About 15 kilometers southwest of Prishtina, in the very center of Kosovo, stands an ancient medieval fortress, itself built upon prehistoric settlements: Kalaja E Harilaqit (Harilaq Fortress). On Sunday (September 11), this abandoned cultural heritage site will be infused with new life and filled with music, art and people as it hosts the first edition of the conceptual eventVisions of Beyond.
Visions of Beyond aims to create an intimate space away from hectic urban life, in which art and music can fuse with the forgotten cultural heritage of the ruins; it’s an unconventional method of raising awareness of protecting this heritage, while attempting to promote touristic and artistic activities in rural areas.
Behind the event stands Hapesira, organizers of several successful projects in the past, including their Warehouse Project, a series of techno parties that took place in the abandoned Rilindja printing warehouse earlier this year.
K2.0 caught up with Hapesira member and one of the organizers of Visions of Beyond, Uran Badivuku. More widely known as Uran B., the established underground DJ started working on electronic music and the age of 14 and has performed extensively both locally and internationally.
K2.0: What is the background of Hapesira and who stands behind the organization and the event?
Uran B.: Hapesira is a team of young professionals with diverse experiences who believe in the advancement of society through culture, education, art and music by sharing mutual cultural values reached with the collaboration of open minded individuals that aim at presenting nothing but unique projects, activities and events. One of the most important dimensions of Hapesira is the notion that the organization isn’t defined by the individuals that have established it, rather, it is the ideas and conceptualizations of the contemporary Kosovar art scene that lie at the core of it.
How did the idea of Visions of Beyond come about?
The first steps started with what now has become a household name in Prishtina’s club scene: the ‘Rilindja Warehouse’ project. Hapesira’s Warehouse Project might seem like a risky concept in which the idea is to venture beyond the established club route, finding itself in spaces never used before in this manner.
Similarly, the notion to make use of settings that are often overlooked in our society have further helped shape Visions of Beyond, or VoB. VoB is characterized by a holistic approach which can be broken down to three fundamental theoretical notions.
Firstly and most importantly, it is the realization that cultural heritage is one of the most dismissed realms of our society, and the need for us to provoke a response.
Secondly, music is used as the tool to help our community get in touch and appreciate the complex nature of our history, as well as encouraging a more nuanced look at how music can initiate social change.
Thirdly, through moving the setting away from ordinary urban life, we seek to explore the spiritual and physical riches that have often been forgotten in our rural parts. Ultimately, it is through these notions that we yearn to create something organic, a VoB ethos.
What do you ultimately aim to achieve through Visions of Beyond?
While most events that have taken up stage in Kosovo in recent years seek to maximize material profit, VoB aims to maximize human capital. At the end of the day, even though funds at our service may be limited, the positive energy generated through VoB is redirected toward helping to integrate our rural communities.
Can you expand upon what is going to take place at the festival and its structure?
The main point that should be taken away from this is that we try to maximize the homegrown talent in Kosovo, the Balkans as well as the international scene. Through our close partnership with the Kosovar Archeological Institute, Cultural Heritage Without Borders and the National Museum, VoB aims to introduce a cordial approach to re-shaping our cultural heritage.
Moreover, it is also worth noting that as VoB’s ethos grows, the different aspects of the event will mature organically as well. All the other important information with regard to this question should be followed up on our social media pages which are updated daily.
A special thank you has to go out to the Ministry of Culture and Sports’ department of heritage and to the Municipality of Fushe Kosova, who have been more than open in helping us to shape this event. Their continued support has been key to allowing us to shift the epicentre away from everyday urban life.
Why was Kalaja E Harilaqit chosen as the location for this festival?
One of the main problems that we have identified is that throughout the years, people continue to visit the area near the Harilaq Fortress, yet never realize that the fortress is right around the corner. Essentially this is the case with most cultural heritage sites found around Kosovo. The history and essence of these locations are often forgotten compared to the more modern surroundings of Kosovo. The Harilaq Fortress serves as the breeding ground for what we consider to be until now, Hapesira’s most critical venture.K
Photos: Visions of Beyond.