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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kosovo (but not UNSCR 1244)

Anyone who has written publications on the Balkans knows this magic formula - Kosovo, UNSCR 1244. UNSCR stands for United Nations Security Council Resolution and is the politically correct way to refer to the breakaway state of Kosovo which is funnily refered to by the Kosovars themselves with the Albanian ending 'a' - Kosova. UNSCR 1244 placed Kosovo under interim UN administration and is the only formula acceptable to Serbians.

This is not a post on Kosovo, UNSCR 1244 though. I would like to share some photos on village Kosovo where we spent the new year. Kosovo is situated in the Rhodopi Mountain in Bulgaria. It was established in the 17th century and it seems that it was quite lively in the 19th century.

This is not the case any more. Many of the beautiful stone houses are deserted and one hardly sees a living soul on the streets except an occasional dog or cat. If there ever has been a life in the village it is long gone.

It is such a pity that modern life is organised in such a way that beautiful places like this one are empty and sad. We all tend to crowd into the cities (very often ugly) looking for each other's comfort but I wonder if one day people will not get tired of the hustle and bustle and start going back, organising communes, living together a different and maybe much more interesting and harmonious lives.

And these places had a life before industrialisation in the 40s and the 50s drove people from villages to towns. I have seen my grandfather's pictures from a village (Kilifarevo, south of Veliko Tarnovo) in the 20s and 30s and there were dozens of young boys and girls who had fun, used to have a musical group and even a theater group...

I wonder if this will not happen again one day. I imagine this village with dozens of young families, some of them working remotely, some of them working the land, some of them living here and working elsewhere. Although this sounds like a dream it may happen one day as big cities become too crowded and too polluted and most importantly one loses one's connection to nature. We all know we miss it and we all know that we are handicapped without it. When will the tipping point be?

The problem is that getting back to such a place requires a change in the mindset, it requires living in a slower way, acquiring new skills even changing one's communication patterns.

This is 'the other' hill of the village seen from our house.

The other hill, Kosovo

This is our side of the village seen from 'the other' hill.

This house looks like a forteress who is under attack and is hardly holding. In reality there is no one to attack and no one to defend. Is there anything worth defending?

Shy Flag

The church was surprisingly fit and the tower is neat and white. The building in front has three purposes: a shop, a local bar and an ethnological museum with three separate entrances.

Church Dome (1851)

Some houses are really falling apart and are probably beyond repair. Imagine how beautiful this one was and how beautiful it could be.

Past Glory

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
take these broken wings and learn to fly
all your life you are only waiting for this moment to arrive...


Anonymous said...

nice blog! thank you for sharing these photos and experiences, we really need to know more about Kosovo.

Polly said...

it's really sad when old charming places like this one start to whither and disappear from this world... but perhaps that's the natural progress and maybe one day in the future the way people live will change again and the world as we know it will transform itself again... but it does look like a lovely little village, perfect place to spend the New Year!

uncafediarte said...

I think that there is no written document like resoltion 1244 on Kosovo.There are no human rights in Kosovo.