The “Mirëdita, dobar dan!“ Festival, a unique event which has presented Kosovo cultural and social scene to the Belgrade public since 2014, will be held from May 29th to June 1st this year.

Along with introducing artists and performers, the representatives of the Kosovo cultural scene, the aim of the festival is to use the gatherings of Serbian and Kosovo social and cultural communities to initiate change and establish the tradition of co-operation that will contribute to permanent normalisation of the Belgrade – Prishtina relations.

This year’s Festival will officially be opened on May 23rd at 7 PM at the Centre for Cultural Decontamination, after which the audience will have the opportunity to see and participate in the exhibition ’Let’s Make Love’ by Shkumbin Tafilaj, who wishes to invite the public to say ’No’ to hate speech with his exhibition.

The screening of ’Cold November’ directed by Ismet Sijarina, a film about the period when the breakup of Yugoslavia was in full force, when the Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević was trying to diminish Kosovo autonomy within Yugoslavia, and the time when the Albanian population in Kosovo was under huge pressure in state and education institutions.

The second day of the “Mirëdita, dobar dan!“ Festival will be dedicated to the question of the missing persons. On Thursday, May 30th at 6 PM at the Dorćol Platz, there will be a debate and the promotion of the book ’Living with Memories of the Missing’, about persons missing since the Kosovo war. After the debate and the book promotion, ’Ferdonija’ will be screened – a film about mothers of Kosovo who have been searching for their family members who went missing during the Kosovo war for nearly two decades.

On the third day of the festival, a collection of selected plays of Albanian authors of Kosovo ’One Flew over the Kosovo Theatre’ will be presented. It is an anthology of plays created in the period between the NATO bombing and the proclamation of Kosovo’s independence in 2008. The next event will be the play ’Balkans Creoles’ by Enver Petrovci, about children born in mixed nationalities marriages. The play is about children who were raised in ex-Yugoslavia with little nationalist passion, which later labelled them in society as suspicious and unwanted because they were undecided during the wars.

On the last festival day, ’The History of Kosovo in the History Textbooks of Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia’ publication by Shkëlzen Gashi will be presented. It analyses the way of representing certain historical moments and the differences in those representations in the textbooks of the neighbouring countries.

The closing performances of the festival will be musical ones, by the Gjakova band ’Don’t Listen to Your Neighbours’ with their traditional Albanian and folk songs in modern style, as well as by the performance of the Prishtina producer DJ Matale.

This year, the “Mirëdita, dobar dan!“ festival is held at a specific moment, with the relationship between Belgrade and Prishtina at its lowest since the start of the Brussels negotiations. The political dialogue crisis is clearly and directly reflected in the everyday lives of the citizens of Serbia and Kosovo, further discouraging already scarce examples of co-operation between the two societies, not only in the cultural sphere but also in trade, sports, education, and all other areas. The festival sends out a clear message to Kosovo and Serbia’s public and to political establishment – that we must tear down barriers, not build new ones.

Details on the location and timetable are available on the festival’s website, and the entrance is free.

The festival is organised by the Youth Initiative for Human Rights and Civic Initiatives from Belgrade, and Integra from Prishtina.