Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kosovo & Art

Kosovo, the newest European country, lives daily with corruption, poverty, organized crime, & drug cartels.   Almost half of the population is younger than 25 and the unemployment rate is over 45%.  The future looks bleak.  How do I know?  It's not because I keep myself fully informed of current world events, although that certainly sounds like a lofty and valuable goal.  It's because NPR ran a story on Morning Addition which highlighted a new political party called Fresh Air who are attempting to bring positive change to Kosovo.

After hearing that short, 4 minute story, I began to wonder what the art scene was like in Kosovo.  If a strong subculture had existed, was it still alive and well?  I was happy to hear that it is alive and inspired by death metal. At least that's what inspires Artan Balaj, a multi-media artist from Kosovo. He reports that with the liberation of the country,  the art scene has  been freed as well.  This is a good thing.  A really good thing.  

As we know, art can heal.  This site is an example of that healing.  Young refugees from Kosovo who have been devastated by war and terror are prompted by UNICEF workers to draw or paint what they have seen and what they feel.  It makes my heart happy to know that art is at work in the world today.