In Kosovo: a selection of memorials in Pristina
Pristina city center houses different memorials and monuments that make us be aware of Kosovo's recent past and present. Most of them have been placed recently while others –as the Monument of Brotherhood and unity, 1961- were constructed in Tito’s time and their preservation has sometimes been questioned.
The photos below show a selection of these monuments: Skanderberg monument, The Monument of Brotherhood and Unity, Zahir Pajaziti monument, the All Missing Persons memorial, the memorial to the British soldiers died in Kosovo, the memorial to the Kosovo Force and the NATO, the Ibrahim Rugova monument and the Heroinat Memorial by Ilir Blackçori.
- Gjergj Kastriot known as Skanderbeg was born May 6 in 1405 and died on 17 January 1468. It is the Albanian National Hero, the most prominent figure in the history of Albanians. After leaving Ottoman service, he led a rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in what is today Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. Skanderbeg always signed himself as Lord of Albania. Behind Skanderberg statue there is the government building in Pristina.
- The Monument of Brotherhood and unity, the Permendroja "Vllaznim-Bashkimi", was a symbol for the three ethnic groups in Kosovo: Serbs, Turks and Albanians. It is the most-known Yugoslav memorial which strangely survived the independency of Kosovo. Brotherhood and unity was a popular slogan of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.
- Zahir Pajaziti (Orlane, 1962 - Vushtrri, 1997) was a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army. He was the first Commander of KLA, known as "First Gun of Freedom".
-The Kosovo Force (KFOR) is a NATO -led international peacekeeping force which was responsible for establishing a secure environment in Kosovo.
KFOR entered Kosovo on 11 June 1999, two days after the adoption of UN Sec UN Security Council Resolution 1244. At the time, Kosovo was facing a grave humanitarian crisis, with military forces from the FRY and the KLA in daily engagement. Nearly one million people had fled Kosovo as refugees.
- Heroinat Memorial by Illir Blacçoriy
According to the artist “Despite their tremendous sacrifice, the contribution and pain of Kosovo women during the war has, for the most part, remained anonymous and unacknowledged. While hundreds of monuments and memorials were erected for Kosovar men, the architectural landscape and the history books have neglected the contribution and sacrifice of women. They remain the unacknowledged anonymous heroines of Kosovo’s history. As such, I wanted to honor each of these anonymous heroines, individually. I needed a huge number to build up this representing heroic face, and I came across a study conducted by the Human Rights Watch. They claimed that there were nearly 20,000 Kosovar women that were raped during the Kosovo war of the late 1990s. Most of these war crimes remain untried, and some of the victims still live with those horrifying memories and scars, everyday and to this day. I took this tragic number of victims, and transformed it into medals. Medals dedicated to each and every woman’s contribution and sacrifice for this country, no matter what age.”
These photos were taken in August 2018.