ACT – Arts, critical thinking & active citizenship in Kosovo

“ACT – Arts, critical thinking & active citizenship” is the name of the Phase 1 Kosovo project for Changing the Story. Find out more about what we’re doing in Kosovo, our approaches, processes and aspirations.

Young people take part in a workshop by Mitrovica-based arts organisation 7arte.

The Kosovo strand of Changing the Story is led by Dr. Nita Luci (Program for Gender Studies & Research, University of Prishtina, Kosovo) and Dr. Stephanie Schwanders-Sievers (Conflict Transformation Studies Centre, Bournemouth University, UK).

Theory of Change

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As with all of the Phase 1 sub-projects of Changing the Story, the team will conduct a Critical Review and a Proof of Concept project, before disseminating their findings with local, national and international networks.

The Kosovo Theory of Change builds on that created for the entire Changing the Story project, which can be found here.

Critical Review

The Kosovo strand of the project will conduct a comparative analysis between the content, forms and practices of municipal versus independent, arts-based forms of civic education and explore their respective potentials with a specific focus on the issues facing CSOs targeting youth in marginalised areas outside the capital, Prishtina. In collaboration with our CSO partners (Stacion – Centre for Contemporary Arts, Prishtina [lead facilitator]; Varg e Vi – Center for Contemporary Art, Gjilan; Anibar, Peja; 7Arte, Mitrovica; NGO Aktiv, Mitrovica North as well as the Association for Regional Development Agencies, ARDA), the research focus will be on selectedmunicipalities in Kosovo. The Kosovo case study will contribute to the emerging field of Arts and Humanities Research for Development.

The review will be a detailed critical review (scoping study and report) of current civic educational practices and arts-based, educational intervention programmes in Kosovo’s municipalities, comparing the ways in which independent, arts-focused CSOs and state-sponsored, institutional youth centres reach out to non-cosmopolitan youth and negotiate contextual challenges. Core questions include, how do state vs. international funding streams and, at times, conflicting political demands influence the methods and outcomes of civic education? How do state and independent educational sites conceptualise and negotiate civic education, e.g. in relation to the post-war, national ‘master narratives’? Who uses the services provided? Who does not? How and why are CSOs and youth centres succeeding or failing in promoting social justice, civic integration and education for local youth? These, and other questions, will require reflection upon the ways historical contingencies have shaped underpinning practices, concepts, and politics of such work. The review will also account for the intersection of socio-cultural, and other, identifications, experiences and relations (based on gender, ethnicity, class, race) within the relevant educational or social justice programs.ing practices, concepts, and politics of such work. The review will also account for the intersection of socio-cultural, and other, identifications, experiences and relations (based on gender, ethnicity, class, race) within the relevant educational or social justice programs.

Team members of Mitrovika North based organisation NGO Aktiv.

Proof of Concept Project

Emerging from the findings of this critical review, the Kosovo team will deliver a ‘proof of concept’ pilot project that seeks to develop an inclusive participatory art programme addressing both the state-sponsored and independent CSO sector in Kosovo. The project will consist of:

  1. A kick-off workshop for all partners, to include training and workshops on participatory action methodology and an artist residency in Prishtina.
  1. A pilot of the ACT – Participatory Action Workshop developed in the kick-off workshop, which will run alongside the production of a curated art project.

The proof of concept project encompasses of an ethnographic, arts-based participatory action-research approach in a pilot multi-ethnic municipal case study; delivering comparative focus groups in five municipalities.

Kino Kubat screening as part of Peja-based Anibar Animation Festival, Kosovo

Dissemination

he project will culminate with a series of dissemination events that include a public exhibition of the curated art project, public seminars, media outreach and the presentation of a draft inclusive participatory-arts-based educational module for use across the municipal and independent art sectors in Kosovo. 

To find out more about our work in Kosovo, or any of the other Changing the Story project strands, contact us or follow us on Twitter #ChangingTheStory.

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