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The first part of Feminist Spring School 2020

28,29,30.09-01.10.2020

From September 28 to October 1, 2020, the first part of the Feminist Spring School for Kosovo and Serbia 2019 was held in Pristina, with participants, young women from Kosovo and Srbija. Like every year, Feminist Spring School provided a space for young women to unite and create a common vision for the feminist movement in Kosovo and Serbia to combat negative influences as a result of patriarchal systems, and other systems that promotes wars, hates, racism, discrimination, etc. Organized with a different modality than other years, this year, due to protection from Covid-19, young women from Serbia did not travel to Kosovo, but remotely, through the digital platform communicated with young women from Kosovo. Within 4 days, as the school lasted, everyone learned many new things, where solidarity and empowerment were the key words used in this workshop.We thank them for their lectures and discussions: EU special representative: Reyes Charle Cuellar, prof.Vjollca Krasniqi and activists Xhejrane Lokaj, Jeta Krasniqi, Valdete Idrizi, Tijana Simic LaValley, Yllka Soba, Kaltrina Shala and Zana Hoxha.

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The online conference “Challenges in prosecuting of war crimes in Kosovo – what is the way out?”

14.07.2020

Under the project “Monitoring Conflict Related Crime Trials in Kosovo and the Inclusion of the Youth in the Justice Sector”, on July 14, 2020, the Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo organized an online conference, through the ZOOM platform. The 2019 annual report on the monitoring of trials related to the armed conflict in Kosovo titled “War Crimes Trials – Still at the beginning” was launched at the conference. The report was presented by the Project Coordinator, Anka Kurteshi Hajdari, and a panel discussion was held on the topic “Challenges in prosecuting of war crimes in Kosovo – what is the way out?”

Introductory remarks in the online conference were given by the Minister of Justice, Mr. Selim Selimi; UK Ambassador in Kosovo, Mr. Nicholas Abbott and Mr. Lukasz Korecki, Acting Head of EUSR for Rule of Law and Legal Section.

Experts of various fields involved with the investigation and prosecution of war crimes took part in the discussion on the topic “Challenges in prosecuting of war crimes in Kosovo – what is the way out?”, including:

Drita Hajdari – SPRK Prosecutor, Head of the War Crimes Department;

Kreshnik Radoniqi – Judge in the Special Department at the Court of Appeals;

Dejan Vasić – Lawyer of Serbian defendants accused for war crimes in Kosovo;

Petko Petkov – Lead Monitor of International Crimes, EULEX Kosovo; and

Fadil Gashi – Director of the Directorate for the Investigation of Serious Crimes.

Panelists shared the challenges they face in prosecuting war crimes and offered suggestions on how to overcome such obstacles, in order to have more results in prosecuting the perpetrators of war crimes in Kosovo.

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Radio Kfor – “ARTPOLIS” MODEL I PUNËS NË EKIP MULTIETNIK DHE SHEMBULL I NJË TË ARDHME MULTIETNIKE

29 Qershor, 2020

“Nuk është e mjaftueshme të flasim për paqen, duhet besuar në të dhe duhet punuar për të”, kështu ka thënë, Eleanor Roosevelt, e ata që punojnë çdo moment për paqen janë edhe komuniteti i organizatës joqeveritare “Artpolis”, që funksionon që nga viti 2004, duke vënë në jetë tre shtyllat kryesore: Promovimin e Artit, Kulturës dhe Bashkëjetesën Multietnike, duke përdorur dialogun social si dhe teatrin si mjete për promovimin e diversitetit shoqëror në Kosovë. Përgjegjësja për marrëdhënie publike nga “Artpolis”, Venera Ismaili, për Radio KFOR-in shpalosi vizionin që ka organizata në fjalë: “Ne kemi si vizion që të krijojmë një shoqëri e cila është e bazuar në vlera feministe, gjithmonë përmes teatrit dhe kulturës . Pastaj duke bërë fuqizimin e grave dhe të rinjve, që këta të jenë nxitës dhe shtytës për ndryshime shoqërore në Kosovë e rajon.  Në të gjitha aktivitetet ne tentojmë dhe synojmë që të ketë një gjithë përfshirje: gra, burra, vajza, djem të komunitetit shqiptar, serb, rom, boshnjak, turk … të të gjitha komuniteteve që jetojnë në Kosovë si dhe me gjithëpërfshirje nënkuptojmë edhe përfshirjen e personave me aftësi të kufizuara. Gjithëpërfshirja e tyre nuk është vetëm nëpër trajnime, por edhe në punë e aktivitete të tjera ku ata përfshihen si vullnetar e rast konkret e kemi festivalin FemArt”.

