On October 13, three ethnically mixed bands from the divided city of Mitrovica returned from an incredibly inspiring tour of Berlin, also once divided but now at the center of Europe’s alternative music scene. All bands are “Ambassador Bands” of the Mitrovica Rock School, mixed bands who cannot safely meet in their home town. In Berlin, the bands worked on their own songs, but also formed new bands with students from Rock City Institute in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
The young musicians from Mitrovica remarked how very similar they were to the students from Eindhoven, who were “less fancy than other Dutch people” and much closer to Mitrovica grunge in style and taste. A real click! On the final day our hosts of SchoolClash organized a tour of once-divided Berlin, explaining the political history but also showing many of the creative initiatives that had flourished in the vacuum left after the fall of the Berlin wall.
An incredibly inspiring visit, and one that we hope to repeat in May 2015 when Ambassador Bands Schism and Astral Dreamers are up for their Berlin tour. Meanwhile, we’re hoping that these tours will lead to more regular exchanges between Mitrovica Rock School students and likeminded youth from around Europe, breaking down borders and expanding the horizons of all.