Arts and culture have always been a means of social expression and political critique. Since the end of the war and post-independence Kosovo has developed one of the most vibrant cultural scenes in the region.
However, the independent cultural scene is far from in perfect health. In recent years local and national institutions have traditionally not seen art and culture — and especially independent culture — as one of the main pillars of development that would help contribute to a healthy societal structure. Most cultural organizations currently rely on foreign funds and would be unable to function without their support, and although the Ministry supports the production of arts and culture, it is unclear what criteria funding decisions are based upon — the Ministry still lacks a strategy on arts and culture.
For more than a decade, Kosovo’s independent cultural actors have nevertheless thrived in carrying powerful messages outside the country and contributing to a positive image of the new state, but Kosovar artists still face multiple social and political barriers. While art is held up as a means of breaking down barriers, strict visa requirements are isolating Kosovar artists from the international art scene and preventing them from spreading their art and putting Kosovo firmly on the international cultural map.
So, what can be done to create better conditions for the independent cultural scene? How does the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports distribute funds to cultural organizations? What implications does institutional funding have for the organization of ‘independent’ cultural activities? What other structural problems do the independent cultural scene face in Kosovo? How do artists see the role and future of arts and culture in Kosovo? To what extent are artists that are supported by state institutions independent to freely critique socio-political issues?
Join us at 18:00 on Thursday, August 23 in K2.0’s garden for a participative discussion, where we’ll tackle all these questions and more. We’ve invited a few people to help get the conversation started:
- Burbuqe Deva-Bakija – Deputy Minister for Culture, Youth and Sport;
- Arif Muharremi – Project Manager of Culture for Change;
- Veton Nurkollari – Artistic Director of DokuFest;
- Albert Heta – Co-founder of Stacion – Centre for Contemporary Art and executive director of Network of Independent Institutions of Art and Culture.
The conversation will be moderated by Ares Shporta, executive director of Lumbardhi Foundation.
Translation in English will be provided.K
Feature image: Majlinda Hoxha / K2.0.