Activism Events

We celebrated “20 Years of Artpolis” through “Poetry for Power”

March 7, 2024


On the 6th of March, 2024, Artpolis marked two decades of art and feminist activism with the poetry night “Poetry for Power – Every Day is 8th of March,” transmitting messages of peace and equality in various languages, including Albanian, English, Serbian, Spanish, French, Bosnian, and Italian through poetry, cabaret performances, dance, discussions, and a video collage.

Renowned local and international poets used feminist poetry to advocate for empowerment and solidarity with women in Kosovo, Ukraine, Palestine, and all other regions worldwide where women are killed by ongoing wars and patriarchal oppression.

The celebration began with a video collage highlighting 20 years of Artpolis’ work – from professional performances, 11 editions of the FemArt Festival, engagement in educating young people through theater, to empowering girls and women through training, marches, protests, and workshops – thus bringing back memories of artists and activists who were part of this journey filled with joy, challenges, and successes in positive social changes.

Overflowing with emotions and nostalgia, Zana Hoxha, the founder and executive director of Artpolis who moderated the evening, reminisced about the organization’s inception, expressing gratitude to all the women, artists, and activists whose contributions have propelled Artpolis’ growth.

“Resist, Inspire, Create” is the motto that has accompanied and inspired Hoxha throughout her two decades of activist and artistic engagement.

The event continued with a performance by the children’s choir “Okarina” under the direction of Elikona Hysaj, who interpreted the work of composer Ylber Asllanaj “The Flowers of March”, paying tribute to the children of the Jashari Family killed during the war in Kosovo. The choir was joined by Artpolis actress Blerta Gubetini, who performed the poem “The Scars of War” by Linda King.

The special guests of the evening, Vjollca Bajraj, presented her poetry followed by a discussion. Her poem “My Mornings Are Painful” was interpreted by Artpolis Ensemble actress Qendresa Kajtazi. She shared moments from her life, her connection with art and poetry, and life after the death of her husband and poet, Xhevdet Bajraj.

Vjollca Bajraj shared, “I began writing poetry 3-4 months after Xhevdet’s passing in 2022. Poetry became a means to comfort myself.” She further disclosed her unexpected casting in Paula Markovitch’s film “El actor Principal,” despite lacking professional acting experience. Bajraj performed poetry in both Albanian and Spanish, including pieces such as “Embrace of a Woman” and “Woman.”

The evening was enhanced by the poetry and performances of additional poets and artist-activists, including Nora Prekazi, Gili Hoxhaj, Mila Mihajlovic, Xhejlane Tërbunja, Aurita Agushi, Meli Qena, Donato Giuliani, and Ivana Bilić.

The 20th anniversary celebration of Artpolis featured cabaret poetry and songs presented by the Artpolis Ensemble, with compositions rearranged by composer Liburn Jupolli. Jupolli, who also showcased his piano skills, was joined by Yllka Simnica on bass guitar and Granit Havolli on drums. Additionally, the Artpolis Ensemble delighted the audience with dance performances choreographed by Robert Nuha.

This activity was supported by Frieda, while sponsors included Vidasus, Syrrush, Red Bull Kosovo and Theranda.

📸 Majlinda Hoxha

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