Urban Memoryscapes is an interdisciplinary project done through the collaboration between Lumbardhi Foundation and Kosovo Oral History Initiative. The project consists of research, archiving and exhibition-making with a focus on the the social, cultural and economic history of Prizren in the second half of the 20th century.

Through this project ten participants will be equipped with tools to document the past and interactively work with the collected data to build a digital archive, online and offline exhibition, a publication, and most importantly producing knowledge about their communities and engaging in a learning process about a critical period that has been formative for the cultural and urban identity of the city Prizren and its inhabitants.

This project is made possible with the support of the Franco-German Cultural Fund and the French and German Embassy.

Hadije Gështenja

Translator

He started to screen films in Kosovo, then after a while he went also to Albania as Italians were there, they had cinemas in Tirana. […] The youth watched films so much, so much. Not only the youth, but also the elderly. My father would tell me about a friend of his, he’d go into the cinema at 4, he’d get out, he’d enter again at 6, he’d get out and enter again at 8. He’d watch three films a day. […] Then when I grew up, there were those leaflets, with the content of the films, my father would give me, I’d look at them, read them and propose the ones he should pick. I knew so much for films, also for artists, directors, and subjects.

Rexhep Hasani

Jurist

I decided to stay in Prizren because I liked it the most, my children liked it better here. Because I came here from ‘66, they all made friends here, they got adapted. But I got  adapted too. […] In Gjilan, I told you, I had a very good time in Gjilan but here I had my friends. I could go to Pristina, because the whole Kosovo is there, Podujevo is there as well as Drenas, Peja and Gjakova, everyone is there, the whole Kosovo is there in Pristina, but I liked it here better, I got closer friends with whom I still hang out […]

To be honest, life in Prizren hasn’t changed much, it has just gotten more dynamic, and here I am talking about the nightlife, because there are no big changes. […] We had, Prizren had only one korso, there were no coffee shops like nowadays, there was the korso in shadërvan., then they moved it to Marash […] from the rock bridge, the iron bridge […] that is where the korso was, from the rock bridge to there. Before that it was in shadërvan. But it was very good, life was dynamic […] There was not a single night when we wouldn’t go out, only if we were on duty or something […] not much in coffee shops, but on korso, we would go for walks.

Xheladin Kastrati

Violinist

I didn’t know that the national anthem of Croatia is in Albanian. This book {points towards the book}…this song was made  by Kol Pjetër Shiroka, he translated it into Albanian from Croatian, that book still exists. I took that song because it is a four-vocal song. I performed it and I didn’t know, when I saw people stand, I didn’t understand why they were standing and somebody came to me and said, ‘Once again, please.’ Crying, the audience was crying, ‘Once again, please, once again!’ I realized that it is the national anthem of Croatia, ‘Oh my beloved fatherland’ is the title of the song.

Vait Krasniqi

Teacher

For example, in…If we  reflect a little , in ‘81, they were exactly at my family, because I was a student at that time, I mentioned it that we all were part of the demonstrations, of writing the slogans and so on, and at that time we would write a few slogans, which they called counter-revolutionary, there was the Kosova Republikë [Kosovo is a Republic] slogan, and so they came to my village and checked some houses, whose sons or daughters were in school, no matter ifthey were students or high school pupils, they went to my house and raided it and…I wasn’t there at that time, I was in Pristina, in the faculty and since I wasn’t there, they had taken my brother, without any guilt, and they imprisoned him for two months. So, I didn’t come from Pristina for a long time, and once I came three months later, I guess somebody had told them, I don’t know now, they came and took me too and I stayed in prison for two months, I mean, because…just because of being a student, it didn’t matter whether you were part of the demonstrations, whether you wrote slogans…All the mistreating, I mean, mistreatment.

Shefqet Rexhepi

Former employee in the Printeks factory

As workers, we got along very well, there were various nationalities, Albanians, there were Turks, there were Serbs, but we were like a family, we had no doubts about what to do […] Health system was in a very good state, we had the dentist there, I mean, we were complete. How to say, we were a state, just as a state is supposed to be, that’s how we were. We had everything in Printeks.

‘Our relations with those working in the administration were good, the law came first, the law came first back then. There was the same law for everyone, starting from the most ordinary worker to the executives. The former workers’ union of Yugoslavia aimed for no worker to ever complain about anything. Whatever the workers wanted to happen, happened, they got whatever they needed.

Indira Çipa

Pianist

While I consider the activity in Agimi as a….as a gift for the nation, something that is spiritual and that maybe is the last yarn that I hold on to, not only me, but all the others. It is a gift for the nation, a gift for the city but also a big benefit for me because I got a lot of love from that activity, I got a lot of praise from those activities. I am sure that people are aware that I, I gave my soul to such an event and not only me. I was there because all the others were there. We all loved it, we all loved that activity. I cannot say that one influenced the other, but  I can say that none would work without the other. Agimi is Indira as a human, piano is Indira in her profession even though…one is within the other…there is no art without giving your heart to it.

Zijadin (Ziko) Vardar

Projectionist

When I started working in 1954, they would watch cowboy films. Those were popular, cowboy films, and then the Indian [native americans] films came, the Indian films begun in the ‘60s. And then people started coming to the cinema. Then there came the serial films, the Italian cowboy films. They would last 45 minutes, but [the cinema] would be full, a serial of 45 minutes each. There was profit from that, also from cowboy films. Especially when there was John Wayne, Tony Curtis and another famous actor, the hall was full, it was so crowded. Then the romance films began, the more educated would come to see those. And the youth always watched cowboy films, eh, bam bum, bam bum, when the gangsters won they would applaud.