9 February, 2019
Prizren, 16 December 2018 – The International Biennale of Contemporary Art “Autostrada Biennale” has organized the international conference “Revolution Is Us – La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi” on 14 Dec. in Prishtina and 15 Dec in Prizren, Kosovo.
The conference gathered artists, curators and representatives of the institutions, in panels aimed at addressing cultural issues through the perspective of art, politics and economics.
In the conference, panelists discussed onhow the biennial has come together with citizens and strategic partners and has created new spaces for art exhibitions, informal education, as well as discussions and reflections. In this way, it has stimulated freedom of expression, cultural exchange and critical thinking, with the purpose of maintaining inter-cultural and inter-ethnic tolerance, promoting democratic thought, preserving the environment, and appreciating cultural heritage.
“Art and culture are the fabrics that keeps communities together in Kosovo,” said Ulrika Richardson, United Nations Development Coordinator (UNKT), highlighting the impact that Autostrada Biennale has in the community.
At the opening of the panel “Revolution Is Us – La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi” Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, curator of the second edition of the Autostrada Biennale said:
“For the upcoming edition I will work with the idea of the revolution, starting with Joseph Beuys’s remarkable work. It is not about a political revolution, but a personal revolution, because art can help us to change the perspective of our life. Art is, even when it does not seem to appear that way, always a bearer of novelty, openness, change, and above all freedom. I never thought of art as merely aesthetic, or pure contemplative pleasure, but as a human expression full of ethics and aesthetics.”
Considering that the first edition of Autostrada Biennale was an inspiration, Arta Agani, director of the National Gallery of Kosovo, stressed that ” For the upcoming edition, Autostrada Biennale has selected a very powerful curator and concept which is related to our public, because Kosovo is a country that was born of the revolution. ”
In this panel, moderated by Hajrulla Çeku, the other speaker was Richard Mei, representative of the US Embassy in Pristina, who especially appreciated the importance of the biennial in relation to the city’s heritage.
“Autostrada Biennale is one of the most creative initiatives in Prizren and we as a Municipality are proud to have it in Prizren,” said Mayor Haskuka, who was a speaker at the panel “Development Through Cultural Tourism”, together with Ols Lafe – expert on cultural tourism and Dren Zatriqi – Swiss Contact.
The conference discussions were focused on how the biennial has established the city and its citizens as a very important part of its organized events, by including them regardless of their nationality, religion or cultural backgrounds. This was the very purpose of the Biennial, namely breaking up and wiping out borders and taboos of our society.
At this conference, the Autostrada Biennale team published its first book called “Autostrada Biennale: The Common Book” which aims to promote the biennial to the worldwide by having talks and events. The upcoming edition of the Autostrada Biennale with the theme “Revolution Is Us – La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi” will be held from July until September 2019 in Prizren, Kosovo.
Partners and supporters of the book and the international conference: UNKT – United Nations Kosovo Team – more specifically Development Coordinator’s Office, Swiss Development and Cooperation Office in Prishtina, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in Kosovo, Ministry of Diaspora and Strategic Investments in Kosovo, Municipality of Prizren and Municipality of Prishtina.