ACT – Arts, critical thinking & active citizenship (Kosovo)

“ACT – Arts, critical thinking & active citizenship” is the name of the Phase 1 Kosovo project for Changing the Story.

The ACT project combines research and applied components, producing alternative practices to be proposed to formal and informal educational institutions, as well as academic research and publishing in Kosovo. The project is being done in cooperation with four local partners that work with art and youth in several Kosovo municipalities including: Anibar (Peja), 7 Arte(Mitrovica), NGO Aktiv (Mitrovica North) and Varg e vi (Gjilan). Additionally, participants from local and international organizations contributed, including: Kosovo 2.0Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) and Opera Circus (from the UK) as well as independent researchers.

ACT began with a comparative analysis between the content, forms and practices of municipal versus independent, arts-based forms of civic education and explored their respective potentials with a specific focus on the issues facing CSOs targeting youth in marginalised areas outside the capital, Prishtina. Core questions included: 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, required reflection upon the ways historical contingencies have shaped underpinning practices, concepts, and politics of such work.

Following this analysis, the project focused on four different municipalities in Kosovo, because they consider it important to look at the peripheral spaces beyond the elites and trends in the centre. Each of ACT’s partner organizations working in four municipalities of Kosovo other than the capital, Prishtina, have a track record of creative and innovative ways of engaging local youth, artists and activist, ranging from the organization of animation festivals, art exhibitions, theatre plays and city tours.

A kick-off workshop took place in September 2018, where artists, academics and activists from Kosovo and the UK were brought together. The Kick-Off workshop was organized with the aim of discussing the opportunities for civic education of Kosovo youth through the arts. The Kosovo branch of the “Changing the Story” project will be researching and working with different organizations in the country in order to establish, discover and develop new ways of youth engagement through the arts. This workshop also led to a formal call for Kosovo research-practice teams to propose projects which would form the ‘proof of concept’ phase of the project.

The successfully awarded 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.


Find out more about the BOOM Zine project here.



Watch the final cut of the Boom Zine animation here:


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ACT – Arts, critical thinking & active citizenship’ is the Phase 1 Kosovo project of Changing the Story.