19. Prishtina, Kosovo, May 2014

Fence 19 combined with the Eurodram Heads of Committee Meeting in Prishtina, Kossovo and was hosted by Jeton Neziraj at Qendra Mutlimedia

Details about Eurodram can be found at: http://www.sildav.org/component/content/article/388

A few words from Eurodram chef Dominique Dolmieu:

….Present were Gilles Boulan (French/Caen), Gergana Dimitrova (Bulgarian/Sofia), Andreas Flourakis (Greek/Athens), Kim Komljanec (Slovenian/Cambridge-Ljubljana), Jonathan Meth (English/London), Neda Nejdana (Ukrainian/Kiev), Jeton Neziraj (Albanian/Prishtina), Kujtim Pacaku (Rromani/Prizren), Hakan Silahsizoglu (Turkish/London-Istanbul), Ulrike Syha (German/Hamburg), Zohar Wexler (Hebrew/Paris), Dominique Dolmieu (Coordination/Paris), and Anne-Marie Bucquet from the Albanian committee.

Thanks again to Jeton & the Nitas from Qendra Mulimedia, as well as Antony and the Celines in Maison d’Europe et d’Orient, for organization. Thanks also to Philippe Le Moine and the French Institute of Belgrade / Teatroskop program, Isabelle Combarnous and the French Embassy in Kosovo, as well as the Traduki connection and the Alliance Française in Prishtina, that supported some of the costs.

We had a special focus concerning Albanian theatre, then we talked about links to make, future projects or events, how to renew and develop committees. In the evening we went to see the Kosovar premiere of “Peer Gynt from Kosovo” by Jeton Neziraj in the Oda Theatre, in a Kosovar/German/Swedish production – most of us much appreciated the work. New Eurodram committees were detailed : thanks mainly to The Fence and Qendra Multimedia, 28 committees now have coordination. 

 

The Grand Hotel Prishtina

Or

The 13th Floor Elevators*

Based on a fictionalized Habsburgian confection, Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Hotel Budapest - inspired by the works of Stefan Zweig - serves as a suitable jumping off point for this reflection on some days spent in Kossovo’s capital.

As guests of the hotel we were all roomed on the 4th Floor – entirely. The 12th Floor was a building site – a tranche of the city’s unfinished template – yet merely the filling in the hotel sandwich. For it was the 13th Floor that provided the building’s real story.

Queues would begin forming outside in the early evening. Red carpets and cordoning off. Tuxedo’d young men; girls in modern ballgowns. Paperazzi. The Grand Hotel plays host to High School Proms. Prishtina’s youth teems. Traffic halts.

The 13th Floor houses the disco. Swathes invade the foyer. Bouncers guard the two lifts. It is like trying to fit a football crowd into a couple of cupboards. We sneak up the unlit staircase, bypassing the hormones.

In the morning, when the boom of the drum and bass has stopped its echo, we go to the Ethnological Museum. Our Guide is witty, erudite; still only mid-20s (was he in the lift last night?). He uses vernacular English; time spent learning the museum trade - but in Finland, not London.

The museum is two rich, C18th and C19th houses which form an oasis in Prishtina’s building boom-lapse (are they going up? are they coming down?). In the rooms of beautifully carved Macedonian wood, glass cabinets house assorted wedding costumes; mainly for women but also male. Heavy bridal dresses from the mountains; others with red which symbolizes good luck.

Practical, elegant, each one different.

Laden with meanings. Mädchen with leanings.


*The 13th Floor Elevators was an American rock band from Austin, Texas, formed by guitarist and vocalist Roky Erickson