The discussion: Dogovor?! What would happen if women had more power?


In the TV show Dogovor?! “Šta bi se desilo da žene imaju više moći?” (What would happen if women had more power?) at RTV Kim, Çagllavica , discussions on gender equality, stereotypes, reconciliation and other regarding the 8th March, Women’s Day.

Artpolis, an organization dedicated to women’s rights, in the midst of being a voice for women, for all human rights issues, we have a feminist approach through artistic activities,” says theater director Zana Hoxha, and director of “FemArt” and “Artpolis”.


The Foundations of the Reconciliation Process Must be Laid Among Local Communities


Darko Dimitrijevic is the Editor-in-Chief of Radio Goraždevac. He is a longtime journalist, NGO and human rights activist. During his career, he was president of the Kosovo Media Association and subsequently chairman of the Community Advisory Council. He has won several prestigious journalism awards in Serbia. He lives and works in Goraždevac, in the Peć/Peja municipality.


That morning the Prokletije Mountains were illuminated by the first morning rays of the sun. I have worked on many programs and activities over the past two decades, but I was never as excited as I was that morning. I was drinking my first coffee of the day and thinking about what lay ahead, when my wife and daughters informed me that they were ready to go. Their excitement was palpable as it was the first time that I was going on an inter-ethnic excursion with my children. This time we’re going by bus and not by car. Our neighbors arrive with their kids. And they want to be part of this unusual excursion. We get on the bus in the center of Goraždevac, the passengers who had already arrived from the neighboring village stare at us with a curious look in their eyes. We greet each other with a nod and a smile.

After a short drive, we arrive in front of the City Museum in Peć/Peja, where we still hesitate to mingle, but nonetheless visit the museum as a joint group. Since the exhibits of the museum are mono-ethnic and reflect the heritage of just the majority community, there weren’t too many topics for discussion. In the Decani Monastery we are welcomed by a curator who tells the Albanian part of the group the history of the monastery, after which we head to Prizren. We’ve got all day ahead. Having visited religious and historical monuments, we sit down not far from the stone bridge to summarize impressions and get to know each other better. We sit together at lunch and discuss various topics. Teachers, mothers with children and young people who were part of this group find common ground.

After a dynamic day and new acquaintances, the bus heads towards Peć/Peja. The passengers are no longer so quiet. There are jokes and laughter in the front, while in the back youngsters chat about the latest hits from abroad.  

Summarizing impressions, thoughts wander back to the post-war years. At a time when something like this was almost unimaginable without a long and difficult mediation.

Immediately after the war, Fabrizio, an Italian and his organization came to Goraždevac and began to work for reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians. In that period, only someone with extensive experience could do such a thing.

Often, at that time, we as 20-somethings, spent time with Fabrizio and his colleagues. We hung out late at night drinking and playing guitar, and throwing barbecue parties during the day. Our new Italian friends had the same group in the town. About ten of them were from the surrounding villages as well as from the town itself. At that time, only a select few were willing to meet someone belonging to another ethnic group. The overall environment itself, that could brand us as traitors, had an enormous influence on our willingness to mingle.

Fabrizio somehow managed to get us together. He made us able to listen to each other. To start from ourselves, to face ourselves and others. Every week for several years in a row, we organized focus groups to talk about the past and what we experienced as children during the war. Some of those “confessions” were not easy to listen to, but they brought us closer. We began to appreciate and respect each other.

We become friends that travel together and spend time together. Today, all the actors in this story are accomplished personalities, parents… Everyone has learned the most important lesson in life, to “value their own” and respect others.

Fabrizio left Kosovo long ago. A bus that drives a new group twenty years later is one of the few to accommodate such diverse passengers heading somewhere with a clear purpose.

I’m driving from Prizren and think to myself; will my children, when they grow up, have the opportunity to meet someone like Fabrizio, who will teach them to value their own and respect others and to become familiar with the environment they live in?

Optimism betrays me, I don’t think they will have such an opportunity because the circumstances in this regard are much worse than they were 18 years ago, where almost nothing is happening at the local level in this regard. It all comes down to the initiatives of central-level institutions and politicians who in this case have only the motive of scoring political points.

Some cities, such as Đakovica/Gjakova, are still out-of-bounds for Serbs, and villages like Mushtishte are no exception.

In addition to dialogue, reconciliation is now one of the most loaded words in Kosovo in the Western Balkans. Often, “reconciliation” is used as a political bargaining chip. Often, the ruling elite uses “reconciliation” as a means to manipulate. It is an encumbered word that can be susceptible to manipulation and should therefore at times be discussed quietly and out of the public eye.  The concept of “dealing with the past” has been mentioned in the region over the past eight years, something that has emerged out of the context of reconciliation. The Office of the President of Kosovo has established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which, aside from its more obvious aims, has started working in three directions through the establishment of a number of working groups: “The Right to the Truth”, “The Right to Justice”, “The Right to Compensation” and “the Elimination and Prevention of Re-occurrence of Human Rights Violations.”