I përfshirë në aktivitete multietnike që organizon në vazhdimësi “Artpolis”, është edhe  Stefan Stojanoviç që vjen nga komuniteti serb , i cili për Radio KFOR-in tregon përvojën e bashkëpunimit ndëretnik me shqiptarë e komunitete të tjera: “Unë jam pjesë e “Artpolis” për rreth 5 vite dhe kam bashkëpunuar me të gjitha komunitetet në Kosovë dhe nga të gjitha këto bashkëpunime kam përvojë të shumë të mirë dhe kujtime shumë të mira. Ne tani jemi bërë miq dhe mbajmë kontakte me njëri-tjetrin. Së bashku kemi punuar në shumë projekte, veçanërisht në ato që kanë lidhje me artin, aktrimin e muzikën. Kam bashkëpunuar në një projekt në lidhje me sektorin e IT-së me shqiptarë dhe romë, nga të cilët kam përvojën më të mirë. Mësuar nga përvoja e vjetër mund të them vetëm se të gjithë jemi njerëz dhe duhet t’i japim njëri-tjetrit një shans. Në fillim të gjithë mund të jemi skeptikë, por kur njerëzit takohen me njëri-tjetrin, ata madje bëhen miq.”
Ndërsa, Muhamet Ademi, 20 vjeçar që vjen nga komuniteti egjiptian në Kosovë, përveç eksperiencës së mirë që ka pasur me komunitetet e tjera në “Artpolis”, përmes frekuencave të Radio KFOR-it ka e edhe një mesazh: “Falë ‘Artpolis, kam bërë një shoqëri shumë të madhe jo vetëm të komunitetit tim por edhe plot komunitete të tjera si serb, shqiptar e etni të tjera . Bashkëpunimi mes të rinjve të të gjitha komuniteteve në Kosovë, është çelësi i suksesit për një të ardhme më mirë për të rinjtë në Kosovë”.

Megjithëse pandemia e shkaktuar nga ‘Covid-19’, ka ndaluar shumë aktivitete gjithandej botës “Artpolis”, nuk ka ndaluar asnjëherë me aktivitete multietnike por të njëjtat janë zhvendosur online. Ndër to janë edhe klubet teatrale nga projekti me 20 shkollat kampione të Kosovës,  nxënësit e të cilave vazhdimisht kanë sjell performanca online si dhe janë mbajtur trajnime  po ashtu online, më nxënës që vijnë nga të gjitha komunitetet në Kosovë.
Qendra “Artpolis” po vazhdon të mbetet model i punës në ekip multietnik dhe shembull i një të ardhme multietnike në Kosovë.

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Feminist Spring School – Second virtual meeting

07.05.2020

Art and Community Center – Artpolis from Kosovo and Alternative Girl’s Center from Serbia on 7 May, 2020 organized the second virtual meeting with girls selected to participate on Feminist Spring school 2020 – the first part.

This meeting was facilitated by Jelena Memet, Agnesa Xheladini , Jetbardha Selmani and Sandra Farkaš. On this meeting, the girls shared with each other their personal experiences during this pandemic, and the supportive mechanisms that are helping them during this period.

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.

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Viral Dialogue

06.05.2020

Author: Miodrag Miki Marinkovic

Program Director of NGO AKTIV

In last couple of weeks the world has changed before our eyes. It changed to extent greater than it had in last two decades. If by chance, someone slept through those tormenting two weeks in March or embarked on journey to some, off the grid destinations, the changes that awaited were astonishing.

Once he/she, for the purpose of this piece, let’s call it a traveler, left the Kosovo, along with passport and baggage, he brought along the unwavering persuasion of rightfulness of developed world.  The traveler left home with outmost piety toward fabled European values, solidarity, tolerance, unity, cooperation. Coming from restless Balkan, where differences are often treated with insults, disrespect and fear, where people seeks comfort solely among those alike, the traveler envied the Europeans that embraced such a way of life. He felt butterflies in his stomach at the airport as being a few steps away from such a world.

