Vangjush Vëllahu

Field of Blackbirds, 2017


In 1974 the Yugoslavian constitution gave Kosovo the status of an autonomous province within Serbian sovereign territory. With the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the rise to power of Slobodan Milosevic in 1989, Kosovo’s autonomy was revoked. Subsequent protests of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo led to military intervention and the dissolution of the province’s parliament. Tensions between Albanians and Serbs of Kosovo erupted into major violence, culminating with the Kosovo War, which resulted in withdrawal of Serbian armed forces and the establishment of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo. The war brought major ethnic cleansing, displacement of almost the entire population and thousands of casualties. In 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia. Since then it has gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by over 100 UN member countries. Serbia, Russia, China and many other countries strongly opposed Kosovo independence by calling it a violation of the international law. Kosovo’s legal status was reviewed by the international court of justice when Serbia requested such a review. In 2010 the Court gave an opinion that the declaration of independence did not violate international law. Kosovo’s independence was therefore a product of international action rather than indigenous effort. This is not to underestimate the local achievement, but the foreign contribution was relatively larger than in other cases of secession.



17 min 05 sec

HD-Video, Color, Sound, Aspect Ratio 16:9


Interview with: Naser Shatrolli

Music: Recorded on the streets of Pristina

Locations: Pristina, Ferizaj, Mitrovica, Peja, Gjakova, Prizren (Kosovo)

Language: Audio Albanian, Subtitles English

Translation: Elona Gusho, Vangjush Vellahu

Support: Ioana Mitrea, Felisha Bahadur