Kosovo has just entered the double digits, but it is already plagued with complex, apparently unsolvable issues. Our photo collective, Terra Project, wanted to document some of these issues, leading us to travel to this Balkan country half the size of Massachusetts a number of times over the past 10 years.
In 2010, just two years after its declaration of independence from Serbia, we visited the country in an effort to uncover the truth behind the contamination caused by depleted uranium weapons used during the 1999 war. We returned in 2016 looking for another vile killing agent: land mines. Kosovo is one of the Balkan countries affected by this curse. More than 100 locations along borders, rivers, village roads and forest paths are seeded with unexploded ordnance, and demining, relying on international support, is running behind schedule.
Our collective traveled to Kosovo yet again in 2017. Each return brings back a cozy feeling of home, and at the same time an apprehension for unaddressed problems. In Mitrovica, a city divided between Serbs and Albanians, there is a small music school that is endeavoring to address some of them. For the past 10 years, its teachers have tried to employ the unifying power of music, putting together Albanian and Serbian mixed rock bands. Today, the school is a consolidated entity, and its bands have been invited to international festivals and received awards. A crucial gap remains: being able to perform in the very same city where everything was born. Mitrovica is not ready yet to see Serbs and Albanians together on a stage. When this happens, then and only then will Kosovo begin to exist.
More on In Sight:
In Sight is The Washington Post’s photography blog for visual narrative. This platform showcases compelling and diverse imagery from staff and freelance photographers, news agencies and archives. If you are interested in submitting a story to In Sight, please complete this form.