When traveler finally came back, world that he left, was no more. In just 15 days the unthinkable has happen; Germany closed its borders, Italy closed its people, USA closed the cashbox, Europe has closed its schools, factories, Starbucks’s and Zara’s. Everyone got closed. The images of famous squares in Europe, Plazza de Orient, Champs Elysees, Santa Maria Piazza, he knew only packed with annoying tourists with cameras and socks with sandals, were now deserted in broad daylight. The images resembled the apocalyptic movies scenes.  The fear prevailed and took over a minds of people.

So the people started to act out of fear. The media headlines flashed before travelers eyes, shattered the myths of EU solidarity into thousand little selfish pieces

“Italian authorities have seized a shipment of 1,840 manual respirators intended for patients receiving hospital treatment for COVID-19 in Greece”

“French border guards impounded lorries filled with 130,000 face masks bound for the UK”

Czech Republic seizes more than 100,000 face masks sent by China to help Italy tackle spread” ….

The very same European solidarity, we all heard a million times as, for us, unattainable value, imploded into state protectionisms, self-centeredness and unprecedented Machiavellianism of European Union states. It proved what theorists and analysts suspected, there is no EU identity. It’s counts more for being Spaniard, German or Italian then European.

One would thought that, once the EU civility as exemplary political and social model vanished, traded for the boxes of surgical masks, Balkan states would resort to deeply embedded animosities and rivalry. Especially because now there is few left to scrutinize them. But no. That was not what happened. Balkan nations, especially Serbs and Albanians as epitome of its calamity, practiced one skill, believed to be long forgotten;

Responsibility.

The borders were opened for food, medicine, doctors to travel freely to his patients. Medical aid was shared. Politicians has meet without EU patronage, to discuss how to tackle the pandemic, ministries meet to exchange expertise and information, And no one paid attention to formalities, whether Kosovo is Republic or Kosovo * on the declaration of the aid that was sent, or the flags on the desks of ministers.  There was no time for such a formalities.  Leaders set a differences aside and acted with intention not to harm. Of course, it’s not that we achieved a miracles, groundbreaking improvements or something of such magnitude. But it was obvious that there was an effort invested, conscious effort, not to make things harder for each other. Knowing where we were just a while ago, I dare to say, this was great improvement.

So, once the first shock with the news ended, our traveler start to wonder how come we acted more mature and responsible than renowned EU democracies. How come our politicians, populists as they are, refrained from cashing in our enmities like so many times so far, and acted with consideration? What have happened?

The empathy happened. Pure and simple understanding what ‘others’ are experiencing and newly found ability to relate with them. This tiny submicroscopic agent, deconstructed and reshuffled all divisions that we created. It was no longer important were we born as Serbs and Albanians, Christians or Muslims. It became us versus virus. It made us understood that living next to each other we share not only claims, but concerns as well. That we depend on each other wellbeing.

The question is, was such epiphany exclusive to the end-of-the-world scenarios, or could have we acted more responsible in all our petty grudges in the past. Could have we acted with empathy if not for our mutually exclusive national ideas but for the victims they left behind. The decades has passed but we as society have not succeeded to build an understanding and acknowledge the victims beyond its national identity.  Centuries has passed and we have failed to overcome the urge of subordination of the other as the only possible way to co-existence.

Last couple weeks showed that, despite the common belief, we do have such capacity. This crisis revealed a glimpse of it. We as society demonstrated that we are capable of more responsible and considerate actions toward each other. It’s not popular, for sure. We can already hear a voices to restore “natural order” in which we hate each other. But, regardless of that, one things has changed irreversibly.   The idea that Serbs and Albanian cannot live together is proven wrong.

The end

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

05.03.2020

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”.

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Feminist Spring School – First virtual meeting

16.04.2020

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.

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

12.07.2019

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.

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Ballkan.com-Coalition for Reconciliation is established in Kosovo

12/07/2019

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/

https://balkaneu.com/coalition-for-reconciliation-is-established-in-kosovo/