“Me motive tonat” is the new album release by Rona Nishliu, our renowned Kosovar artist and former Eurovision performer who received the highest score that Albania has ever achieved in Europe’s greatest music contest.
Her new project (to be found here: http://bit.ly/1NeHLgt) is the final cycle of research and transformation that Rona Nishliu has applied to classics of Albanian urban music, dating back from the late 14th century. What started as her personal search of the roots of Albanian musical heritage, of the original emotions or sins that led to the creation of the songs, in the quasi academic setting of piano-and-vocals duo experimentation, has now matured into a musical show that transcends traditional content through fusion with Free Jazz, Trip Hop and Soul, offering a unique and refreshing blend of Balkan sounds.
“Me motive tonat” deconstructs ethnicity through the search for connections between different schools of music and by exploring the inner workings of traditional national songs, which to the ancient Balkan people are larger than life and official history books.
“Me motive tonat” rearranges the architecture of traditional Albanian music in a constant search for connections to today’s world, it maps and reinterprets cultural milestones, and questions the accepted national and social role of music and entertainment.
The project is presented through the following products:
• Music Album (9 songs)
• Documentary (40 min)
• Music Videos (9 videos)
• Live Concert (1 hour, possibly up to 75 min)
All these products may be presented separately, and also through a single package for everything, in the form of the so-called Music Cloth, a stylized handkerchief with a 8GB USB attached. The Music Cloth is our substitute to the conventional CD and DVD, and we hope it will be able to convey more of the spirit and intent of this project.
The intention is to penetrate the World Music Scene and create opportunities for representation of Kosovar culture on International Jazz and World Music Festivals and other venues, as well as across the whole range of traditional and social media.
“Smajl” is a documentary film that tells the story of a Kosovar family migrating to Germany in the 70s.The main character is Mr. Ismail Hoxhaj, the head of the family, who had gone to Germany to buy a cassette player. Circumstances of that time forced Ismail to drag along his whole family and open a new chapter in the lives of each of his household.
This documentary is directed by Philipp Meyer, a close family friend of the Hoxhaj’s, who in cooperation with the daughter of Mr. Ismail, Zymryte Hoxhaj, agreed to make the documentary.
“… this documentary is about the life and work of my dad, an immigrant in Germany, who alongside many from the Balkans, he had found plenty of work in the then redeveloping German state”, said Hoxhaj for KultPlus Magazine. This documentary includes political and social issues faced by Albanians in the 70s, as well as the activities of various diaspora movements. The film also includes the daily life of the children, growing up in a foreign environment and adapting to life in Germany with a radically different cultural background.
What differs the Hoxhaj family, is basically Mr. Ismajls dedication at looking for a cassette player, and getting so much more out of the bargain.
Watch the documentary trailer through the BunkHouse Filmmakers here, or through Vimeo where you can watch the trailer with English subtitles here.
The second virtual diaspora meeting, held on 6th of June, has set a hallmark of milestones to be reached in effort of coordinating institutional and civic diaspora activities.
This was an event that brought together Diaspora members and representatives of governmental institutions and civil society representatives from Albania, Kosovo, United States, Norway, and Bangladesh, with live Q&A session. The topic was “Diaspora Engagement: A Source of Policy Making in Albania and Kosovo.” The list of participants was comprised of important figures from the government, business and civil society: Vlora Çitaku (Kosovo Consul in NYC), Besa Shahini (Senior Analyst at European Stability Initiative), Kushtrim Sheremeti (Kosovo Ministry of Diaspora), Indira Kartallozi (Director at Chrysalis Family Futures), Avni Mustafaj (Executive Director at National Albanian American Council in Washington D.C.), Jetmir Bakija (Project Manager at Kosovo Democratic Institute in Prishtina), Donika Hoxha (Director at MFA Albania/Public Diplomacy, Partnerships and Diaspora Department), Adi Hoxha (Desk Officer at MFA Albania/Public Diplomacy, Partnerships and Diaspora Department), Nuhi Peci (Albanian Student Association Norway), and Behar Xharra (Founder of KosovoDiaspora.org).
