For two years, Kosovo 2.0 and the Humanitarian Law Center in Kosovo (HLCK), with financial support from the European Union, have explored various aspects of transitional justice to cover as many nuances of the debates on this issue as possible. Recognizing the importance of how cultural interventions, such as film and documentary, contribute to transitional justice, the two organizations have produced the documentary “Water and Candles” directed by Leart Rama and produced by Luca Tesei Li Bassi.
The documentary, which is also the final project from the two-year collaboration between Kosovo 2.0 and the HLCK, advocates for the families of missing persons and their right to know the whereabouts of their lost family members. The film was shown on Tuesday, June 27 at a private premiere in Kino Armata and will soon be accessible to the public. At the center of the documentary are Bekim Gashi and Jasmina Živkovic, both relatives of people who went missing during and after the war in Kosovo.
Bekim is a survivor of the Tërnjë massacre, where at least 30 people were killed, 22 of whom were his relatives. His four sisters, Blerta, Lumturia, Selvetja and Luljeta, and his mother Hyra were killed and forcibly disappeared by Serb forces on March 25, 1999. On September 28, 1999, Paun Živkovic, Jasmina’s father, went to visit the technical high school in Ferizaj where he had worked as a principal to gather the necessary documents to continue the new school year in Štrpce. This was also the last time he was seen.
In this podcast, we talk to director Leart Rama about his artistic endeavor to make the experiences of Bekim and Jasmina accessible to others and to offer them an intimate space to discuss the disappearance of their family members.