Greetings from an Elsewhere is a found-footage film composed from numerous private VHS tapes. In the 1990s, VHS tapes were used as a communication channel between divided families and friends during and after the war in Kosovo. Cassettes were sent back and forth between the diaspora and those in Kosovo, displaying new living circumstances, new cities, new asylum residencies—greetings from an elsewhere. They traveled via unconventional routes across borders, continents, and countries, sent by way of airplane or buses, passing through many hands. Once they arrived home, wherever “home” was, families and neighbors gathered, curiously awaiting the images from afar.
Through an open call, Edona Kryeziu borrowed people’s VHS tapes, which she digitized and edited into a collective filmic archive. Greetings from an Elsewhere started in 2019 when Kryeziu stumbled across her family’s old VHS tapes and compiled a film out of them, which was then exhibited at the National Gallery of Kosovo and the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana, Albania. Sharing her private video cassettes with the public, the artist realized that it is ritualized and repetitive events—arrivals, departures, birthdays, weddings, graduations—have not only depicted but also shaped how Kosovars lived with and through a decade of uncertainty. In the shadow of scant documentation of recent Kosovar history, Greetings from an Elsewhere turns the personal archive into important testimony of the past that speaks and shapes the present.
Edona Kryeziu (1994) was born in Saarlouis and lives in Prishtina and Berlin.