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Seminar “Serbia and Kosovo:
Intercultural Icebreakers”

Prishtina, March 31 - April 4, 2015



The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia and its partner organization from Prishtina, the Liberal Democratic Centre, organized the seminar titled “Serbia and Kosovo: Intercultural Icebreakers” on March 31 - April 4, 2015 in Prishtina. Young people from Kosovo and Serbia, active and interested in culture and arts, spent five creative and working days, making friends and exchanging experiences and knowledge about their societies and cultures.

Participants in the seminar had an opportunity to listen to lectures by prominent authorities in arts and culture. During the first day Zlatko Pakovic held a lecture “Towards a Dialectical Theater”, focusing on dialectical theatre which is questioning everything that society imposes as unquestionable, that is usually considered to be well known; as a method for discovering the hidden truth of society.

Film director and investigative journalist Birol Urcan tackled the topic “Culture and Arts in Closed and Open Societies”, while socio-anthropologist Eli Krasniqi delivered the lecture titled “The Other, Pop Culture and Work of Memory” dealing with stereotypes, collective memory, cultural and art products, etc.

At the end writer Sasa Ilic delivered a lecture on “Literature of the Separated Worlds - Cultural Exchange as Peace-building (Kosovo/Serbia)” addressing the history of divided societies, cultural and political developments since early ‘80s until today, the culture and politics of denial, the avenues for cooperation in arts and culture, especially at the literary scene, and the importance of cultural exchanges. “Communication is being created through culture and arts. It is necessary to show that kind of openness in the communication and to allow the inflow of information and stories in order to change ourselves, and through our change we can make changes in societies we live in,” he said among other things.

Besides lectures young artists were attending the workshops held by sociologist Demir Mekic and psychologist Tamara Tomasevic. During the workshops they teamed up for creative campaigns for mutual respect, understanding and tolerance to be staged in the period to come. In this way, the program helps the promotion of young artists from both societies, who will be working together for breaking prejudices and stereotypes, and promoting good relations between Kosovo and Serbia.

The participants in the seminar also visited different cultural institutions and organizations in Prishtina in order to learn more about cultural and artistic programs on Serb-Albanian relations. They toured the Ethnographic Museum in Prishtina, and the Contemporary Art Center “Stacion” where they had an opportunity to talk to artist Alban Muja. We have also visited Kosova Oral History Initiative, where film director Kaltrina Krasniqi presented the oral history method and the work of their initiative.

Furthermore, they enjoyed some of the cultural events in Prishtina, such as the International Festival of Young Musicians – DAM Festival.

One of the participants, Sonja Radakovic, student of Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade speaks about her impressions saying: “Seminar “Serbia and Kosovo: Intercultural Icebreakers” was a great opportunity for me to visit Kosovo and Prishtina for the first time, and to meet with people of Albanian nationality. I’m glad our meeting was guided by the idea of friendship and mutual cooperation within cultural and artistic context. Besides spending really good time with all the participants, it was a great pleasure to meet different lecturers whose presentations encouraged me to think about and initiate the idea of our new joint action. I’m so looking forward to continue to work with other participants and to implement our new project both in Belgrade and Prishtina, in order to break the prejudices created by influence of bad Serb-Albanian political relations.”

Edin Alija, student of University of Arts in Prishtina says, „I had lots of fun. I met those ingenious people and mainly discussed ideas which really matters to me. The lecturers were stunner. I can say that after the end of workshops I gained a wider horizon of point of views, mainly artistic and philosophical.“

The overall goal of the program is to contribute to renewing old and create new ties between young people, academic and artistic community, media and civil society from Belgrade and Prishtina by promoting intercultural dialogue, reconciliation and normalization process.

Program is realized with the assistance of the European Union under the Support to Civil Society Facility 2013.




































In 2015, program is financed by the European Union under the Support to Civil Society Facility 2013.
In 2016, program is financed by the Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.
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author/organization and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union,
Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH or Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany.














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