By Mimozë Musliu
The International Women Artist and Activist Festival, already traditional in Kosova, FemArt, in its 11th edition with the motto “Kalle Tutën” for seven consecutive days, brought art and world culture and entertained the citizens in Prishtina and Mitrovica. This festival had (28) twenty-eight different activities from art scenic, filmic, musical, communicative and figurative, and through representatives of fifteen (15) countries, brought a spirit, an energy, a mixture of colors and cultures that spoke and were understood through the language of art.
“Burn Your Fear” echoed beyond the state borders, from the girls and women of the society still patriarchal, from the smallest state in the Balkans and the youngest in Europe, Kosova, at the festival where human values are promoted above all, mainly feminist ones. A motto that gives impetus and takes courage to break the barriers of not being yourself, of not living under the pressure of violence, fear and social stigma. This motto was not only the voice of girls and women of Kosovo but of the whole world.
Seven days, lived vividly under the mantle of FemArt activities, activities that were related to the motto, liked and embraced by the audience. Almost all the activities offered high performance quality; they transmitted strong emotions to the audience, strong and convincing messages to understand that every woman should be proud of who she is, live life as it comes, despite the difficulties it has and above all, with positivity and love to fight the battles that arise and come across in everyday life.
The 11th edition of FemArt, gave the opportunity to more than 282 artists and activists from fifteen countries of the world to know Kosovo, learn more about ethnic diversity, cultural heritage of the Balkan country that emerged from the war twenty-four years ago. This place, which still has open wounds and lives with the trauma of the war, but with a vision towards neighboring peace, through art, what politics cannot do, the breaking of the myth and stigma that was done for more than two decades. By hosting this edition of artists and activists from Serbia with the theater show “Girls”. For artistic performance from Serbia, hospitality and high civic culture was shown during the show in “Dodona” theatre. They gave the example of being an audience, showing the maturity and culture with values of not looking back (in the past), but looking forward (into the future), for peaceful and tolerant life between the two populations of the two countries.
If we talk about the organization of the first feminist festival in the region, freely and without any doubts we say that the organization of this year’s edition was at the best possible level. This one showed the overview of quality professional work of the staff, and their dedication and responsibility. It offered to citizens a comprehensive artistic multidimensional program for seven days. At the same time, this edition of FemArt was different from the other ten editions, because it took steps and gave a brilliant example for other festivals in Kosova, the population, etc. Also because FemArt is the first festival in Kosova and the region that drafted a guidebook for infrastructural and informational access for people with disabilities and implemented the guideline where possible to intervene. In some cases, also for the first time, the artistic program was done in the Braille alphabet, and with enlarged letters to create the possibility and access to follow the festival by the audience with impairments at first.
FemArt, as a festival, will have a very long future… but the 11th edition starting from the motto “Burn Your Fear”, will not be forgotten and will remain in the memory for a long time.