Blerta’s been singing at the Mitrovica Rock School since she was 13. Now a confident young rock singer and song-writer, she’s a member of the mixed band The Artchitects. Milos, who lives on the other side of the city, joined the Rock School in 2011 and co-founded mixed band Sublime 6. Playing in a ‘mixed band’ is still unheard-of in Mitrovica. In a city still divided by war, Blerta and Milos are two of the young musicians who have learned ways of communicating and cooperating despite the divide that separates them from their band members and each other. The Rock School was their first contact with someone from the other side.
In Mitrovica, ethnic Serb and Albanian communities have lived divided since the Kosovo conflict in 1999. The Mitrovica Rock School brings them together with summer schools, tours and training weeks, rebuilding ties and helping youth transcend the divide that dominates their daily lives.
Milos and Blerta are part of the school’s Ambassador Band Program, where star students from both sides of the city form mixed bands, write own material and rehearse, record and perform throughout the region and abroad. Musicians Without Borders works closely with the Dutch Fontys Rock Academy to give young people like Blerta and Milos the chance to develop their talents, while bridging old divides and forming new friendships. In a place where life is all about conflict, the Mitrovica Rock School is all about the music!
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