BIRN Marks End of Kosovo War with ‘Reporting House’ Exhibition

birn marks end of kosovo war with reporting house exhibition

A three-month exhibition opens next week in Pristina, exploring media coverage of the war in Kosovo and how artists have interpreted its legacy in the 25 years since.

Marking 25 years since the end of the Kosovo war, an exhibition will open next week in downtown Pristina showcasing media coverage of the war that brought the curtain down on the 20th century in Europe, alongside artwork dealing with its legacy.

Presented by BIRN Kosovo, KALLXO.com, Prishtina Biennale and Paper Gallery, the three-month ‘Reporting House’ exhibition presents a cross-section of the journalism, photography and media artefacts of the time, positioned alongside contemporary artwork exploring and reflecting on the impact of the 1998-99 war in the decades since.

The exhibition takes its name from BIRN’s ‘Reporting House’ museum and community space under preparation in Sarajevo and which aims to tell the story of Yugoslavia’s collapse through the prism of media coverage.

In Pristina, the exhibition will open in the Yugoslav-era former ‘Germia’ department store on June 10 and close on September 10.

“Twenty-five years after the end of the NATO bombing campaign, Kosovo is a rare case in which an international alliance intervened to save lives and it worked,” said Jeta Xharra, executive director of BIRN Kosovo and one of the producers of the exhibition.

birn marks end of kosovo war with reporting house
Reporting House poster. Illustration: BIRN

“Since the end of the Kosovo war, we have seen other humanitarian crises such as Gaza, Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan in which people were dying and the West let it happen.”

“That’s why we Kosovars cannot afford to be complacent and not remind ourselves just how unique and unprecedented our war was. Although nearly one million people were expelled from their homes, one million people returned within a week of Serbia’s capitulation.”

Curated by Gazmend Ejupi, the Reporting House exhibition features 150 television stories from Kosovo between 1992 and 1999 by a range of foreign broadcasters, as well as photographs and print stories.

Contributors include the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen and Ben Brown, Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak, Kosovar photojournalists Ilaz Bylykbashi and Hazir Reka, Andrew Testa of the New York Times, Frontline founder Vaughan Smith and a host of others.

The exhibition will also present the work of artists Anri Sala [Albania], Adrian Paci [Albania], Goncalo Mabunda [Mozambique], Lala Meredith Vula [UK-Kosovo], Zhana Kadyrova [Ukraine], Lana Cmaijcanin [Bosnia and Herzegovina], Olafur Eliasson [Iceland-Denmark], Laura Imami [UK], Besa Llugiqi [Kosovo], Vullnet Jakupi [Kosovo] and Vita Kasapolli [Kosovo].

Besides the main exhibition in the ‘Germia’ department store, the Great Hammam and Paper Gallery in Pristina will host space for contemplation and dialogue, honouring the memory of those affected by the war in Kosovo and efforts towards the peaceful resolution of conflict.

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