Mr. Behar Xharra, founder of KosovoDiaspora.org, emphasized the purpose of the platform, that is, publishing positive achievements of Kosovars in order to present Kosovo and its diaspora community in a better light. Furthermore, Mr. Xharra explained how the Kosovodiaspora platform has developed over time into an important diplomatic component connecting Kosovars living abroad.
Ms. Vlora Citaku, Kosovo’s consulate in New York City, explained the importance of both Kosovar and Albanian Diasporas in identity building and defining the path to Euro-Atlantic integration. “Right now Kosovo and Albania need to take the positive experiences diaspora whether in education, economics, and other guidance.”
Mr. Kushtrim.Sheremeti, advisor at the Kosovo Ministry of Diaspora explained the progress of Diaspora strategy that has been developed by this ministry. He also talked about the importance of diaspora engagement and stated “the engagement in the decision making processes has always been crucial, not only in the political aspect but also for economic and cultural development.”
Ms. Donika Hoxha from the MFA Albania/Public Diplomacy, Partnerships and Diaspora Department, added, “The Albanian diaspora has been the foundation stone of the Albanian statehood. So far we have only looked at diaspora through the financial perspective, the time is now that we utilize the true power of our Diaspora, we should invite their ideas, beliefs and practices.”
For Besa Shahini from the European Stability Initiative, true and rightful treatment of diaspora and its potential is attained through political power. “2000 votes from previous elections is a mere fraction of the true voting potential of our diaspora. The reasons upon why the number is so low are many, however, the root of the political power drains of Kosovo’s 90s diaspora comes from the following: 1. The Kosovar Diaspora is not engaged in political parties as much, Given that 52% of the votes have gone motion of self-determination and it has made this a sense of frustration of the governing parties about how what they have done so far. 2. The diaspora no longer is funding political parties, thus are unable to dictate the agenda within the parties. “
Jetmir Bakija from the Kosovo Democratic Institute in Prishtina emphasized that current policy making has made it impossible for the diaspora to participate without being physically here, thus a more holistic approach through enabling the diaspora to participate without its presence would greatly benefit policy making in general. “Kosovo government should allow greater involvement of the Diaspora therefore be given a wider space with policy making, as well as provide mechanisms for involvement from outside.” Concerning the idea of involving the diaspora in political parties, Mr.Bakija added that “political parties have created division lines among the diaspora community, thus a possibility of brining the diaspora closer to policy making through organizations and associations would serve as a pressure group in positive terms to influence the decision-making here in Kosovo”.
NGO Germin organized this discussion forum in partnership with the International Organization of Migration (IOM), the United Nations Development Office (UNDP) and the Kosovo Ministry of Diaspora (MoD).
Germin is an NGO that uses technology to connect and support the Albanian Diaspora communities with their home countries. Germin has founded and manages the www.kosovodiaspora.org, a crowdsourcing digital engagement platform for Diaspora.
The immigration influx of the 1990’s brought a great number of young Kosovars with ideas and ambitions to Germany. With lawmakers seeing these changes in a positive light, legal barriers to business-doing were quickly removed ,thus enabling businesses to utilize such potential. These changes offered the opportunity for the Viqa brothers to open up their own business.When brothers Nazmi, Gani and Viqa Ilmi came to Germany in 1992, they brought with them a ambition and determination to work. Established in 1994, they established the AWR Company and initially started with works on ruined structures, reconstruction and recycling.Through work and great discipline, as well as high quality services, the company expanded to all projects in Germany, winning bids from different companies and German institutions. Their large presence in various industrial complexes, airports and numerous workshops in the meantime shows that AWR is among the leading companies in this sector in the whole of Germany. One of the most prestigious projects of the company was breaking 116-meter building at the University of Frankfurt , which was once the tallest building in Frankfurt. About 30,000 people were gathered last year to see this spectacle, which was conducted with high professionalism of the team’s AWR.
The number of diaspora businesses in Germany is yet to be known, however there have been steps taken towards creating a database and information log, in particular, the establishment of the Union of Kosovo-German businesses in Cologne in October 2013 marks the starting point of a serious attempt at networking the diaspora based businesses in Germany.The Kosovo-German business union has set up regular meetings with Albanian businesses, visiting the in cities where they work, but also their workshops. These meetings serve to share information of general developments, but also for any current project.