One wonders, after taking all of these facts into consideration and keeping track of developments in the area, is it enough? Are we ready to “pay” for the road to reconciliation? All processes must be built from the bottom-up, and reconciliation, which needs to start locally, is no exception to this. Despite significant investments into its construction, the path that we currently find ourselves on, which winds its way from central authorities in Pristina to local institutions, has almost certainly set us on collision course.  Current political leaders use and abuse nationalism, patriotism, and chauvinism as a means of getting as many votes as possible, all of which runs counter to the spirit of reconciliation. The reconciliation is mentioned pro-forma, while the other side is discussed in the worst manner possible in closed political circles.

Therefore, working with ordinary people locally is the only safe and painless path to a successful reconciliation process.  The is clearly demonstrated by the excursion that I recently went on with my children and memories from long ago. The foundations of such a process cannot be secure if they are built at the central level. Central institutions must be a mediator and promoter of the process between local communities. Focus groups should be organized at all levels of society such as with local leaders, war victims, farmers, educators and health care professionals.

In this process, it is necessary to build a foundation locally, among communities. The process must be comprehensive, with focus groups in which different members of society participate. The mediators must be people who have extensive experience and knowledge in this field. Without this model and the direction of the reconciliation process, for which there is currently no enthusiasm, we will remain slaves of superficial reconciliation and politics for a long time yet.

Darko Dimitrijevic

This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the, European Union.


Feminist Spring School – First virtual meeting


Art and Community Center – Artpolis from Kosovo and Alternative Girl’s Center from Serbia on 16 April, 2020 organized the first virtual meeting with girls selected to participate on Feminist Spring school 2020 – the first part.

This meeting was facilitated by executive directors of both organizations Zana Hoxha and Jelena Memet, all participants presented themselves using three objects that represent them on their personal life, professional sphere and their dreams. On this two hour meeting, the girls learned a lot about each other, past experiences and future dreams, where similarity and solidarity took place.

The project: “Young women build peace in Kosovo and Serbia” was implemented in cooperation with Artpolis – Art and Community Center and Alternativni Centar za Devojke while supported from European Union in Kosovo and Kvinna till Kvinna.


European Western Balkans -EU-backed Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation established in Pristina


PRISTINA – Humanitarian Law Centre in Kosovo, ArtPolis and AKTIV from Mitrovica have established the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation with the support of EU office in Pristina.

The aim of this mechanism is to improve cross-ethnic relations in Kosovo and encourage the process of reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians, IBNA reports.

During the launching event held on Thursday, Stergios Tragoudas of the EU office in Kosovo, said that the process of reconciliation is very challenging, while bringing the example of EU member countries about the way they’ve overcome problems.

He emphasised the importance of reconciliation for EU, reminiding that its members had tackled their disputes through cooperation with the citizens and different institutions.

Members of the coalition were represented by Bekim Blakaj, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Centre in Kosovo, Zana Hoxha Krasniqi, Founder and Director of ArtPolis and Miodrag Milićević, Executive Director of the NGO AKTIV.

“We must document the past and the fact that such a large number of people went missing during the war, because people need to know these things”, Blakaj said.

According to IBNA, Milićević stated that all ethnic groups in Kosovo want to improve their quality of life and have equal rights.


Ballkan.com-Coalition for Reconciliation is established in Kosovo


The EU office in Pristina in cooperation with several NGOs for human rights, led by Albanians and Serbs, have established the Kosovo Coalition for Reconciliation.

The aim of this mechanism is to improve cross-ethnic relations in Kosovo and encourage the process of reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians.

Bekim Blakaj, head of the Humanitarian Right Fund based in Pristina, said that this time, they’ve decided to join forces with different organizations to contribute for sustainable peace and reconciliation in Kosovo.

“We must document the past and the fact that such a large number of people went missing during the war, because people need to know these things”, Blakaj said.

Miodrag Milicevic, head of “Aktiv” NGO based in Mitrovica, said that all ethnic groups in Kosovo want to improve their quality of life, they want to have equal rights and they want all communities to be respected.

EU officials have also backed the creation of this coalition, by saying that such incentives are very important.

Stergios Tragoudas of the EU office in Pristina, said that the process of reconciliation is very challenging, while bringing the example of EU member countries about the way they’ve overcome problems.

