“Miredita, dobar dan” festival begins in Prishtina

The tenth edition of the “Miredita, dobar dan” festival began in Prishtina, during which the Kosovo audience will have the chance to get more familiar with the Serbian arts and social scene.

The goal of the festival is through meetings between social and cultural communities, Serbian and Kosovar, to initiate changes and to create a tradition of cooperation that would contribute to the permanent normalization of relations between Prishtina and Belgrade.

“What makes this edition special is the fact that we continue to exist as a festival because it is known that ‘Miredita, dobar dan’ is not very welcomed by the masses and nationalistic groups. Nevertheless, we are continuing our journey with the enthusiasm, seriousness, and commitment we had from the very start,” the organizer of the festival, Kushtrim Koliqi, told Radio Free Europe.

The festival is held at times in Prishtina and Belgrade, and since its establishment in 2014, it was followed by protests from right-wing organizations and parties in Kosovo.

“In Kosovo, we did not have the level of protests we had in Belgrade. There were accusations and insults from nationalists or groups that don’t welcome such events, but there were no public opposing activities,” Koliqi said.

“We are very happy that we have managed to curate a program that will present to the citizens of Kosovo artistic products, publications, and at the same time have debates and discussions on topics which we don’t feel very comfortable discussing, neither in Kosovo nor in Serbia.”

The festival has two programs: the debates program and the cultural program.

This edition, important topics for Kosovo and Serbia will be discussed through the promotion of the book “Another Serbia: Srdja Popovic” by Shkelzen Gashi, and the debate “Another legacy”, the debate “Freedom of movement in the region: now is the time” and through the promotion of the book “The moment I realized the war started”.

“We need to understand that in Serbia even in the time of [former Serbian leader] Slobodan Milosevic, but even in present times, there are intellectuals, academics, and artists who strongly defend the values and principles of human rights, they strongly talk about the crimes that happened in Kosovo. For this reason, it is good to know this other side of Serbia too,” Koliqi said.

The festival opened with the film “How I Learned to Fly” by Radivoje Andric, which won many prizes. The main artistic event is the concert by a group of Roma girls “Pretty Loud”, who in Roma, Serbian, and English, sign about stereotypes, social justice, and race.