borders, and destruction. Image of true romantic friendship replaced by the picture of guy with bullet necklace. I just was wondering is there anybody who sees that something is so wrong here? Maybe I don't know something, maybe it's just that repression creates violence, revenge, and guys with bullet necklace on a futuristic building. Maybe we all here lived in some lies, maybe we live in even bigger lies today. I have no idea anymore...
Meanwhile visit Priština, because you will find there some very interesting art scene and reminders of some very interesting peaceful time that used to exist here.
1. National Library of Prishtina in Kosovo - architect, Andrija Mutnjakovic
2. Sport and culture center in Pristina ''Boro i Ramiz''
4, 5. Heroines - Memorial dedicated to Albanian women, war crime victims