“We’re talking about reconciliation and as you know, reconciliation is a core value for the European Union. In cooperation with citizens and different institutions, EU member countries have managed to tackle their problems. We have member countries which have minorities and they have succefully managed to tackle these problems”, he said. /ibna/





A beginning of the work of the Coalition for Reconciliation was solemnly marked today in Prishtina.

The Coalition was established aiming to encourage and support the reconciliation process in Kosovo.

Kosovo Humanitarian Law Center, Aktiv, and Art Polis are the founders of the coalition aiming to improve ethnic relations and at the same time raise awareness on civic initiatives’ participation within communities.

Kosovo Humanitarian Law Centre Executive Director Bekim Blakaj noted they have identified for years the joint values that these organizations share and thus decided to join forces and establish this coalition.

“The collation would be open for cooperation with all other organizations and individuals who identify their values with joint values of the coalition, and I am sure by the time we will get stronger. This project is just the beginning of joint work, and the final aim is to reach sustainable peace and give a contribution to the reconciliation in Kosovo in the future,” Blakaj said.

Aktiv Executive Director Miodrag Milicevic said the only way to reach the level of true reconciliation is to show the readiness to face the past and find the way to open a path towards dialogue, that could lead further to the better society.

Founder and Director of Art Polis Zana Hoxha said this coalition came out naturally, as a synergy of the three organizations that worked for many years not only to achieve inter-ethnic trust but also on building the peace and creating opportunities for cooperation between different communities.

Representatives of embassies, local and international institutions, civil society and the media participated in an event.



Forum Future 2019 – Reconciliation process and transitional justice, perception, problems and perspective

11-12. DECEMBER 2019.

The Conforencë FORUM FUTURE 2019

Dealing with the past, the present and future relations between Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo was the subject of the 2-day conference held in Mitrovica north. Other topics such as reconciliation process and transitional justice were broadly discussed between representatives of civil society, opinion makers and students from both communities.


Workshop on effective communication and role of Ethnic Stereotypes in reconciliation

Aktiv – 16 – 19 June, 2019

NGO Aktiv conducted the workshop from 16th of June to 19th of June, 2019 in Igalo, Montenegro with participation of young individuals of Serbian and Albanian ethnicities from different municipalities of Kosovo.

The general aim of training was to promote critical thinking about what are stereotypes, prejudices and behaviors of discrimination, how they are formed by people and how communication without prejudices could affect negativities in relationship between different communities, respectively among Serbians and Albanians.

3. Forum future-Perceptimet

Mutual Perceptions of Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo

Aktiv – 2019

Today, despite the tangible progress achieved in stabilization of ethnic relations and cooperation at political level, Kosovo still remains a divided society with deeply rooted inter-ethnic prejudices. Such a state of affairs is intentionally or inadvertently sustained and fueled by more or less all community actors, while the structural reconciliation and cooperation efforts are limited to the low-scale civil initiatives or narrow professional clusters (e.g businesses). There are many factors that contribute and fuel the lingering ethnic conflicts in Kosovo. They vary in intensity and effects on ethnic relations.

There have been many works and research in examination of the conflict drivers, but very poor efforts have been made in identifying the prejudices and misperceptions burdening ethnic relations in Kosovo, let alone engage in public dialogue aimed at their deconstruction. The study presented in this paper aims exactly at this – to label prevailing ethnic stereotypes and instigate an open dialogue that leads toward their understanding and their rejection in shaping ethnic perceptions.

The research was conducted on 527 subjects from the area of North Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zvecan, Zubin Potok, and the enclaves (Strpce, Gnjilane and Gračanica) on one side (233 total), and Mitrovica and Pristina (a total of 299) on the other.

Here you can download the document and Serbian and Albanian languages:


Trend Analysis 2019: Attitudes of the Serb Community in Kosovo

Aktiv – 2019

The research was carried out between the 15th of July and the 5th of September of this year by NGO Aktiv in cooperation with RTIV Kim, and surveyed a total of 540 people, with 270 respondents coming from the north and 270 from south of the River Ibar, with a particular focus placed on Northern Kosovo,  Gracanica, Strpce and Kosovsko Pomoravlje.

The document is research that has been carried out by NGO Aktiv for five years in a row, in the goal of identifying the most significant attitudes and perceptions held by Serb community in Kosovo in relation to key social, economic, political and other processes that have a direct or indirect impact on their lives. The data received offers insight into the effects that those processes have on the Serbian community in Kosovo, their needs and priorities, and how they can constitute a valuable source of information for the creation of civil initiatives, strategies and policies on all levels of governance that seek to answer to the tangible needs of the population.

The results of this research can and should become a foundation for those sorts of efforts, whether or not they are development initiatives, social dialogue or even political solutions for certain problems that have for years prevent the normalization of everyday life in Kosovo.

Here you can download the whole document in English language: