Musicians Without Borders - War Divides, Music Connects » Western Balkans
 
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home > Our work > Programs > Where We Work > Western Balkans
Western Balkans

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.

Mitrovica Rock School

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

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 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.

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.

News
February 12, 2019
The Mitrovica Rock School, announces the release of the debut album “Voices” from the band High Frequency.
February 4, 2019
We interviewed Ruud Borgers, guitarist, lead singer of ‘De Sjit’ and Mitrovica Rock School trainer from RockCity Institute about authenticity in music and keeping it real.
December 18, 2018
To close our end of year Story of Light series, our Founder & Director, Laura Hassler reflects on 20 years of peacebuilding through music.
December 18, 2018
"...teenagers from one of Europe’s most difficult places to come-of-age grew into some of the most wonderful adults I know." Wendy Hassler-Forest, Program Manager of the Mitrovica Rock School brings us our fifth Story of Light.
Videos
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Photos
July 27, 2018
School’s out & the summer school is in! Meet some of our 2018 Skopje Summer School participants.
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.
December 9, 2016
On December 8, 2016, a team from our Mitrovica Rock School in Kosovo met...
November 23, 2016
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/
Donors