BOOM Concerts in 1980s Kosovo

Embracing the participative values and approaches integral to Changing the Story, our Phase 1 Kosovo strand – ACT: Critical Thinking and the Arts in Kosovo – chose to design a call-out for the proof of concept part of their project, encouraging a host of research-practice teams from across Kosovo to apply.

The successful project was ‘BOOM Zine’ – a qualitative research project that looks at the development of music, particularly at the rock and roll scene in Kosovo in the 1980s. The team is composed of the writer, Rina Krasniqi; sociologist Lura Limani; and designer, Bardhi Haliti. Two are artists and all three have a background in civil society activism in Kosovo.


BOOM Concerts in the 1980s in Kosovo

BOOM Zine is a qualitative research project that looks at the development of music, particularly at the rock and roll scene in Kosovo in the 1980s, focusing on the BOOM Concerts,- the role that these concerts played socially and politically and their value as cultural heritage today.  

During Yugoslav times, like all other spheres, Kosovo’s music scene too, was policed by the regime and came to be shaped by the political climate of the era. Nevertheless, music, and in particular western-influenced rock’n’roll music, presented a front with which youth culture could develop not only in line with ideological ideals of the State, but also against them. The music scene, which was developed through state-sponsored institutions such as the public radio, youth halls, and concerts, nevertheless allowed for dissent and political commentary that went against the status quo, representing a realm of struggle for human rights – a legacy that we believe needs to be reclaimed today.

 In this particular light, BOOM Concerts organized in the 1980s in Kosovo, played a crucial part in offering new bands a platform for communicating their message and representing the qualms of their generation. 

Nevertheless, being organised by public institutions these concerts also reflected the particular negotiation between politics and art and an inquiry into this is necessary to understand the cultural legacy of Yugoslavia for Kosovo and Kosovars.

The images and data gathered throughout the research will be then discursively analysed. The final product of the project with be an essay/research paper, published as part of a zine including pictures, poems or lyrics etc found during the research. The products will be co-authored by the researcher and two artists, the writer and visual artist/designer.  During the process of the research, there will be 6 young people engaged and two workshops with students who will be actively engaged in the research and artistic process. 

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