09:48 10.08.2010 | CBM Team | Project: Culture

Skopje Summer School 2010

Dutch Rock Academy to work with youth from Kosovo flashpoint city From August 22 to 29, 34 young Kosovo musicians will travel to Skopje, Macedonia, for a summer rock music school led by six Dutch rock music trainers from the Fontys Rock Academy. The young participants are from Mitrovica, Kosovo, a city where war and ethnic conflict have left a rigid divide between ethnic Serbs and Albanians.  On Friday August 27, all participants will perform at an open-air concert in Skopje’s popular City Park. During the week preceding the concert, the Mitrovica youth will form ethnically mixed bands, choose songs and band names and prepare a major show together.

The 2010 Summer School is the third of its kind, so that a total of 70 Rock School students from North and South Mitrovica will now have played together in mixed bands.  This year, the concert will be spiced up with some local flavor by a mixed band from Struga, Macedonia, who will present a smashing opening act. The Skopje Summer School is hosted by Civil, one of the leading NGOs in the field of human rights, peace, and arms control in the Republic of Macedonia.

Mitrovica is known as a political flashpoint in the Balkans, but before the war the city was the center for rock music in the region. Local musicians seeking to restore this tradition applied to the Kosovo-based Community Building Mitrovica and Musicians without Borders (Netherlands). Working together with local musicians, CBM, MwB and IKV Pax Christi established the Mitrovica Rock School, where over 75 youth now attend regular rock music lessons. Their teachers are accomplished local musicians who receive teacher training from the Fontys Rock Academy (Netherlands). In Mitrovica, Kosovo, ethnic Albanians and Serbs live their lives divided almost entirely by the River Ibar – and by war. Albanians live in the South of the city, Serbs in the North. Because the divide makes it impossible for Rock School students to attend one inter-ethnic school, two Rock School branches have been set up, one on each side o f the city. The Summer School breaks through this divide.   

The Mitrovica Rock School aims to become an independent, interethnic and regionally famous rock music institution by the end of the project period in 2012. The project is a cooperative initiative of Community Building Mitrovica, Musicians without Borders, IKV Pax Christi and the Fontys Rock Academy.  The 2010 Skopje Summer School is financially supported by the Social Transformation Program (Matra) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Finnish, French and Norwegian Embassies in Pristina.

Dates:Summer School: August 22-29

Closing concert: Friday, August 27

Location: Skopje, Macedonia