Prizren presents one of the most culturally and historically diverse towns in Kosovo. As such, it made the perfect target for a study visit for our Cohesion Circle members from the Mitrovica region. Along with Cohesion Circle members, all interested citizens from the Mitrovica region could apply! The study visit gathered 27 participants from North and South Mitrovica from all Kosovo communities. In terms of reconciliation and peacebuilding, Prizren has been one of the most successful regions in Kosovo, largely as a result of the efforts of their civil society.
The visit started at DokuFest, where a representative welcomed the participants and briefly introduced DokuFest. After that, the speakers discussed initiatives and short movie screenings that were done by youth from Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, and more. The participants of the Prizren study visit got to watch some clips of these short movies that were previously shown at DokuFest with the youth from all Kosovo communities engaged in ice-breaker activities in order to overcome the language and cultural barrier between them. Also, the participants were cordially invited to become DokuFest volunteers and work along with a group of youngsters from all Kosovo communities.
“Visits like this one with peers from other ethnic backgrounds are really helpful to get to see from a different perspective on how co-existence between communities can create such opportunities for youth. We also got to see more of the beautiful city of Prizren” – Endrit Preteni
In addition to the DokuFest visit, the participants also visited the former cinema Lumbardhi, the oldest cinema in Kosovo. According to Lumbardhi Foundation’s representative, the cinema has been going on for so many years and is continuing to have screenings, shows, and a variety of other artistic works, with the involvement of artists and citizens from all communities living in Kosovo and the region as well, demonstrating to participants how coexistence and cooperation between communities can have a huge impact on people’s lives. During the tour, participants saw the indoor cinema rooms as well as the outdoor stage.
“Visiting Prizren with youth who are from other ethnicities can be an enriching and rewarding experience. It’s an opportunity to learn about different cultures and perspectives while exploring a beautiful city. It’s important to approach the trip with an open mind and a willingness to learn and connect with others. By engaging with people from different backgrounds, you may gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of diversity.” – Misala Ahmatović
At the end of the tour, the participants walked around Prizren, seeing many cultural relics in this old and diverse city.
The study visit was wrapped up with a short sightseeing spree of some of the most well-known locations around the city of Prizren. Visits like this help to develop the perspectives of the youth and teach them about the influence that co-existence between a various number of communities can be achieved. The study visit highlighted to importance of peaceful and productive co-existence of communities of different backgrounds and provided a great example of the spirit of reconciliation to the participants from Mitrovica region.