Kosovo’s leaders and international partners love to present the country as having a multicultural society. The majority of the population is of Albanian ethnicity, but politicians are quick to point out that there are also five minority communities officially recognized within the Constitution, and others besides.
However, on the ground, the picture is not always so rosy, and some of these minorities are almost completely segregated.
The most prominent example is Mitrovica, the city where a bridge is not a symbol of connection, but of division. But Mitrovica is not the only place in Kosovo where people of different ethnicities live largely parallel lives. Ever since the war and its aftermath — in which important demographic changes took place — there has often been little meaningful interconnection between communities in many places.
In recent years, there has been a lowkey trend of youngsters crossing Mitrovica’s bridge and getting to know each other, and various NGOs have spent years promoting inter-ethnic cooperation. But on the whole, there is still a lot of fear mongering among citizens and some reports say that people don’t openly state their ethnicity for fear of discriminatory responses.
Therefore we think it’s necessary to start a conversation around ethnicity.
Why have attempts to foster meaningful integration had such limited impact in the past two decades? What’s worked? What should be done differently? Is full integration truly achievable, or even truly desired? And if so, how much is effecting change down to institutions and organizations, and how much should it come down to individual responsibility?
Join us for an open and participative discussion on November 14, 17:30 at Hub 2.0.
To get the conversation started, we’ve invited along:
- Gëzim Selaci – Assistant and PhD candidate at the University of Prishtina’s Department of Sociology, within the Faculty of Philosophy.
- Nita Luci – PhD in anthropology and professor at the A.U.K university’s Department of Social Sciences.
- Igor Marković – a political scientist, working as a researcher and project manager in Aktiv, a non-governmental organization based in North Mitrovica.
The discussion will be moderated by Dafina Halili – journalist at K2.0.
*English and Serbian translation will be provided.
This event is implemented through the financial support of Prince Claus Fund.