KOSOVO IS THIRTEEN & THUMPING
Europe's youngest country hits adolescence
Wednesday, 17th February 2021.
PRISTINA, Kosovo -- Europe's newest country, Kosovo, celebrates the 13th year since it declared independence in 2008.
One of the surreal consequences of the 1998-99 Kosovo War is that half of Kosovo's population is still under thirty five and the capital, Pristina, pulsates with a youthful energy that's conspicuous and infectious. We feature the key designers in Kosovo's emerging fashion scene, the eponymous Venera Mustafa, Krenare Rugova and Hana Zeqa's Fight Or Flight, modeled by the city's talent-to-watch, a roster of six young actors, models, artists, DJs. The throwback location is the poster child of former post-Soviet glory, the Grand Hotel Pristina, once the pride of Kosovo, now long in the tooth, in desperate need of a renovation. It's a cautionary tale of how despite the encouraging progress its made in the last thirteen years, much of the old Kosovo still remains in limbo, heavily inert, slowly decaying.
These images were shot digitally and on 135 film. The 135 film was processed locally at Pristina's last photo chemical lab, Foto Canon Lada, and personally by it's owner Mr Fahredin Ethemi-Lada. Even though he cannot guarantee the best results on account of his antiquated equipment, old chemicals due to limited throughput, Mr Ethemi-Lada continues to run the machines if just to process his own personal photography. There's a case to made that these locally made analog images are an integral part of this uniquely Kosovar story ... of microcosms suspended in time, waiting for a future.
GRAND HOTEL PRISTINA
Reference: "Not the Worst Hotel in the World, Perhaps, but the World is Very Big", Andrew Higgins, New York Times, 2018
EXCERPT -- The Grand Hotel in the Kosovar capital of Pristina is regularly reviled in internet reviews. Here’s a sample: “disgusting,” “a ruin” and “an absolute horror. Probably the worst I have ever been at.” But the managers seem unfazed by the online abuse. They do not take web bookings and barely offer access to the internet; their hotel has no email account ... “I don’t think it is the worst hotel in the world, but that is because the world is very big,” the [Kosovar] President said, expressing disbelief when told that I was staying there.
LEICA 135 FILM SCANS
Location : GRAND HOTEL PRISTINA, KOSOVO
Models : ALLMIR SUHODOLLI, BARDHA, BLERINA MURIQI, DJ MATALE, ERZA PALLASKA, JON GASHI
Fashion Stylist : ERZA PALLASKA
Hair & Make Up : LYRA BEAUTY
Writers & Photographers : GENTA PALLASKA & KEVIN FOONG
Producer : AGONIS GORCAJ