1031 CL Amsterdam
The Kosovo war left the city of Mitrovica divided. Albanians live south of the river Ibar, Serbs to the north, almost completely isolated from each other. Musicians on both sides of Mitrovica tell the same story: Mitrovica’s rock heritage had been decimated by the conflict, and largely replaced by nationalist turbo-folk. The idea was born of a rock music school, to be shared by youth from both sides.
The Mitrovica Rock School opened in 2008, providing daily music lessons that have reached some 1,400 youth. Talented students are offered traineeships, teaching employable skills as sound engineers, music teachers or cultural organizers. At the center of the project sits the program for ethnically mixed bands, who write, record and perform original songs. Since its inception, some 50 ethnically mixed bands have come out of the school.