September 25, 2023 | Monday

“HOW DO I SEE YOU?”: A Cultural Exchange Between Kosovo and Serbia

In a passionate endeavor to bridge the cultural divides between the youth of Kosovo and Serbia, a joint initiative titled “HOW DO I SEE YOU?” has been introduced by Dokufest in collaboration with the Slobodna Zona festivals and the Foundation Fund B92. The project aims to foster understanding and connections between the two communities, targeting especially the young adults aged 18 to 25.

In light of concerns about biased media narratives and widening disparities, the project seeks to harness the profound potential of intercultural dialogue. Throughout its duration, exchange camps have been organized both in Kosovo and Serbia. Each camp is carefully crafted to offer attendees a safe environment for spirited discussions, exploration of cultural landmarks, and, most importantly, a chance to discern the genuine narratives obscured by media representation.

Expertly curated by Dokufest, in collaboration with various cultural organizers, the camps include visits to significant cultural institutions and events. Such experiences play a pivotal role in challenging misconceptions, especially those suggesting cultural impoverishment in either nation.

A notable feature of these camps is the daily activity wherein participants pair up with different partners every day and document their experiences in a video. As the camps conclude, attendees produce 2-minute videos, juxtaposing their initial perceptions with the insights they’ve gained. Given the current geopolitical landscape, such initiatives hold immense significance. The collective documentation from these camps will culminate in a 60-minute omnibus, set to be unveiled at the closing exhibition slated for December, marking 45 months of tireless effort on the project.

Moreover, the project’s multifaceted strategy includes collecting press clippings. These, when amalgamated with materials from each camp, were showcased in exhibitions in both Kosovo and Serbia.

It extends beyond merely understanding different cultures; it’s about discerning the truths hidden by media narratives. Zana Arapi Xheladini, project coordinator at Dokufest believes such efforts encourage dialogue that goes beyond individual interactions, addressing the overarching relations between Serbs and Albanians.

“The project underscores the comprehensive role of cultural endeavors. As the orchestrators stress, the youth shape the future, and though politics has its place, cultural insights and investment in such initiatives are of utmost importance,” she said.