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‘Kosovo – memory heritage’

International Day for Monuments and Sites - April 18, 2022

To mark the International Day for Monuments and Sites, April 19, 2022, starting at 17:00, forumZFD program in Kosovo opened the photo exhibition and organized a debate titled 'Kosovo – memory heritage' at the 'Gazi Mehmet Pasha' Hammam, in Prizren.
‘Kosovo – memory heritage’
© forumZFD Kosovo

The photographs are realized by Korab Krasniqi (forumZFD program in Kosovo) and are part of the ‘Kosovo Memory Heritage: General Context’ photo-monograph, published in collaboration between forumZFD program in Kosovo and Integra, which showcases a broad and general landscape of the material culture of memory in Kosovo.

The exhibition showcased twenty-five places of memory, of them; two tombs/tekkes, two mosques, two orthodox churches/monasteries and two catholic churches, two clock towers, three socialist monuments, two memorial complexes, two memory spaces resembling the 1990s (peaceful resistance and parallel state system), two memorial sites that materialize the narrative of the Battle of Kosovo, two museums (private and public initiatives), two monuments from the last war, an archaeological site and a memorial representing the contribution of women in recent history.

In the opening of the exhibition, Samir Hoxha, director of Regional Center for Cultural Heritage in Prizren, Arbnor Morina, visual artist, and Nehari Sharri, director of forumZFD Kosovo program addressed and welcomed the public in short remarks.

On the debate ‘Kosovo – memory heritage’, Samir Hoxha, director of Regional Center for Cultural Heritage, Prizren, Sali Shoshi, director of Cultural Heritage without Borders, Nita Luci, anthropologist and professor at the University of Prishtina, and Shafi Gashi from the Archaeological Institute of Kosovo discussed on politics and practices of memory in Kosovo, generally on cultural heritage landscape - what it is and how is it read, the challenges in preserving cultural heritage and the medium and long-term vision for cultural heritage in Kosovo.

The discussion emphasized that Kosovo has a significant number of cultural heritage assets, but that so far, they did not manage to accurately define their role in society. It was additionally reminded that previously, research projects on exploring and understanding Kosovo memory, attempted at bringing an answer to what the mnemonic and cultural heritage social contract may be, stating that there are many aspects in the policies of memory which, whether intentionally or unintentionally, erase and dissolve signs, memories, and important historical and social experiences of Kosovar citizens and that they are numerous, multiple, diverse, requiring further in-depth scholarly research. 

From the advocacy point of view, efforts to introduce cultural heritage, but also to raise awareness for the protection of these values, although the real ground situation proves the contrary, were made. The discussion further highlighted that non-cooperation in certain inter-institutional cases, or say cooperation at a limited inter-institutional level with special emphasis between local and central institutions in certain cases resulted in the degradation of cultural heritage objects and buildings.

Kosovo – memory heritage exhibition remained open until 4th of May 2022 and counted thousands of local and international visitors.

The exhibition and debate are organized by forumZFD program in Kosovo in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, with the support of Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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