Project Coordinator, forumZFD Kosovo
- My organization:
Civil Peace Service is an NGO focused on peace work in different parts in the world. In Kosovo the work is focused on Dealing with the Past, and it is implementing several projects on this topic, in different fields such as: journalism, arts, academics etc.
- Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:
In ‘Frequencies of the Past’ we organize a two day workshop with local radio journalists, which aims to prepare them with skills and elaborated ideas for realizing a 5 minute about a topic from the past or which is directly DwP; we organize conferences and round tables with journalists and media representatives on the importance of reporting on DwP and conflict sensitive journalism; we organize PR activities (through web, newspapers, dissemination of leaflets and posters) for raising the awareness and visibility of DwP and journalism.
- Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:
Main challenge we always face in ‘Frequencies of the Past’ is little knowledge of journalists about DwP and lack of credibility in our project. This is a direct result of a misconception that DwP work is yet another project that aims to reconcile Serbs and Albanians. This misconception has come out of the media therefore we are really trying hard to work with media in order to change this. Another challenge is that often journalists consider DwP reporting a risky business, since a large part of Kosovo media is considered to be controlled by the government, and the government is formed by people who are associated with the 1998–99 war in Kosovo, therefore reporting on DwP requires also talking about the actors of the 1998–99 war in Kosovo, and not always in a positive way.
- My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
I am a playwright by profession and for the past years I have also focused on work with local media. However, as a playwright I have been working on DwP topics since 2004, when I was working with UN Office for Missing Persons and Forensics (OMPF) in Kosovo, in developing forum theatre scenes about sensitive issues regarding missing persons work and the families of the missing, such as DNA testing, women empowering etc. Since then, my work as playwright has been always focused on DwP topics and women. My last play ‘The Finger’ was awarded last year as best socially engaged contemporary play in a Western Balkans drama competition in Belgrade, and it is about how women deal with the loss of their loved ones. I have found my focus in work in DwP because I think of myself as an activist whose aim is to do all that it takes to help this traumatized society to heal.