In February I visited TEDxPrishtina with two colleagues; the intention to collect some ideas worth spreading, and drink some Peja beers. Instead I grew to a state of inspiration by an ongoing change that I plan to keep and use for my own purposes.
After crossing the unwelcoming Serbian-Kosovar border we jumped into the celebrating Kosovo. We arrived on *THE* Kosovars Independence Day. Events usually just mark the beginning or the end of a complex process; nevertheless an event is when one understands “at once” the purpose/meaning/value of the process. That’s why I am happy I’ve been there on this exact day, when one can see the people celebrating.
There were flags being sold and worn everywhere. Kosovar, Albanian, US’s, here and there British. At first I got a little scared of the nationalistic fetishism ruling the day, but calmed down shortly after we arrived.
When we arrived in Prishtina my friend Shpatar Morina directed us: “You will see a big “New Born” sign…”. I was looking for the “New Born” on the roofs of the buildings, at the billboards, my eye stopped on regular signs, neon lights, I didn’t see it anywhere. Later my colleagues have shown me the huge yellow metal blocks, stably standing on the ground saying “New born”, the sign was not merely a sign, it was absorbed by the landscape, covered with graffitty and posters, hidden for the naïve eye of the tourist. Simply brilliant and provoking piece of art.
What fascinated me in Prishtina were the intelligence; talent; inspiration and optimistic state of mind of the people I’ve met. I guess I’m that impressed because I imagine that’s how the democracy started, here in Bulgaria 22 years ago.
The tagline of the event was “Design optimism”. Wise slogan for a “New Born”. The lecturers were all carrying the post-war burden, beautifully transforming the grief into belief and ideas of a better future. The focus of every single lecture was not the “what was wrong” or “the look & feel of the bright future”, but on “what I am doing” which sounds pretty much like the right path. I’ve heard constructive and down to earth lectures, a gymnastic performance and a song, that made me believe, dream and feel inspired. Great job done by the starter of the TEDxPrishtina – Ardit Bejko and the organizers.
I had the chance to speak to a few people, living now in Kosovo. I love learning from people. Being under the strong influence of Graham Green right now, I think one can only judge a certain political situation or society, when mixing the historical facts and statistics with personal stories, the moral values and experience of the “one” into this society. Life can rarely be defined by facts, although never without them. Shkamb Qavdarbasha, a young, erudite journalist told me the story of Kosovo, I knew almost nothing about and therefore I took it with no prejudice. He described the problems that the Kosovars experienced in the last decades of the past century, how that lead to a conflict, about the reaction and support of the west. He left me think without trying to opinionate me. The only emotion he expressed was against Milosevic. Fair enough. I’m not knowledgeable enough to express opinions on the war itself; except for I’m sure I don’t like it. What impressed me is that I saw a person, dramatically affected by the situation, who managed to stay on the safe side of objectivity, while telling the story of his country.
The purpose of what I have written is to express my admiration of the situation where the “what I do” meets the new gained freedom. I am sure that in the crowds of the “Youngest country” there are the bad seeds, we read about in the news and that problems of not meeting some expectations are still to come but I believe, that having so many believers can only lead to a happy end.
I thank the multi talanted Shpatar Morina who inspired me to go to Kosovo, and took very very good care of me and my colleagues.