From PRIVATE 51 – Global Report 2, pp. 22-25
I went to Kosovo long after the end of the war. My first stay in Kosovo was in April 2009. The country was pronounced independent the year before. Still today, however, Serbia refuses to recognize this independence and continues to consider Kosovo as an autonomous province.
After my first visit, I returned in February 2010. The images of the essays are partly from my first visit there, partly from my second trip.
At the very beginning, I thought that instead of putting the focus on the conflict, to draw the attention to what people my age have been through. Some of them had to get weapons and fight, others cried for the loss of their relatives. Some were blinded by hate and went to fight a war. Others just left, hiding themselves from the conflict.
During my time in Kosovo I met a young man named Fisnik in the city of Mitrovica and together we traced back the memories of his infancy, his present, and I have observed and photographed here the present that surrounds him.
Most young people in Kosovo don’t have the opportunity to decide between staying or going… Half the population is less than 25 years old: Kosovo is the youngest state in Europe. One of the main problems is getting a passport, as the procedure is very long and expensive and many of them consider the exile as the only chance they have. But whoever succeeds in getting it, becomes a free man.
Fisnik is one youth of Kosovo. He dreams to live his future somewhere else, hoping this is going to happen sooner or later.