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In Europe’s most divided city, Mitrovica in Kosovo, the conflict between Serb and Albanian communities still continues with barricaded bridges over the Ibar river, increased tensions and regular outbursts of violence. Musicians without Borders and partners CBM and the Fontys Rockacademie have successfully run an inter-ethnic youth project since 2008.

Mitrovica Rock School

The Mitrovica Rock School provides a neutral platform for youth from both sides of ethnically divided Mitrovica to meet as young musicians and song writers. The Rock School provides daily lessons and band coaching sessions and connects youth through weekly inter-ethnic workshops and its program for ethnically mixed bands. Over 1,200 youth have attended the Mitrovica Rock School since the program started in 2008.

Music Connects

Music Connects is a new project supported by Creative Twinning, a program of Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and other donors. In partnership with Fontys RockacademieMitrovica Rock SchoolRoma Rock School and Music School Enterprise, the project activates youth and builds sustainable alternatives for social inclusion through state-of-the art rock music education, production and promotion.

Music Connects will deliver thousands of music activities to Serb, Albanian, Macedonian, Roma and other youth. We will establish a recording studio in Mitrovica and train sound engineers in Mitrovica and Skopje, increasing cultural participation and cooperation and lowering the barrier for young bands to enter the region’s emerging music scene.

 

Documentary

Video production house HATCHED-MV will produce a documentary on Music Connects as an audiovisual testimony to the power of music to connect people across divides. HATCHED-MV previously supported our Mitrovica Rock School by working pro bono to create the music video Set Me Free for our ethnically mixed band Proximity Mine. The documentary is set to be released in the first half of 2020.

News
September 24, 2018
September 24, 2018

A look into the day to day of the Skopje Summer School from the point of view of Proximity Mine’s guitarist, Tringa. Enjoy!

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We talked to Ana Petanovska, about her first experience at the Mitrovica Rock School’s 2018 Band Camp and singing with High Frequency.

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School’s out & the summer school is in! Meet some of our 2018 Skopje Summer School participants.

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Female front woman, Marina (18) opens up about living out of her comfort zone, confronting the patriarchy and her band, Feed D Fury.

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We’re happy to announce Music Connects, a Creative Twinning project that brings together youth at three rock schools in former Yugoslavia, using state-of-the-art rock music education to promote social inclusion.

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Mitrovica Rock School band Proximity Mine opened the 16th North City Jazz and Blues Festival, becoming the first ethnically mixed Rock School band to play publicly in Mitrovica.

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Four mixed Mitrovica Rock School bands will perform their own songs at a spring concert on May 12.

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Longtime Mitrovica Rock School member Jelena Zafirovic has been the front woman and lead song writer of two ethnically mixed bands, Sublime 6 and Rootless. She is now working on her first solo album, Melancholia. We asked Jelena about life as a musician in Mitrovica and what inspired the album.

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Videos
February 1, 2018
Proximity Mine - Set Me Free

Proximity Mine’s new music video, recorded in Vienna and directed, filmed and produced for the Mitrovica Rock School by Hatched-MV: hatched-mv.com

November 16, 2017
2017 Skopje Summer School

Mitrovica Rock School kicked off its anniversary year with our tenth annual summer school.

October 9, 2017
Rootless - Fantasy

Music video ‘Fantasy’ by ethnically mixed band Rootless, a high-energy dream team formed by highly talented, long-term students of our Mitrovica Rock School.

July 6, 2017
Neverland - You Don't Care

Neverland, a mixed Mitrovica Rock School band, recorded in May 2017 at the Mitrovica Rock School.

April 18, 2017
Proximity Mine needs your help!

Mixed band Proximity Mine are from Mitrovica (Kosovo), a city completely divided by war. They are setting an example to their generation, and they need your help.

January 30, 2017
Proximity Mine - Sorry Mom

Proximity Mine, a mixed band formed by students of the Mitrovica Rock School, recorded January 2017 at the Mitrovica Rock School.

 

January 1, 2017
Sublime 6 - Battery

Acoustic version of Battery by mixed Mitrovica Rock School band Sublime 6. Sublime 6 was formed in 2013 under the Rock School’s Ambassador Band Program.

January 15, 2017
Akasha - Fire

Acoustic version of Fire by mixed Mitrovica Rock School band Akasha

August 28, 2016
2016 Summer School

The 2016 Summer School for ethnically mixed bands organized by the Mitrovica Rock School, August 21 to 28, 2016.

August 27, 2016
Proximity Mine - MWAH (live)

Live recording of Proximity Mine, an ethnically mixed band formed in August 2016 by students of the Mitrovica Rock School.

August 27, 2016
High Frequency - No Way Out (live)

Live recording of High Frequency, an ethnically mixed band formed in August 2016 by students of the Mitrovica Rock School.

August 1, 2015
2015 Remix Band Camp

The 2015 Remix Band Camp of the Mitrovica Rock School, where students from the Rock School’s north and south branches worked in ethnically mixed bands and wrote, recorded and performed their own songs.

 

June 1, 2015
The Suck of Psychotic - Lost In Love

Music video of ethnically mixed Mitrovica Rock School band The Suck of Psychotic

 

October 1, 2014
Astral Dreamers - Scream

Music video of ethnically mixed Mitrovica Rock School band Astral Dreamers

 

August 1, 2014
2014 Ambassador Band Camp

At the 2014 Ambassador Band Camp, four ethnically mixed bands from the divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo, came together in neighboring Macedonia to write, record and perform their own songs.