AWR GmbH Company is a good example of success and shows that hard work and courage to invest in the realization of ideas pays off.
Please submit a video no longer than 1 minute to promote the diaspora registration process in the biggest worldwide diaspora registration campaign to date. The video must contain an active call for registering on the Kosovo Ministry of Diaspora web-platform at http://rd.rks-gov.net.
The way this call is made as well as the process and tools used for creating the videos are the creator’s choice. The videos can be made with professional video camera tools, smart phones, or be designed in cartoon or other visual formats.
This call goes out to all the residents of Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia and family members living abroad. The video can be done in any language where our diaspora members live.
Cash prizes of 400€, 150€, and 50€, will be awarded to the winners.
Creativity is the highest criteria for choosing the winning video.
Na dërgoni një video jo më të gjatë se 1 minutë e cila promovon regjistrimin e diasporës Shqiptare në mbarrë botën. Video duhet të apelojë për regjistrimin e diasporës në web-platformën e Ministrisë së Diasporës në Kosovë në faqën http://rd.rks-gov.net.
Video mund të realizohet me mjete profesionale apo me telefon, dhe mund të zhvillohet si animacion apo stil tjeter visuel. Ky konkurs vlen për të gjithë shqiptarët kudo që ndodhen.
Shpërblimet 400€, 150€, dhe 50€ do të ndahën për tri vendet e para.
Kriteri kryesor për përzgjedhjen e videove fituese është kreativiteti.
It’s official: Kosovo now holds the Guinness World Record for the largest mosaic of grain in the world, thanks to Alkent Pozhegu, a 38-year-old Kosovar born in Gjakova.
In May 2014, Alkent Pozhegu made a mosaic of dimensions 20×25 meters, with an area of 500 m2. Pozhegu’s work, with which he set a new Guinness World Record for Kosovo in this category, has set behind the previous record of 400 m2, which was presented in India.
Pozhegu’s mosaic figure is made of maize, rice and wheat. He used 2500 kilograms of grain to create the names of Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, two world-known soccer players. The mosaic also includes the symbols of Barcelona and Real Madrid FC Club.
Below you can see Pozhegu’s recent interview for TV Syri Vision, a local TV Station in Gjakova, Kosovo.
“Bota” is a movie written and directed by Iris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci. The movie is a co-production of Kosovo, Albania and Italy, expected to appear on the 38th edition of TheGoteborg Film Festival to be held between 23rd of January to 5 February, 2015 in Sweden.
The Goteborg Film Festival is ranked as one of the best festivals in the world, featuring over 500 films from 84 countries of the world, with over 40 seminars and discussions on film and production.
The Karlovy Vary international film festival, held in the Czech Republic a year ago, announced “Bota” amongst its winners in the 49th edition. After the success in the Czech Republic, France, Finland and Germany, “Bota” was shown in Kinema Millenium in Tirana, Albania.
The actors starring in the movie are Flonja Kodheli, Artur Gorishti, Fioralba Kryemadhi, Tinka Kurti, Erand Sojli, Guljelm Radoja dhe Alban Ujkaj.
Peer Gynti nga Kosova is a theatrical play by Jeton Neziraj in cooperation with Robert Jelinek, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden from Germany, Teater De Vill from Stockholm and Multimedia center in Kosovo.
Our team had the chance to catch the play in one of its premiers in the Balkans. The play is focused on providing an insight into the complex and often ridiculous lives that migrants find themselves living throughout Western Europe. It examines the lives of thousands of migrants that find themselves turning to crime as a survival mean. The main character, Peer Gynti, has lived a total of 20 years back and fourth in German and Swedish prisons, thus finding himself in constant internal conflict, turns to imagination and delusion as a proper response to his living conditions.
Elements like “Besa” and the respect and love for the mother are seen throughout the play as a constant reminder of the deep rooted cultural norms that Albanians from Kosova are raised with.
Peer Gynti nga Kosova has been premiered in major Balkan cities and is currently on its way to be shown at 18 different theaters throughout Sweden.