Selatin Novosella

Pristina | Date: February 16, 2022 | Duration: 102 minutes

I knocked, he didn’t open. I knocked, he didn’t open. ‘Sabri, it is I, Selatin,’ he opened it. He had closed the door with a hook of sorts. When I went inside, I saw the entire room was covered in red, yellow and black high quality silk. He had received an order to sew flags. ‘Can you help out?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ I was good at drawing, I was a student of the esteemed professor Engjëll Berisha. He said, ‘I need you to draw the eagle because I received a letter my brother,’ he didn’t really receive it […] he said, ‘Here,’ he said, ‘I received this letter.’ He said to me, ‘Go Selatin…’ [he] was a tailor, he had a workshop, but he also owned a little sewing machine with which he sewed at home after work hours.

[The letter read] ‘Go to this place on this date, time, minute. Take this fabric and sew a hundred Albanian national flags. Fold them and leave them in that place. Don’t tell anyone, no one can know. And if you don’t do this, we will end you and your entire family.’ I was terrified. The letter was false, but it was a way for him to justify his deeds, you know. So a flag went bad but we sewed 99 of them. Those 99 flags were distributed across Kosovo, of course including Pristina and Prizren. And that was an action of the organization Revolutionary Movement for Unification of Albanians, which was founded by Adem Demaçi…

Anita Susuri (Interviewer), Renea Begolli (Camera)

Selatin Novosella was born in 1945 in Vushtrri. He graduated from the High Pedagogical School in Pristina in 1966. He is the author of numerous biographical works that focus on the figure of the political activist Adem Demaçi. He was imprisoned four times due to his political activism during socialist Yugoslavia. During the 1999 Kosovo War, he was the Head of the Emergency Council. Since its establishment in 1996, Mr. Novosella has been a member and activist of the Association of the Former Political Prisoners of Kosovo. Currently, he lives with his family in Pristina.