May 1, 2014
Mitrovica Rock School at TEDx

Rock School co-founder Wendy Hassler-Forest of Musicians without Borders speaks at TEDx Tirana about what it has meant to set up an inter-ethnic rock music school in a town as rigidly divided as Mitrovica.

November 1, 2013
The Artchitects - Let It Go

The Rock School’s first Ambassador Band, the Artchitects, was formed in 2011. After a one-year break in 2012-2013, they got together again in August 2013 with a brand new sound. Let It Go was the first song written after the band regrouped.

November 1, 2013
Sublime 6 - The Animals

Sublime 6 was formed in August 2013 and immediately faced a set-back when two of its members left the band. The band got back together in November 2013, with a new drummer and now only five members, and continues to this day writing and performing under the name Sublime 6.

August 1, 2013
2013 Ambassador Band Camp

From August 25 to September 1, four Ambassador Bands of the Mitrovica Rock School rehearsed, recorded and performed in Skopje, Macedonia. Schism, Sublime 6, the Toe May Toes and the Artchitects came together to finish songs they wrote in Mitrovica.

August 1, 2011
2011 Skopje Summer School

Every year since 2008, the Mitrovica Rock School has brought young musicians from north and south Mitrovica together at the annual Skopje Summer School. At the Summer School, students work in mixed bands towards a big concert in the Skopje City Park.

Photos

School’s out & the summer school is in! Meet some of our 2018 Skopje Summer School participants.

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August 24, 2017
August 24, 2017

Our Mitrovica Rock School is hosting its 10th annual summer school this week in Skopje, Macedonia, where students come together from both sides of the divided city of Mitrovica to write, record and perform original songs.

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On December 8, 2016, a team from our Mitrovica Rock School in Kosovo met Marky Ramone and thanked him for his support to Musicians without Borders and our Rock School project. His band performed in one of the t-shirts we presented him with.

Marky Ramone, thank you for your support!

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Meet the teachers at Musicians without Borders’ rock music school in Mitrovica, Kosovo.

Learn more about the Mitrovica Rock School here: https://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/projects/mitrovica-rock-school/overview/

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March 31, 2016
Donors
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
Supported by Creative Twinning, a program of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs implemented by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
Austrian Development Agency
2013, 2014, 2016, 2018
Culture for Change
2018
Hard Rock Café Amsterdam
2018
Australian Direct Aid Program
2018
Soroptimist Club Amersfoort
2018
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
2017
Stability Pact Fund through the German Embassy to Kosovo
2014-2015, 2016-2017
Robert Bosch Stiftung
2009, 2013-2014, 2015, 2017
Global Peace Building Foundation
2017, 2018
D'Addario Foundation
2015-2016, 2018
Haella Foundation
2015-2017
UNDP
2016
Culture for All
2016
United States Embassy in Pristina
2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Marky Ramone's Choice Beer
2014-2016
Marky Ramone - in cooperation with Cervesa Guineu and MediaDavid - supports Musicians without Borders and its Mitrovica Rock School project with proceeds from the sale of Marky Ramone's Choice Beer.
European Union
2013-2015
The Mitrovica Rock School is an EU funded project managed by the European Union Office in Kosovo.
Norwegian Embassy in Pristina
2010, 2011, 2012-2014
Swiss Cooperation Office
2012-2014
Through NGO KCSF
Luxembourg Caritas
2012-2013
Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matra Projects Program
2010-2012
French Embassy in Pristina
2010-2012
Finnish Embassy in Pristina
2010, 2011
USAID
2009-2010
Through AED
NCDO/Matra
2008-2009
PAX
2008
Wilde Ganzen Foundation
2008
Austrian Development Agency
2013, 2014, 2016, 2018
Soroptimist Club Amersfoort
2018
Global Peace Building Foundation
2017, 2018
Culture for All
2016
Norwegian Embassy in Pristina
2010, 2011, 2012-2014
French Embassy in Pristina
2010-2012
PAX
2008
Culture for Change
2018
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
2017
D'Addario Foundation
2015-2016, 2018
United States Embassy in Pristina
2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Swiss Cooperation Office
2012-2014
Through NGO KCSF
Finnish Embassy in Pristina
2010, 2011
Wilde Ganzen Foundation
2008
Hard Rock Café Amsterdam
2018
Stability Pact Fund through the German Embassy to Kosovo
2014-2015, 2016-2017
Haella Foundation
2015-2017
Marky Ramone's Choice Beer
2014-2016
Marky Ramone - in cooperation with Cervesa Guineu and MediaDavid - supports Musicians without Borders and its Mitrovica Rock School project with proceeds from the sale of Marky Ramone's Choice Beer.
Luxembourg Caritas
2012-2013
USAID
2009-2010
Through AED
Theory of Change

Our monitoring, evaluation, and learning protocols for the project Music Connects are informed by our Theory of Change. Please also see Musicians without Borders’ overall Theory of Change.

Applying Musicians without Borders’ MEL practices, the partners in Music Connects keep detailed quantitative records of their activities, conducts regular participant evaluations, and are introducing the Most Significant Change methodology. We will share details in 2018 regarding our collaboration with academic partners on an external project review.