In Europe’s most divided city, Mitrovica (Kosovo), Serb and Albanian youth have grown up without contact with the other side. Since 2008, the Mitrovica Rock School has connected some 1,200 youth through music. The project “Music Connects” brings together youth from five of the region’s most divided and disenfranchised communities.
At the Mitrovica Rock School, youth from both sides of ethnically divided Mitrovica meet as young musicians and songwriters. 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. Our annual summer school brings together mixed bands for an intensive week of songwriting, rehearsing, recording and performing.
Music Connects is a new project supported by Creative Twinning, a program of Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and other donors. In partnership with Fontys Rockacademie, Mitrovica Rock School, Roma 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.
Video production house HATCHED-MV will produce the feature documentary “Music Connects: The Real School of Rock,” as an audiovisual testimony to the power of music to connect people across divides. During the 2.5-year Music Connects project, HATCHED-MV will film crucial events in the project’s development, and release eight social media clips and a trailer. The feature documentary is due in the spring of 2020.