• Qëndresë Deda, D, 2008-2011
Reading Aftermath: Kosovo Selection - Aftermath.Changing Cultural Landscape

Reading Aftermath
Albert Heta


As in many other fields of research, in Kosova we cannot find traces of an engaged artistic photography or developed contemporary photography, until 1989. What came after, the military occupation in the period of time between 1989 and 1999, in Kosova marks also the struggle for liberation and attempts to improvise social life under military occupation and apartheid, (seemingly) with no room for critical artistic practice or conceptual developments in fine art photography.

But event before this (dark) decade, and since the end of the second world war and the anti-fascist struggle, the country, today one of seven new founded states in the area of former federal country, was never given space nor reached a transition beyond principles of an education system and artistic practice based and created as a tool of the struggle for articulating the (other) oppressed political identity and achieving political freedom.

These conditions, and many more, make this context completely different from the other six new founded states in the area of former Yugoslavia.

Our selection of artists and works for ‘aftermath’ is based on our reading of the initial concept of the project and is concentrated on reading several components of a new society that also signifies the result of the fall of Yugoslavia and the newborn social and political context. These artists and works in artistic photography are produced by artists that were born after Yugoslavia was finally terminated (1989), and they themselves and their practice is the ‘aftermath’ of that time and political context; are works of artists that were refugees to flee the country as a result of the war in Kosova, and whose work is created in immigration; works and artists that have started to search for the time that is in the past and works that concentrate on alternative elements of signifiers of the war for liberation, that are not always selected by the mainstream to narrate the future voyage of this new country.

All selected works were created after 1999. The challenge remains open to continue the research for art photography that followed, documented or commented the social, economical, cultural and political changes from 1989 until 1999, a time which seems to be completely occupied by mainstream photography.