Facing grief for the missing

  • About this Talk
  • The modern history of the Balkans is infamous for the wars that plagued the region during the ’90s, taking the lives of tens of thousands of people, and scarring the hearts and minds of the survivors, many of whom lost their loved ones. 

    While we have knowledge and information on the number of fatalities that can help us to better understand and try to make sense of what happened, that is not the case for the thousands of family members of those who remain missing from these wars. 

    And wars have not been the only notorious events to have caused the disappearance of people throughout the region in recent years. This phenomenon has been added to by dictatorships and extrajudicial killings that caused the disappearance of opponents by force, and it continues to this day through forced migration along dangerous routes, domestic violence that ends in the murder of many women and the systematic marginalization of minority communities who all too often find themselves deleted from society. Ultimately, all these cases have one thing in common: the grief that the loved ones of the missing feel as a result of their absence and the questions that remain in the absence of information. 

    Friends and relatives of missing people are exposed to a type of trauma that is not common for most people. The disappearance of their loved ones has psychological consequences — such as feelings of insecurity, guilt, self-accusation, anger, obsession, anxiety, depression and loss of interest — but it also has a psychosocial impact — family problems, problems in relation to the community, and difficulties preserving the memory of missing persons and their place in the community.

    Considering the gravity of this problem that faces a considerable number of people in this part of the continent, on November 16, as part of the discussion that will follow the publication of our Monograph “Missing Persons”, we will discuss grief as the common emotion that ties together and includes all the different experiences presented through this publication, and we will dissect what can be done to get past this trauma as individuals, as a collective and as a region.

    The discussion will be moderated by K2.0 journalist and contributing editor Dafina Halili, while the panel will be composed of the following:

    1. Bekim Blakaj, Executive Director of Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo
    2. Nora Visoka Weller, specialized lawyer for cultural heritage protection, researcher of atrocity heritage, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the United Kingdom
    3. Betim Berisha, member of the Berisha family, many of whom were killed in the Suhareka massacre in March 1999
    4. Una Hajdari – Journalist from Prishtina focused on reporting on issues pertaining to the Western Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe. In this monograph, Una has written a story on missing journalists

    We invite you to join the conversation with questions and comments on Thursday, November 16, beginning from 17:30 LIVE on the Kosovo 2.0 Facebook page. 

    During the discussion, translation in English and Serbian will be provided. If you need translation, please send us your phone number in a private message. We will add you to a Viber group, and the translation will be provided through the app.   

    This event is part of “Recognition for missing persons”, a project realized through the financial support of the European Union, implemented by Kosovo 2.0 and Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo.K

    Feature image: Arrita Katona / K2.0.

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  • About the speakers
  • Time:

    5:30 pm


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